Dornbos, DeLamielleure lead softball to MAC title, NCAA tournament

Senior pitcher Kara Dornbos's postseason numbers are astounding, to say the least.

She threw 25.1 innings in the softball team's Mid-American Conference championship run, going 3-0 with a 0.28 ERA. In last season's run to the MAC championship game, Dornbos threw 33.1 innings and was 3-1 with an ERA of 0.42 and a save.

Overall, Dornbos is 7-2 with a 0.96 ERA and two saves in 73.1 innings of work in postseason play.

Since her sophomore season, she is 7-1 with an ERA of 0.63 and one save in 67.1 innings. In all of those innings, she was tossing with her battery mate, junior catcher Cory DeLamielleure.

"We just mesh really well," Dornbos said of her teammate. "Right away, when she came on as a freshman, I loved having her catch for me. She works just as hard as I do, and that's what you need."

DeLamielleure doesn't just catch for Dornbos. She catches for the junior trio of Chelsea Sundberg (11-5, 2.54 ERA), Morgan Yucker (3-0, 2.41 ERA) and Kristen Kuhlman (4-2, 3.90 ERA), as well, and the team combined for a the third-best ERA in the MAC at 2.77.

So, no matter who is in the circle, DeLamielleure is calling the shots behind the plate and preparing for the batter up at the plate.

"We'll start going through how we're going to pitch and work on that this week and prepare for the hitters we are going to be facing," DeLamielleure said.

But, Dornbos is the workhouse of the staff, and she is in the circle for the bulk of the team's innings.

So, her relationship with DeLamielleure is vital to her success. And, with the success she has had, it's obvious the relationship is in a good place.

"Our battery does a great job," head coach Margo Jonker said. "Cory is a great catcher. She is mentally outstanding, she runs the team from behind the plate, she calls the pitches, and Dornbos either agrees or shakes her off, but most of the time agrees. The two of them work extremely well together, and it's one of the reasons for our success this year."

The two will be looking for that success to continue this weekend as they are set to face California at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Ann Arbor for the first game of NCAA softball regionals.


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