Late five-run rally pushes No. 17 Michigan past softball


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Junior outfielder Lacy Tolfree swings to hit the ball on April 2 during the game against Kent State at Margo Jonker Stadium.

After pitching five scoreless innings, Central Michigan softball pitchers allowed a five-run sixth inning that eventually led to a loss against No. 17 Michigan.

CMU (9-12) snapped its two-game winning streak with a 5-0 loss against the Wolverines (23-6) on March 21 in Ann Arbor.

Chippewas' senior pitcher Taylor Weaver (0-4) was charged with the loss. She allowed one earned run on four hits, a walk and two strikeouts in five innings. UM’s senior pitcher Tera Blanco (6-1) picked up the victory.

Summary

The game opened with a pair of no-hit innings. It was UM’s sophomore outfielder Haley Hoogenraad that earned the games first hit in the bottom of the third.

Neither team had a runner in scoring position until the bottom of the fourth inning. The Wolverines had runners on first and third with one out, but Weaver retired the next two hitters to end the fourth scoreless.

CMU followed with a threat of its own — loading the bases with two outs. Freshman infielder Shaidan Knapp grounded out to second base to end the Chippewas scoring chance.

Then, things unraveled for the Chippewas.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Blanco doubled to left-center field to help her own cause and broke the scoreless tie. It was 1-0 UM, with Blanco’s RBI proving to be the winning run.

The Wolverines didn't stop there, as they added four more runs in the same frame and padded their lead.

UM out-hit the Chippewas 11-3 and CMU left five runners on base. Sophomore infielder Morgan Gardner led the Chippewas at the plate — going 1-for-3 with a double.

The Chippewas will play again this weekend against Ohio to open Mid-American Conference play. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. on March 23 in Athens, Ohio.

Game notes

  • The Wolverines have now won 17 consecutive games and have outscored their last five opponents 40-0.
  • Three hits is the lowest total of hits for the Chippewas in the 2018 season.
  • No player for CMU earned more than one hit.
  • Junior pitcher Laura Vaccaro (3) and senior pitcher Hanna Warren (1) were charged with the other four earned runs.

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