The softball team was picked second in the 2013 Mid-American Conference preseason poll as Margo Jonker enters her 34th season as head coach.
Last season, CMU finished as MAC Tournament runners-up after a loss to Miami (Ohio) in the championship. The Chippewas were 2-0 going into the championship round but fell to the RedHawks in the final game 4-0.
CMU ended the 2012 season 3rd in the MAC West with a 11-10 MAC record and a 30-27 overall record.
For the 2013 softball team, the competition will be stiff in the regular-season. The schedule features a series with five 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, including one that went to the Women’s College World Series.
Additionally, two of the 14 home games at Margo Jonker Stadium – will be against the Chippewas first rematch with Miami, the 2012 MAC Tournament Champion.
CMU will open the season on the road, and playing in three tournaments.
The Chippewas will attend one in New Mexico (Feb. 15-17) and two in South Florida (March 1-3 and March 8-10). CMU will have an early season test with Women’s College World Series qualifier South Florida, who finished 50-14 and eighth in the final USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll.
This could be a year when CMU reloads and comes back even stronger. The Chippewas are returning 14 letter winners from last season, returning six starters in the infield as well as four pitchers.
CMU is supported by a seasoned returning senior class including senior outfielder Macy Merchant, who led CMU, last season, with a .350 batting average and was ranked fifth in the MAC with 63 hits.
Also returning is senior pitcher Kara Dornbos, who last season set the single-season appearance record of 36 games. Dornbos also pitched a career-high three saves placing her tied for fourth in single-season program history.
The Chippewas season opens on Friday, Feb. 15 against Bradley in the New Mexico Lobo Classic.