Mount Pleasant, Mich.- Central Michigan Softball welcomes back the team with the most single-season wins in program history, the 1982 Mid-American Conference Champions. The 1982 team has gone down in the record books as one of the greatest, ending its run in the AIAW Women’s College World Series in Norman, Okla.
CMU will honor the 1982 team before its game against Toledo on Saturday, April 21.
In her third year at the helm, Coach Margo Jonker led her team to Central Michigan’s first ever MAC regular season and tournament championship in any female sport. The ’82 squad still holds the record for most wins in a single season with 51.
In the Central Michigan softball record book, the year 1982 is a common occurrence. Members of the team still rank top-ten in 16 single-season records and 17 career records.
Linda Pagett, pitcher, and Cathy Heator, third base, were recognized after the season as AIAW All-Americans. Centerfielder Lynn Putnam received AIAW All-Regional honors along with Pagett and Heator. All three were named to the Softball Silver Anniversary Team, and Pagett and Heator are members of the Central Michigan Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Chippewas entered the MAC Tournament as the No. 2 seed after going 42-9 in the regular season. Central Michigan defeated Western Michigan in back-to-back games to clinch the MAC Championship, Pagett, 19-3, pitched complete games in both outings, holding the Broncos to one run in the first game and shutting them out in game two.
Central Michigan finished runners-up to University of Michigan in the AIAW Regional Tournament, earning a bid to the AIAW World Series in Norman, Okla. The Chippewas opened the week with Southwest Missouri, moving past round one, 7-0. In round two, Central Michigan met the third seeded Cal Bears, falling into the loser’s bracket after a 5-0 loss.
Win or go home, the Chippewas defeated Ohio State in a 15-inning thriller. Pagett went the whole game in the circle, striking out 20 batters and giving up only two hits. Pagett also brought home Putnam for the winning run, 1-0.
Central Michigan continued its extra inning suspense, knocking out Oklahoma 3-1 in eight innings. Pagett showed why she was an All-American, pitching another complete game and striking out 12 batters.
With six teams eliminated from the tournament, the Chippewas turned their attention on U.S. International, recent 2-1 victims of Michigan. Kim Preston took the circle for Central Michigan and blanked the Chippewas’ third opponent of the tournament. Central Michigan went on to win 1-0 on an RBI from Ann Mattson to score Helen Epple in the bottom of the tenth inning.
The Chippewas fireworks ran out against Texas A&M, falling 2-0. The Aggies’ Lori Stoll went 7.0 innings in the circle, striking out five batters and held Central Michigan to five hits.
The Chippewas finished fourth in the tournament with a 4-2 record. Mattson finished the tournament fifth with a .333 batting average. Pagett’s 36 innings pitched was most by anyone, and her .39 ERA ranked her second.
The Chippewas hosts Bowling Green on Friday, April 20, for a doubleheader, and then Toledo for a Saturday-Sunday series.