DeKalb, Ill.- Central MichiganSoftball swept Northern Illinois on Friday, April 12, 7-6 and 7-3, with freshman Katelyn Rentschler leading CMU with three RBIs and two homeruns.
In game one, the Chippewas (20-12, 6-2 MAC) put up two runs in the fourth to break a 0-0 tie. Senior Macy Merchant opened the inning with a triple, and was brought home by a homerun over the left field by junior Cory DeLamielleure, her third in the last four games.
Central Michigan extended its lead in the fifth with a homerun by junior Brittney Horan. Horan is hitting .444 over the past seven games and has two homeruns.
With a 3-0 advantage in the sixth, Merchant singled to left and immediately stole second, the 59th of her career. An error in center field put senior Summer Knoop on base and scored Merchant. Freshman Taylor Waters, in to pinch run for Knoop, scored on an error by the second baseman. Sophomore CarolAnn Sexauer tallied the third run of the inning for the Chippewas after Horan grounded out to third base.
Trailing 6-0, Nicole Gremillion doubled to open the sixth inning for the Huskies (11-25, 1-7 MAC). A triple by Barnett scored Gremillion, cutting into Central Michigan’s lead.
Junior Raechel Zahrn opened the Chippewas’ seventh inning with a walk, and stole second. She advanced to third on a Merchant groundout, and was brought home by an error on the third baseman.
Northern Illinois rallied in the bottom of the seventh with five runs. Erika Oswald doubled to left field and scored after back-to-back singles. With bases loaded and two outs, Nicole Barnett singled to score two runs. Down 7-4, Jessica Sturm doubled to left to bring home two more runs for the Huskies.
DeLamielleure and Horan led Central Michigan each with two RBIs and a homerun. Merchant and Rentschler finished with two hits. Senior Kara Dornbos pitched a complete game, striking out seven batters. She gave up ten hits and six runs.
Barnett led Northern Illinois with two hits and three RBIs. Sturm went 2-3 with two RBIs. Sturm started in the circle, pitching 5.1 innings and giving up seven hits. Emily Norton pitched 1.2 innings in relief, surrendering one earned run.
In game two, the Huskies took a 3-2 lead into the to top the seventh inning. Merchant opened the inning for the Chippewas with a single bunt. DeLamielleure hit her second homerun of the day over center field to give Central Michigan a 4-3 lead. Sexauer reached first with a single, and was brought home by Rentschler’s second homerun of the game. Sophomore Trista Cox hit the Chippewas’ third homerun of the inning to center field, putting Central Michigan up 7-3.
The Chippewas opened the scoring in the first inning thanks to an RBI single to score Merchant. Central Michigan put up another run in the sixth with a homerun by Rentschler to right-center.
Northern Illinois tied the game in the bottom of the third on a Ashley Kopp homerun. Tied 1-1, Oswald homered in the fifth inning to go up 2-1. Amanda Sheppard opened the sixth inning with the Huskies’ third homerun of the game.
DeLamielleure and Rentschler finished 2-4 and each had three RBIs. Rentschler hit two homeruns and Cox accounted for one homerun and two hits. Junior Chelsea Sundberg pitched 5.0 innings, surrendering three runs and striking out six batters. Junior Kristen Kuhlman gave up two hits and struck out two batters in 2.0 innings.
Kopp, Oswald, and Sheppard each finished with a homerun for Northern Illinois. Norton pitched 6.1 innings, giving up 11 hits and six runs. Sturm closed for the Huskies, pitching 0.2 innings.
Central Michigan will be back in action Sunday, Arpil 14, for a doubleheader at Western Michigan. Game one's first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.