Strong play at home continues for CMU softball
Sitting in the meeting room of a stadium named after her Saturday afternoon, softball coach Margo Jonker joked the team should just play its whole season at home.
Looking at the box scores for the six games played at home this week, who could blame her for such an unrealistic desire?
CMU (20-12, 5-3 MAC) won its sixth consecutive home game Saturday, capping off the weekend with a 10-2 victory over Bowling Green.
During the streak, the Chippewas out-hit their opponents 63-18 and out-scored them 55-6, winning five games in the five-inning mercy rule.
“The key was we were trying to make sure we scored in most of the innings,” Jonker said. “We had a couple other goals: To have multiple people have RBIs and to get our lead hitters on.”
Senior second baseman Brittini Merchant led the offense at home, registering 12 hits, nine runs and five RBIs, but it’s safe to say the latter goal was reached. Seven other players contributed at least five hits in that stretch, all of them batting in at least a run.
Another senior who made her presence known at home was senior Kari Seddon, who recorded seven hits and nine RBIs this week. Those statistics are on top of 13 innings pitched, in which she did not give up an earned run (one unearned) on five hits, striking out 14 batters and picking up three wins.
“Hitting well gives me a big extra confidence in the circle,” Seddon said, “and putting up seven runs in the first inning definitely relaxes me and lets me do my thing.”
A high score on one side of the score sheet may be impressive, but the pitching didn’t allow for any of the six games to be close – the lowest margin of victory was four runs in a 7-3 win over BGSU on Saturday.
One fear in running up scores like this is a team might fade out, falling into an offensive slump or getting too arrogant heading down the stretch.
“We need to take it one game at a time,” Jonker said. “The fading part – it’s always difficult in our season because exams are over at the end and a lot of people on campus are talking about moving on and what they’re doing in the summer. It’s really hard for players to stay focused then.”
The team hopes home field advantage will help them finish out the season, playing 10 of the final 18 games at home.
“It helps being on our field, and we’re finally home,” Seddon said after Saturday’s doubleheader. “We have a good crowd, and it’s great to play here.”
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