Softball uses long ball to sweep Eastern
The long ball played a large part Saturday in the CMU softball team’s sweep at Eastern Michigan University as the first-place Chippewas advanced to 10-4 in the Mid-American Conference.
CMU (24-13, 10-4 MAC) came away from the weekend with 5-3 and 7-1 victories in its fourth MAC conference sweep of the season— its seventh consecutive win.
Coach Margo Jonker said she was proud of her team’s wins, but expects players to continue to fight every game.
“The two wins over Eastern were big because we always seem to struggle on their field,” she said. “We’re in a good position, but we’ve got a lot more softball to be played. It’s going to go down to the last games.”
The wins were important in keeping atop the MAC west, with Ball State winning its weekend series and Northern Illinois splitting. BSU holds a 9-4 MAC record and NIU is at 8-6, both contending for the MAC West’s top spot.
With four more conference series scheduled this season against Buffalo, Kent State, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, only one has a record above .500 (KSU).
Sophomore Molly Coldren hit her record 10th home run of the season in the third inning of Game 2, and Ashley Gilson followed suit in the fifth inning with her fifth home run of the season. Both home runs were two-run homers.
“We saw power from Coldren and Gilson and were able to adjust to the pitching earlier than we did in the first game,” Jonker said.
Eastern (14-25, 4-10 MAC) added one run in the third, but was unable to add any more against the pitching effort of freshman Kara Dornbos.
She advanced to 10-3 with the win after giving up one run on eight hits. She also struck out three without giving up a walk in seven innings.
“Kara Dornbos threw a great game,” Coldren said. “We had a couple good plays in the field and good hitting helped us get the win.”
The win was the team’s second of the day, the first game requiring an extra inning to break the 1-1 tie.
Junior Amanda Patrick stepped up to the plate in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and sent the ball out of the park. The grand slam was the first of her career and her fifth home run of the season.
Eastern’s Nellie Coquillard attempted to extend the game further, hitting a two-run homer with two outs to cut the CMU lead.
Junior Kari Seddon struck out the last Eagle batter, her season-high 12th of the game, to advance to 13-7 on the season. She gave up three runs on six hits through eight innings. Seddon walked just two batters, while her teammates drew eight from Eastern’s Jamie Melchert.
The next game is a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Friday in Buffalo, N.Y. Buffalo is 15-28 this season and 4-9 in the MAC.