CMU softball takes series opener vs NIU

General cap: CMU Softball takes the win against Northern Illinois Huskies, Saturday, April 9, at Margo Jonker Stadium. With a clean sweep of 4-0, the overall team's record stands at 15-15. Photo cap: Sophomore pitcher, Grace Lehto, pitching the second out of the inning against the Huskies, Saturday, April 9.

Beginning a three-game series with the Northern Illinois Huskies, the Central Michigan Chippewas (15-15, 6-3) took game one Saturday, winning 4-0. 

Grace Lehto was the star, pitching a complete game shutout. There was plenty of traffic on the bases, but Lehto and the Chippewas defense stranded a total of eight runners. 

“(Lehto) gave us what we needed and all we ask for is her best effort every single pitch,” said head coach McCall Salmon. “Told her to just hit your spots and let your defensive do the work. I told her after the first couple innings no more freebies and she listened for the most part” 

It was quiet on both sides early, with both teams stranding runners on base until the fourth inning when Caitlyn Britton sent one over the right field fence to lead off the inning and give the Chippewas a 1-0 lead. The margin would be all Lehto needed, but the offense wasn't quite done.

The Chippewas added to their lead in the sixth inning. Kelsey Alexander started it off with a double, scoring on an RBI single by Sammi Mills. Abbie Tolmie drove in Maddie Springer with a groundout, then Shannon Stein provided the exclamation point with an RBI double off the right field wall. 

Lehto snuffed out a seventh inning NIU rally, forcing a game-ending pop-up to secure the complete game shutout.

What’s Next

The Chippewas conclude their series with the Huskies tomorrow (4/10) with a double header beginning at 11 a.m. The second game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.