From the weather at Margo Jonker Stadium Sunday afternoon, to the play of the Central Michigan softball team, head coach Margo Jonker described the day all-around as ugly.
“Our defense wasn’t sharp; the weather, of course, made it dicey, so it was kind of ugly,” Jonker said. “We scored a lot of runs, which is a good thing; but we let them score a lot of runs, which is a bad thing.”
CMU topped Grand Valley State 11-8 Sunday, picking up its second victory in as many games of fall ball this season. The team scored as many runs Friday but played stronger defense, holding Northwood to one run in an 11-1 victory.
“Overall, the team played with a lot of passion and energy this weekend, so I’m very pleased with the team overall,” Jonker said. “I think we’re quite talented. We have a lot of depth in almost every position, so I’m pleased where we are. We just have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be.”
The Chippewas fell behind early after junior Chelsea Sundberg gave up four runs in the first inning, including a three-run shot to center field.
CMU began to chip away at its opponents’ lead in the bottom of the inning on RBIs by senior Summer Knoop and freshman Trista Cox.
After GVSU extended the score to 5-2 in the third, junior pitcher Kristen Kuhlman struck out three batters, including two with the bases loaded to end the inning.
“We have four pitchers, and they all got in today,” Jonker said. “That’s one of the positions we have depth in, though it’s not the only one.”
Cox smacked a double off the wall in the bottom half of the inning, and Cory DeLamielleure cleared the bases with a two-run homer to inch closer yet again.
Both teams traded the lead through the fifth and sixth innings, until CMU pulled away with its biggest offensive series of the day in the sixth. Four Chippewa runs were scored in the inning, including two sent home on Cox’s second double of the day.
“I think Trista really did a nice job offensively for us, and we’ve had different people come through for us,” Jonker said. “Yesterday, Chelsea DeLamielleure had a great game offensively, and Cory hit better for us than last year, so we saw improvements in her.”
Originally intended to be 10 innings, Sunday’s game was ended after seven innings due to the poor weather.
“I think we’re going to need to (play through difficult weather) like that in the spring, so that’s why I kept it going for a while, but it’s fall ball, so enough is enough,” Jonker said.
Similar to Saturday’s game, 19 CMU players saw time against GVSU.
“Everybody played a lot of different positions on our team, so we can’t expect total consistency right now,” Jonker said. “We’re moving everyone around to see who can do what for us later on, so this is sort of a trial period for us.”
The Chippewas topped Northwood 11-1 Saturday through nine innings of exhibition play.
They pulled away from the Timberwolves in the final four innings, scoring 10 runs. Chelsea DeLamielleure’s three-run homer highlighted the Chippewa offense.
CMU will travel to Traverse City West High School next weekend to take part in the Traverse City Tournament against Ferris State, Western Michigan and Michigan.