Softball tops Northern Illinois 2-1 to start weekend series off


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Senior pitcher Rachael Knapp pitches the ball to an NIU player on April 21 at Margo Jonker Stadium.

The softball team returned home to Margo Jonker Stadium after a road trip just the way they’d like; with a win.

In a sort of ‘grind-it-out-game,’ the Chippewas were able to escape a seventh-inning scare and improve to 29-12 on the season and remain tied atop of the Mid-American Conference standings at 12-4.

Senior Ace, Rachael Knapp got herself and the Chips out of 1st inning bases-loaded jam with a strikeout, giving her team confidence to get the bats going.

Her teammates answered as Sophomore Kayla Noch singled to left bringing in Allison Curtis.

The score would remain the same until the Chips played small ball in the fifth inning.

Senior, Evelyn Lorimer reached first safely on an infield single, followed up with another bunt by lead-off hitter Lacy Tolfree.  

After Lormier was thrown out at third base, Tolfree was left stranded on second with one out.

The next pitch Tolfree stole third base on a delayed steal, as the Northern Illinois catcher over-threw second base, Tolfree rounded third and headed home. The throw wasn’t in time, and the Chippewas took a 2-0 lead.

“It was a big play for us,” CMU coach Margo Jonker said. “It was the winning run and a great heads up play by Tolfree.”

Rachael Knapp continued her afternoon going all seven for the Chippewas and after giving up a double early in the seventh came back and finished strong with the help of her defense.

Knapp improved to 17-7 on the season and had five strikeouts on the day.

The Chippewas will look to complete the series sweep as they will be back in action tomorrow afternoon with a double-header starting at 1 p.m. followed by the final game at 3 p.m.

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