Softball continued its winning ways during thefall exhibitions by beating Grand Valley State 3-0 and 2-0 in a doubleheader Sunday afternoon.
The Chippewas had plenty of opportunities to score during both games, but were only able to capitalize on a few chances. The pitching staff was solid, especially in game two. Senior Chelsea Sundberg and freshman Rachael Knapp combined to throw a shutout with six strikeouts.
“I thought our battery did a nice job calling the game inside the circle and behind home plate, which kept [Grand Valley] from scoring any runs,” said head coach Margo Jonker. “I thought offensively we need to make adjustments quicker and get more hits in crucial situations. Defensively, in most cases we did all right, but we need to step up a little there too.”
Game one started with quick half innings from GVSU and CMU. Senior pitcher Morgan Yuncker made GVSU’s second inning quick as well by retiring the side in order.
The Chippewas found themselves in a great position to score runs in the second inning when senior Brittney Horan came up to bat with the bases loaded. Horan worked the count and was walked, forcing in the first run of the game. Sophomore Evelyn Lorimer came up to bat next with the bases still loaded, but was unable to drive home any runs when she popped out to third.
CMU loaded the bases again in the third inning when a skied ball to right field by Trista Cox was dropped by the right fielder. With one out, Knapp came up to bat and hit a pop fly to second. The next to batter was Michelle Doran, but she struck out to end the inning.
The team was having difficulties scoring, but was able to extend the lead in the fourth inning. With runners at second and third, GVSU pitcher Sara Andrasik threw a wild pitch and a run came in to score. Lorimer hit a ball into foul territory a few pitches later, which allowed the second runner to score from third and extended the lead to 3-0.
Pitching dominated the final three innings. Grand Valley threatened to score with runners on second, but never got any closer to getting someone across home plate.
The second game started similar to the first. Pitching dominated with neither team able go get a runner past first base. Sundberg only allowed two hits in first four innings and struck out a pair of batters.
Sophomores Chelsea DeLamielleure and Taylor Waters started off the inning with a pair of singles and Horan hit a ball deep into the gap in left-center field that was caught for an out, but moved the base runners-up to second and third. Senior Cory DeLamielleure hit a single into right field to score a run and Cox continued the scoring by hitting a sacrifice fly to left field that scored the second run of the game.
Knapp came in to finish the game at the start of the fifth inning dominating during her time in the circle allowing one hit and striking out four batters. Her pitching combined with some leaping plays from Horan allowed CMU to win 2-0 and stay perfect in its first three fall exhibitions.
“It feels really great to be a part of the team and help out as much as I can. I thought we played great as a team and we made the plays we needed to,” Knapp said.