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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.
Most of the Central Michigan softball team's starters are upperclassmen, but one underclassman sticks out for the Chippewas.Freshman shortstop Morgan Gardner has started 26 of the 30 games she’s played in this season, more than any other freshman on the team.Gardner has a hitting average of .213 with 17 hits and is tied for third on the team in RBIs with 14.
In a three game road trip to Ohio, Central Michigan softball picked up the series win against Akron, splitting the final two games of the weekend.CMU improves to 23-11 overall and 8-3 in the conference after going 2-3 on the weekend.Game oneSenior Rachael Knapp picked up her 14th win on the year in the 7-0 shutout.
Neither team could catch a break on offense for most of Saturday’s battle between the Central Michigan softball team and Akron.It took 12 innings, but it was sophomore catcher Kayla Noch who sealed the deal for the Chippewas.Runners were on second and third with one out, when sophomore utility player Andrea Perlberg hit a ground ball that got thrown home, but Noch was able to beat the throw and scored what ended up being the game-winning run. CMU added three more runs in the frame to defeated the Zips 4-0. Head coach Margo Jonker said that it wasn't her call to send Noch home on the play.“It was all her reaction,” Jonker said.