Central Michigan pitchers Kara Dornbos and Kari Seddon had no problem stifling hitters Friday in Clearwater, Fla.
The right-handed duo threw back-to-back shutout games as the softball team beat Central Connecticut State 1-0 and Colorado State 8-0 behind the strong pitching performances and solid team defense.
“Our defensive performance was outstanding,” said head coach Margo Jonker. “Amanda Patrick made a great play to take away a hit in the first inning (of the first game).”
No play was bigger than junior shortstop Molly Coldren’s game-saving play to end the game. Up a run with the tying run standing beside Coldren at second base, she stepped up with her glove.
“Molly Coldren had a major league play to end the game at shortstop,” Jonker said of the groundout in the hole.
The defenses aided two stellar pitching outings.
Dornbos dominated the first game, throwing a one-hit shutout. She threw all seven innings and a perfect game going into the last frame, when Central Connecticut freshman Tessa Brown stepped in and doubled, breaking up Dornbos’ perfect game.
“Her dropball was excellent,” Jonker said. “Amanda Klosterman did a great job blocking (the dropballs) at the plate.”
It was third time that a CMU pitcher had three outs to go for a no-hitter during its current Florida trip. Dornbos (3-1) finished striking out eight, allowing one hit and without a walk. On March 5, Dornbos threw a one-hitter and was one out away from the no-no.
Seddon (2-3) pitched Game 2 and only allowed two hits, striking out nine batters. Her biggest play wasn’t in the circle, though.
“She had a key hit,” Jonker said. “She scored two on a double.”
The double stretched the lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning. Fellow senior Brittani Merchant also drove in two runs on two hits.
The Chippewas didn’t sit on the 3-0 lead, using small ball to help add insurance runs.
“We executed a suicide squeeze,” Jonker said. “Summer (Knoop) did a great job of putting it down. And our runner had to score.”
Knoop, a sophomore, laid down a bunt down the third baseline while sophomore Brogan Darwin broke for home and scored.
“In the second game we scored a lot of different ways,” Jonker said. “We scored with the short game and had a lot of singles.”
CMU (9-6) will play South Florida and Long Island Saturday before wrapping up the spring break trip against Boston University on Sunday.
“We had a team effort today,” Jonker said.