AKRON, Ohio - Central Michigan Softball advanced past the second round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Wednesday evening, defeating Bowling Green 8-0 in five innings. The Chippewas will take on Kent State tomorrow, May 9, at 7:30 p.m.
Junior Brittney Horan led Central Michigan with three hits and an RBI while senior Brogan Darwin went 2-3 with two RBIs. Senior Macy Merchant scored a game-high three runs and had two hits. Six different Chippewas recorded at least one hit, and five accounted for RBIs. Senior Kara Dornbos pitched a complete game, allowing only two hits in her sixth shutout of the season.
Paige Berger and Erika Stratton recorded the Falcons only two hits. Paris Imholz started in the circle, giving up four earned runs and four hits in 0.2 innings. Jamie Kertes pitched 3.1 innings in relief, allowing seven hits and four runs.
Darwin made an over the shoulder catch in deep left field off the bat of Bowling Green’s Katie Yoho to end the top of the first inning, bringing Merchant to the plate for Central Michigan. Merchant layed a bunt down the left line on the first pitch to reach base. Junior Raechel Zahrn hit a high chopper to the third baseman, Chloe Giordano, who sent an errant throw to the outfield, allowing Merchant to reach second. With two on and no out, Horan hit a single to shallow center to load the bases for the Chippewas. Darwin scored Merchant with a single to left field, putting Central Michigan up 1-0. After fouling one back, junior Cory DeLamielleure hit a high sac-fly to deep right field to give Zahrn time to tag up at third and come home. Sophomore Trista Cox kept the offensive surge going with a single to left, scoring the Chippewas third run of the inning. Darwin came home to give Central Michigan the 4-0 advantage on a groundout by Sexauer.
Stratton led the top of the second inning off with the Falcons’ first base hit of the game to right field. A passed ball off the mitt of DeLamielleure advanced Stratton to second with Marisa Shook at the plate. The Chippewa defense recovered, getting three straight outs to end the top of the second.
After a groundout from Knoop, Merchant hit her second single of the game to the gap between short and second base. Merchant stole her 21st base of the season to move into scoring position with Zahrn at the plate. Zahrn grounded out to move Merchant to third, bringing Horan to the plate with two outs. Central Michigan went up 5-0 on Horan’s second hit to score Merchant, the 113th run of her career.
Dornbos pitched her second consecutive 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third. Through the first three innings, she allowed one hit and struck out one batter, holding Bowling Green scoreless.
Berger singled for the Falcons’ second hit of the game. Stratton reached on a CMU error, moving Berger to third. A pop up to short and a line out to Dornbos ended the threat by Bowling Green in the top of the fourth inning.
Knoop struck out to begin the bottom of the fourth, bringing Merchant up to hit. Merchant reached on a ball misplayed by the shortstop. Zahrn advanced Merchant, hitting an infield chopper off the hands of Giordano for the Falcons third error of the game. With runners on first and second with one out, Horan hit her third base hit to load the bases. Darwin singled up the middle to score Merchant and give Zahrn a chance to score, but was thrown out at home. Darwin moved to second on the throw from the outfield, putting runners in scoring position for DeLamielleure. DeLamielleure cleared the bases with a single just out of reach of the jumping shortstop Hannah Fulk to left field, putting Central Michigan up 8-0. Cox continued the Chippewas’ momentum at the plate, hitting her second single of the game.
Central Michigan advances to the third round of the MAC Tournament to take on Kent State. The Chippewas and Flashes split a pair of games at Margo Jonker Stadium back on April 6 and 7. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.