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While the Central Michigan softball team didn't have their ideal finish, individuals on the team have still received awards.Head coach Margo Jonker can be added to that list.Jonker, who has been with the Chippewas program for 38 years, is now an 11-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the year, which is a conference best.The first time that Jonker won this award was back in 1983, just her fourth season as the Chippewa head coach.This comes after the Chippewas were able to win the MAC regular season championship, going 37-15 overall and 18-5 within the conference.Those 37 wins come to a grand total of 1,224 wins for Jonker as CMU’s head coach.
Senior Mid-American Conference pitcher of the year Rachael Knapp was cruising through four innings of play against Western Michigan, piling up eight strikeouts against the 13 batters she faced.All of the momentum in the opening round’s game two of the MAC Tournament was going towards the Central Michigan softball team.Then WMU’s sophomore second baseman Erin Barg made a diving stop at second, and proceeded to throw the runner out at first while still laying down to take a hit away from CMU and end the fourth inning.
The Central Michigan softball team put together one of their best seasons in over a decade, going 36-13 overall and 18-5 in the Mid-American Conference to be crowned as the champion for the first time since 2004.Now, they are getting rewarded for it.Five players among the 2017 squad, and head coach Margo Jonker, were honored by the MAC on Tuesday with different awards.For the 10th time in her 38 year run with the CMU softball program, Jonker was named the MAC coach of the year.
For the first time in 13 years, Central Michigan softball is back on top of the Mid-American conference. After having clinched the West division championship with wins over Ball State last weekend, the Chippewas needed only one win in the double-header at Eastern Michigan on Sunday to be crowned regular season MAC champions. Game one proved to be the clinching game as CMU defeated the Eagles 6-4, giving CMU the outright MAC title.
The Central Michigan softball team has won nine of their last ten games, including a sweep of Ball State (29-24 overall, 13-8 Mid-American Conference) which put CMU (34-13, 16-5) in sole possession of first place in the MAC West division standings.Now the Chippewas find themselves with three games left this weekend, in control of their own destiny.With a win in any of their final three regular season games against Eastern Michigan (17-32, 3-18) in Ypsilanti starting Today at 3 p.m., the Chippewas will have their first MAC West title since 2008.
A new year brought in new faces, milestones and downfalls for Central Michigan athletics.After returning from Miami without a bowl game win and a 6-7 season record, the football team’s next endeavor during the offseason was to replace star quarterback Cooper Rush.Starting 50 consecutive games in his four-year career, Rush became the second highest passer in Mid-American Conference history, throwing for 12,894 yards and 90 touchdowns in his tenure with the Chippewas.
Earlier this season, senior right fielder Evelyn Lorimer summed up what this team has pretty been fighting for all season.“All I want is to help this team get back to the top because they deserve it, we all do,” Lorimer said.
Leading 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, senior pitcher Rachael Knapp ended her final game in Margo Jonker stadium doing what she does best, striking batters out.With that last pitch, Knapp picked up her sixth strikeout of the game, ensuring the three game sweep of the no.
It wasn't suppose to be this way for Central Michigan softball’s junior center fielder Sara Hansen.“It happened in practice, and to be honest it was just a freak accident,” Hansen said.
Multiple rain delay’s that combined to last for over 40 minutes slowed down a close game for the Central Michigan softball team as they took on Michigan State for a non-conference matchup this afternoon.
So far this season, the Central Michigan softball team has won all six of it’s three-game sets against Mid-American Conference opponents, putting them atop the MAC West Division.Yet, this weekends competition could make or break their championship goals.Ball State (29-21 overall, 13-5 MAC) is fighting with the Chippewas (30-13, 13-5) for the regular season MAC West title, both ahead of the rest of the division by three games.“We need to focus on every pitch, and every play because they all matter,” junior utility player Sydney Heath said.
The Central Michigan softball team had another pitcher take home an award this week, but this time it was a different face.
Just a day ago, it was the Central Michigan softball team earning the 2-1 win over Northern Illinois in a close game until the finish, to take the first game of the three game set.After blowing out the Huskies in the first game of the afternoon 9-1 in five innings, it was the Huskies getting revenge by beating CMU 2-1 in the series finale to salvage one game.Head coach Margo Jonker said both games had different feels to them throughout the day.“It was a tale of two games, the first game we did well and played good defense,” Jonker said.
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.
In their first non-conference game in a few weeks, the Central Michigan softball team headed on the road for a double-header against Valparaiso on Tuesday afternoon.
Once again, the Central Michigan softball team wasn't quite perfect this past week, going 3-1 over their four games they competed in.However, neither was Ball State (27-20 overall, 11-4 Mid-American Conference), and CMU (26-12, 11-4) still finds themselves tied for first place in the MAC West Division.Head coach Margo Jonker said the teams focus isn't quite that far ahead yet.“We just need to continue to focus on ourselves and not the opponent,” Jonker said.
Entering the second day of action in Toledo, Central Michigan softball was tied atop the Mid American Conference west division with Ball State.After splitting the double header on Saturday afternoon, the Chippewas will retain that position following Ball State's split against Eastern.CMU fell in game one to Toledo 4-2, then rallied in the second game to take the 6-4 victory, improving to26-12 overall and 11-4 in the MAC."The key is, we won the series," said head coach Margo Jonker.
Generally in college sports when you get a red-shirt granted to a player, it is to keep a year of eligibility available for that athlete that suffered from an injury that occurred before or during a season.For Central Michigan softball’s red-shirt senior Evelyn Lorimer, getting one year eligibility back wasn't enough to give her a full four years on the field.“In reality, I’ve been injured for the past two years,” Lorimer said.
Toledo’s sophomore pitcher Heather Webb went through 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.
Once again, the Central Michigan softball team finds themselves heading into this week fighting for the first place spot in the Mid-American Conference West division.