CMU escapes possible no hitter with 1-0 victory over Toledo
Toledo’s sophomore pitcher Heather Webb went eight innings without allowing a hit to the Central Michigan softball team.
It still wasn't enough to beat senior pitcher Rachael Knapp and the Chippewas.
Sophomore center fielder Allison Curtis hit a clutch double in the left field gap to win the game for CMU in nine innings of play.
Knapp earned her 16th win of the season, going the complete nine innings without allowing a run and only four hits. Knapp also stuck out eight Rocket batters to total 203 K’s on the season.
Head coach Margo Jonker said that she wasn't totally satisfied with the teams efforts, but it was enough.
“I was very proud of Knapp and the way she pitched throughout the entire afternoon, and our defense for making the plays behind her,” Jonker said. “However, I was disappointed with how the offense preformed today, we have to be better than that. Luckily, one big hit was enough to win the game today."
Ball State (26-19 overall, 10-3 Mid-American Conference) beat Eastern Michigan 8-0 today, keeping them tied with CMU (25-11, 10-3) atop the MAC West division standings.
The win gave CMU their sixth victory in their last seven contests.
In the first couple of innings neither team was able to get much going on offense, with both squads going hitless and only managing a pair of base runners with walks.
In the bottom half of the third frame, the Rockets had the first real threat of the game, getting a pair of singles to pot runners on first and second with two outs.
However, Knapp was able to get a line out that was hit right at sophomore first baseman Erika Underwood that she snagged with a snow cone catch, ending the threat.
After that, no one could get anything going on offense, as Knapp and Webb continued to dominate in the circle throughout the day.
The Rockets had a small threat in the bottom of the seventh inning, getting a runner on second base with two outs, but freshman outfielder Maddie Emery who was called upon to pinch hit flew out to end the frame and send the contest into extra innings.
In the ninth inning, CMU finally broke through Webb’s dominance with a single from junior right fielder Lacy Tolfree, who proceeded to steal second base, setting up Curtis for the dramatics.
Curtis got the game winning double, and Knapp shut down the Rockets in the bottom of the ninth to win the game.
Jonker said she was extremely impressed with how Knapp preformed today, but it isn't unusual.
“(Knapp) has been doing this all season long, this wasn't even her longest outing of the season,” Jonker said. “It was difficult though, knowing the other pitcher had a no-hitter going and she still found a way to get through the game without allowing anything. Im very proud of her for today.”
CMU will return to the same setting tomorrow to take on Toledo once again, but this time it will be a double-header. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m. in Ohio.