Littlewood Classic, Tempe, Ariz.
Friday, February 17
Game One: Central Michigan (0-0) vs. Minnesota (3-1), 4 p.m.
Game Two: No. 5 Arizona State (5-2) vs. Central Michigan, 8:30 p.m. Live Stats
Saturday, February 18
Game One: Central Michigan vs. Iowa (9-4), Noon
Game Two: Central Michigan vs. Iowa State (9-2), 2 p.m.
Sunday, February 19
Game One: Iowa vs. Central Michigan, 1 p.m.
MAC Preseason Poll -- The Chippewas were picked to finished fourth in the Mid-American Conference West Division as part of the preseason poll. [Full Release]
Tough Competition -- CMU will square off with the No. 5 team in the country, and defending National Champions, Arizona State, in the second game of the season. The last time the Maroon and Gold faced a ranked team in their opening weekend was in 2004 when they upset No. 5 Oklahoma, 3-2. Overall the Chippewas are 3-13 against the Sun Devils.
Scouting the Other Teams -- The Chippewas will also face two Big Ten opponents in Minnesota and Iowa. CMU has faced the Gophers five times, holding a 4-1 advantage, and the Hawkeyes eight times, but only winning two. The final team CMU will face in its opening weekend is Iowa State, who holds a slight 2-1 advantage in the all-time series.
Familiar Face -- CMU's 2011 graduate, Brittini Merchant, will be in the opposing team's dugout during the first game, as she is now a volunteer assistant coach for Minnesota. Merchant started every game while a Chippewa and was a two-time All-MAC selection.
New Faces -- There are two new coaches joining the coaching staff for Jonker this season in Joanna Lane and Jenna Alexander. Lane brings 13 years of coaching experience. She was a head coach at South Dakota State where she helped the program set the highest batting average, runs scored, doubles, triples and home run records. Alexander was a four-year starter at Purdue and spent the last year working as an assistant coach for the Boilermakers.
Coldren Eyes New Record -- Senior Molly Coldren broke her own single-season home run record last year by hitting 14 blasts. She has 28 for her career, which is also a CMU record. She will hope to pick up where she left off from her junior campaign where she batted .409, 48th best in the nation and the second-best mark in program history. She was named first-team All-MAC and was a MAC all- tournament selection.
Staple on the Mound -- Two-time All-MAC selection Kara Dornbos will carry most of the load on the mound for the Chippewas. She finished last year with a 13- 11 record and a team-best 2.25 ERA in 143.1 innings pitched. She threw three separate one-hit complete games. She finished the season second in the MAC in ERA and led the Maroon and Gold in appearances (31), complete games (3) and earned runs allowed (46).
Double the Talent -- Last year Cory DeLamielleure appeared in 37 games with 31 of them coming from behind the plate. She finished the year with 151 total putouts including six runners attempting to steal. She will be joined this year by her sister Chelsea who was named first-team all-state by the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News.
Far From Home -- The Chippewas open their season up competing in three different tournaments, two in Tampa, Fla. (USF Under Armour Invitational and USF Under Armour Showcase Tournament) and one in Bloomington, Ind. (Hoosier Classic). Their first 28 games will be on the road before returning home to Margo Jonker Stadium for their first home contest on April 4 against Michigan State.