No. 7 Kent State (26-27, 11-10 Mid-American) vs. No. 6 Central Michigan (26-25, 11-10 Mid-American)
Wednesday, May 9, 1:30 p.m., Akron, Ohio (
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The Central Michigan softball team will head to Akron, Ohio on Tuesday, seeking its 10th Mid-American Conference Tournament championship and first since 2002.
The Chippewas (26-25) finished 11-10 during MAC play, entering the tournament as the No. 6 seed for the second straight year. They will face off against No. 7 Kent State on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at Firestone Stadium.
The Maroon and Gold hold a slight 41-35 advantage over the Golden Flashes (26-27) all-time, but dropped a pair of games to KSU in Kent, Ohio earlier this season. The winner will square off with No. 3 Bowling Green at 7:30 p.m. while the loser will play the loser of the 5/8 match-up between Western Michigan and Toledo on Thursday at 11 a.m.
KSU enters the tournament dropping eight of its last nine games. Jessica Blanton, who is batting .324 on the season with 47 hits, leads the team offensively. Mary Holt is fifth in the MAC in conference games with five home runs, while Lauren Grimes is fifth in doubles with six during conference play. Emma Johnson has pitched in 17 MAC games this year and is fifth in conference ERA at 2.26. She also has 86 strikeouts in 80.2 innings of work.
|Macy Merchant||.358||59 Hits||Jessica Blanton
|Molly Coldren||.349||14 HR||Dani Ramos
MAC Tournament -- This is the third straight season the Chippewas have advanced to the MAC Tournament. Last year they won the opening game against Northern Illinois, 4-1, but fell 4-0 to Ohio. CMU knocked off KSU in the first game of the losers bracket, 2-1, followed by another win against Miami, 4-2. The Maroon and Gold's season came to an end in a 9-0 defeat by Western Michigan.
CMU is 5-2 during the MAC Tournament against Kent State and only the second time it has been seeded as the sixth seed.
The conference changed the tournament bracket this season with the top two teams (Ball State and Miami) receiving byes to the semifinals. The No. 3 (Bowling Green) and 4 (Ohio) seeds receive automatic byes to the quarterfinals.
Streaking -- The Maroon and Gold are currently on a five-game win streak, their second longest this season. CarolAnn Sexauer, Chelsea DeLamielleure and Rachael Hensel are all on a four-game hitting streak, while Ashley Gilson and Brogan Darwin are on eight and seven-game on-base streaks, respectively.
Seniors Go Out On High Note -- For seniors Molly Coldren, Ashley Gilson and Rachael Hensel this is their third trip to a MAC Tournament during their tenure. They also each recorded hits in their last game at Stadium.
CMU's Best Hitter Ever? -- Molly Coldren became the Chippewas' all-time RBI leader earlier this season when she hit a two-run home run against IPFW. She currently has 135 RBI, passing the leader, Eli Barnes, who had the record of 125. This season Coldren leads the team in home runs (14), RBI (45), slugging percentage (.712) and on-base percentage (.443). She is third in the MAC in home runs, RBI, total bases and in slugging percentage.
Coldren holds the program's top-three single-season home run records and two of the top-five single-season RBI records. She has 14 home runs this season, which places her one shy of setting a new single-season record (set by her last year at 14). She has scored the fourth-most runs in school history and will finish in the top-10 in batting average.
Coldren has also hit eight home runs in the past 15 games after only hitting six in the first 36 games. During those 15 games she also has 17 RBI and an .857 slugging percentage.
MAC Rankings (May 1) -- Macy Merchant holds the ninth-best batting average among all MAC players at .361 and holds the sixth-most hits at 57. Molly Coldren, who recorded her 13th home run of the season over the weekend against Akron, is third in the long ball category, third in slugging percentage (.695) and third in RBI (41). Kara Dornbos holds the seventh-best overall ERA at 2.45 and is tied for third with five shutouts.
In MAC games, Dornbos has the sixth-lowest ERA at 2.36. CarolAnn Sexauer is tied for fifth with six doubles, while Coldren has six league home runs placing her tied for fourth.
Youth Produces -- In the two games against Eastern Michigan freshmen Chelsea DeLamielleure and CarolAnn Sexauer both batted .600 going 3-for-5 at the plate. They combined for five RBI, three runs and three RBI.
Touch ‘Em All Tidbits --
- CMU is 15-2 when scoring more than six runs and 23-7 when it produces three or more runs.
- CMU is...
- 13-5 when scoring in the first inning
- 20-7 when scoring first
- 23-5 when out-hitting the opponent
- 3-18 when scoring under two runs
- The Chippewas are 23-3 when leading after four innings, 19-2 when leading after five and 17-1 when leading after six.
NCAA Rankings (April 29) --The Chippewas are 52nd currently in the country averaging .35 double plays per game; they have turned 17 this season and are 63rd in stolen bases per game, averaging 1.24. The Maroon and Gold have jumped into the top-100 in earned run average at 95th, with a team ERA of 2.82.
Individually Molly Coldren is 56th in home runs per game (.27), 77th in RBI per game (.86) and 69th in slugging percentage (.695). Kara Dornbos holds the 80th position for her two saves on the season.