Softball travelled to the belly of the beast on Tuesday to challenge a dominant Michigan program in Ann Arbor with poor results.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t score some runs and keep it closer,” said head coach Margo Jonker. “Obviously you’re disappointed when you lose, but that’s just one game, and now we have to move on.”
The Wolverines proved to be too much for the Chippewas, continuing their 22-game win streak in an 11-0 five inning mercy. However, the scoreboard can be deceiving as all of the scoring came from four home runs.
“As a pitching staff, we really didn’t do our job today, speaking for myself as well,” said senior Kara Dornbos. “They took advantage of missed pitches, and, as a pitcher, we can’t let that happen, we just need to learn from it and come back.”
Dornbos started for CMU and was given the loss, giving up eight hits and eight earned runs in 3.1 innings. The Chippewa pitching staff rotated in juniors Kristen Kuhlman and Chelsea Sundberg, but all struggled against the strength of the Michigan batters, giving up 11 hits as a staff.
The team began with an uncharacteristically slow start in the first, losing the top of their lineup on three-straight strikeouts. Michigan jumped up early by loading the bases for a cleanup grand slam before the Chippewas quickly ended the inning with a double play.
The second inning was a similar situation, dropping their first three batters in quick succession, only to have a home run down the left field line score three runs. An hour long rain delay granted the Chippewas some reprieve, and they came back fresh shutting Michigan down with only one hit in the third.
The Wolverines shrugged it off and answered with four runs from homers to cut the game short after Central Michigan could not score to escape a mercy finish.
“I think it’s one game and if you miss on pitches against a team like Michigan then they’re going to take advantage of that,” Jonker said. “They took advantage of those pitches and we just need to move on and play the next game.”
The Chippewas will have to shake it off this weekend in important games for the Mid-American Conference race. They will face MAC West leader Ball State and MAC East leader Miami at Margo Jonker stadium.
“We cant dwell on this loss,” Dornbos said. “I know that we have the talent and are much better than what we have shown the last couple of games and I know we can do it this weekend.”