Softball earned its fourth Mid-American Conference win Saturday in a pitchers duel against Kent State thanks to an explosive third inning.
Junior Cory DeLamielleure and sophomore CarolAnn Sexauer hit back-to-back home runs to score three runs on the Golden Flashes Emma Johnson, one of the premier pitchers in the MAC.
Going into the bottom of the third, both teams were scoreless with Kent State holding the only hit thus far. After a forced ground out and strike out, senior Summer Knoop reached first base on one of only two walks from Johnson.
With two outs and the go ahead runner on first base, DeLamielleure smacked her third home run of the weekend down the left field line, scoring two RBI to take the lead. Immediately after, Sexauer hit her team-high sixth home run of the season, almost to the same spot in left field.
From there, the burden was laid on senior pitcher Kara Dornbos and the Chippewas defense to keep the Golden Flashes down the rest of the game. Dornbos delivered with one of her best games of the season, allowing three hits and shutting them out.
“I had to come out and bring my A-game,” Dornbos said. “I just had to focus on every pitch and that’s how I need to play every game.”
In part, thanks to the skilled pitch selection called by DeLamielleure behind the plate, Dornbos had six strikeouts in seven innings of play. Friday, Dornbos pitched a full game against Buffalo as well, but she didn’t give Kent State an inch in the 3-0 victory.
“Kara did an awesome job today,” DeLamielleure said. “We were on the same page and all of her pitches were working. We had them on their heels.”
DeLamielleure led Central Michigan with two hits and two RBI in what is becoming an astonishing weekend for her after she hit two home runs against Buffalo.
“Cory’s just done a great job and she knows the game,” said head coach Margo Jonker. “Not only is she a great player physically, but mentally as well.”
The Chippewas are not out of the woods yet, and will have to come prepared for another challenging game against Kent State Sunday.
“We’re just taking every win and building off of that,” Dornbos said. “We’re trying to get better every game.”