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Softball splits doubleheader against Toledo

The Chippewa Trooper gets his picture taken with President Davies during the Chippewas softball game against Buffalo April 24 at Margo Jonker Stadium.

In a two-game Mid-American Conference series against Toledo, the Chippewas took a win and a loss. 

In their only showdown of the season, CMU (12-26, 10-18) and Toledo (23-20, 13-14), the Rockets took the first game 12-5, and the Chippewas claimed the second, 3-1.

After one bad inning cost the Chippewas a shot at victory in the first game, head coach McCall Salmon kept her team determined for the second half of the day. 

"We talked about trying to win as much innings as we could," Salmon said. "In between games, the biggest thing I said was if you take away those two innings, it's a completely different ball game, of those other five we won three of them."

Salmon reminded her team to stay focused on the positives, look at the new game and the new opportunity, as well as to stay clean for seven innings-- which the Chippewas went forth to do in game two. 

Game one

Shannon Stein allowed the Chippewas to tack on a run in the bottom of the first, sailing a sacrifice fly to left field to score Shaidan Knapp.

Toledo totaled four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead over the Chippewas off a series of singles across the diamond loaded and offloaded the bases simultaneously, placing offensive pressure on CMU.

Chippewa catcher Kelsey Alexander walked and claimed second on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth, giving second baseman Skylar Coberley the opportunity to drive her home with a double to left field. The score tightened up in the bottom of the fifth, leaving CMU to trail by one at 4-3. Alexander's single to shortstop scored Stephanie Anderson from second base, who pinch ran for Stein's single. 

A pair of walks in the top of the seventh spelled trouble for CMU, allowing Toledo to pack on three straight singles to left field for three runs. After making a pitcher swap for Faith Howe, the Rockets continued rolling the snowball down the hill, adding on more singles and doubles to make eight runs for the inning.

Howe stopped the momentum with a strikeout, and a well-placed shot to shortstop triggered a double play at second and first shut the Rockets down at the plate with their 12-3 advantage.

Stein picked up a single with two outs to keep the Chippewas alive in the bottom of the seventh. Caitlyn Britton stepped into the box and took a swift shot over the fence --her fifth homer of the season-- to add the final two runs to the board. 

A final strikeout from Toledo pitcher Erin Hunt sealed the deal, closing the first game for a Rockets 12-3 victory.

Chippewa pitcher Kaitlyn Bean spent four innings in the circle, allowing eight hits for four runs and walked five, but put forth four strikeouts. 

Hunt tackled the full seven innings, delivering five strikeouts and walking six batters for seven hits and five earned runs. 

Game two

Stein opened the door for the Chippewas yet again to kick off the second game, doubling to right field in the bottom of the third to score Abbey Tolmie and Morgan Gardner from their singles. Britton singled up the middle to follow, bringing Stein in to make 3-0. 

Pitcher Grace Lehto and the Chippewas kept Toledo at bay by permitting no hits until the top of the fourth, a single to score a dead ball runner from third for the Rockets' lone run of the game. 

Strong performances at the circle for the Chippewas and the Rockets denied further runs for either side, allowing CMU to split the day and take game two 3-1. 

Lehto went the distance for a full seven innings, striking out five and allowing no walks while allowing one run off three hits. 

Toledo's Annika Johnson and Makenna Durieux hurled three innings each. Johnson pitched the first three, striking out one and allowing three runs on four hits. Durieux tossed the rest, striking out five and allowing just three hits over three shutout innings. 

Up next

The Chippewas will take the road to Lee R. Jackson field to battle against Akron. The four-game series will kick off at 3 p.m. on May 7.