Knapp throws one-hitter as softball splits series with WMU


Central Michigan softball had more to celebrate than Easter this weekend.

A stellar performance by freshman pitcher Rachael Knapp allowed CMU to take the second game in a weekend series against WMU, beating the Broncos 4-1. The victory at Margo Jonker Stadium came one day after the Chippewas lost a defensive contest to WMU in extra innings Saturday

After failing to score a run throughout the entirety of Saturday's defensive struggle, CMU wasted no time by scoring in the bottom of the first inning Sunday on an RBI double to left-center field by senior catcher Cory DeLamielleure. The first inning run was backed by another run in the fifth and followed by two more insurance runs in the sixth inning to put away the Broncos.

Posting nine hits in the game, the Chippewas offense bounced back after being shut out on Saturday, but it was Knapp's pitching that kept CMU from getting swept in a brief two-game series with WMU.

Knapp turned in a one-hitter complete game against the rival Broncos, earning a win on the mound. She gave up her only hit in the top of the first inning and did not look back. In her seven innings of work, Knapp struck out four batters. She did get into control trouble, walking six Broncos.

Her slight control issues came to a head in the third inning, where the Broncos were able to score their only run of the game after Knapp walked the leadoff hitter. She was able to calm down and delivered four more spotless innings.

Knapp's win improved her season record to 9-2 and keeps the Chippewas in second place in the Mid-American Conference's West Division behind Ball State.

Freshman catcher and infielder Danielle Marlink accompanied Knapp's performance on the mound with a pinch-hit two-RBI double to right-center field. The hit proved to be the final nail in the coffin for a WMU team that could not get anything going at the plate for a vast majority of the game.

The win improves CMU's record to 28-15 and 7-5 in MAC games this season.

The Chippewas will be on the road for the remainder of the season and will next play at Michigan State on Wednesday. Next, they'll hit the road to Ohio for a double-header against Bowling Green on Friday and a two-game series against Toldeo starting Saturday.

CMU players and coaches were unavailable for comment after their 1 p.m. game until press time.