Ypsilanti, Mich.- Central Michigan Softball dropped its Mid-American Conference opener at Eastern Michigan on Friday afternoon, 8-4. The Chippewas were unable to bounce back after a six-run third inning by the Eagles.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Jenn Lucas hit a single to second base. Amanda Herron followed Lucas with a single to short, advancing the runner to second. Bases were loaded when Courtney Nicholson got on base with a hit to center field. Lucas came in to score for Eastern Michigan (10-12-1, 1-0 MAC) after a pitch from senior Kara Dornbos hit Nellie Coquillard. Junior Kristen Kuhlman took over in the circle with bases loaded and one out. She surrendered a double to the first batter she faced, scoring two runs. Courtney Loe came to the plate with runners in scoring position, and hit a base emptying triple to put the Eagles up 6-2. Mady Hostetler ended the scoring for Eastern Michigan with a single to right to score Loe.
A double by Coquillard to right field with one runner on extended the Eagles lead to 8-3 in the fourth inning.
Central Michigan (12-11, 0-1 MAC) cut into the lead with a run in the fifth, bringing the game to 8-4. Sophomore CarolAnn Sexauer hit a double to open the inning, her eighth of the season. She advanced on a ground out to second by sophomore Trista Cox, and came into score when freshman Katelyn Rentschler hit a sac-fly to left field.
Jenna Ignowski pitched a complete game for Eastern Michigan, giving up seven hits and three earned runs.
The Chippewas jumped on the Eagles early, posting two runs in the first inning. Senior Macy Merchant opened the inning with a lead off single up the middle. She stole her 57th career base, seventh of the season, and was brought home by a ground out by senior Summer Knoop. With two out and no one on, Sexauer homered to left field, her fourth of the season, to put the Chippewas up 2-0.
Eastern Michigan responded to Central Michigan’s start, answering with a homerun by Katy Blaharski to right-center field in the bottom of the first.
Central Michigan went up 3-1 thanks to a run scored by junior Lauren Bowman. Knoop opened the third inning with a single to center field. Bowman came into pinch run for Knoop, and advanced to third on an EMU throwing error. She came into score on the Eagles’ second error of the inning.
Sexauer finished the game with two hits, both for extra bases, and an RBI. Knoop and Rentschler both added one RBI. Merchant led the Chippewas with three hits. Dornbos started in the circle, pitching 2.1 innings and giving up four hits. Kuhlman pitched 1 inning, surrendering three runs before junior Morgan Yuncker came in to finish the game, striking out four batters.
Coquillard, Loe, and Amanda Stanton each finished with two RBIs for Eastern Michigan. Blaharski went 1-3 at the plate with a homerun. Ignowski gave up seven hits and walked one batter.
The Chippewas will be back in action tomorrow, March 30, against the Eagles at Varsity Field in Ypsilanti at 2 p.m.