Central Michigan softball rallies to win series against Buffalo
A record and dominant pitching powered Central Michigan (24-21, 14-8) to battle back from a series opening loss to take down the visiting Buffalo Bulls (18-23, 9-13). The Chippewas won the series with one mercy 9-0 victory in game one and a 9-3 victory in game two.
“Huge comeback for them,” said head coach McCall Salmon. “Another series win. Yesterday the difference was their two-out production and today we were able to flip the script"
The Chippewas built an lead early, but it wasn't enough. It was Buffalo who claimed the opener, winning 7-5 Friday.
The Chippewas took the lead early 2-0 in the first inning after Caitlyn Britton's rip to center field drove in two runs for the Chippewas.
The Bulls cut the Chippewas lead in half in the second inning after a successful double steal bringing in a run. Home runs from Alexis Lucyshyn and Olivia Kincanon pushed the Bulls in front, with Lucyshyn's three-run shot giving Buffalo a lead.
The Chippewas answered back in the fifth inning thanks to singles from Skylar Coberly and Kelsey Alexander, cutting the lead to 6-4. Buffalo pushed it back to 7-4 with a run in the sixth.
Shannon Stein homered for CMU in the bottom of the seventh, but the damage was too little, too late.
Grace Lehto got the start in the circle for the Chippewas. Lehto pitched six innings allowing seven runs on seven hits. Britton came in for relief for the Chippewas pitching the final inning allowing no runs on no hits.
Putting her name in the record books, Shannon Stein would send a ball over the center field fence to take an early 2-0 lead. The two-run shot tied the program record tied Molly Coldren's 2012 program record of 16 home runs.
CMU extended its advantage to 5-0 in the third inning with RBIs from Coberly and Emily Bracamonte.
Kaitlyn Bean took the circle for the Chippewas and shut down the Bulls offense and kept them off the board. She pitched all five innings, giving up only two hits in the first and second inning, walking one batter, and striking out five. Bean improved to 7-9 on the season.
CMU's momentum carried into the fourth, as Alyssa Hollo and Abbey Tolmie set up Michaleigh Vallimont's RBI single. Coberly and Alexander each drove in runs with doubles later in the inning, upping the lead to 9-0.
Battling the on and off rain, the Chippewas rallied from an early deficit to win the final game of the series.
Coming off a loss in game one of the series, Lehto took the circle for the Chippewas pitching all seven innings. Lehto gave up six hits, three runs, walked three batters, and struckout eight. She improved to 10-9 on the season.
Buffalo would strike first with an RBI double from Alexis Lucyshyn to score Anna Aguona and Rachel Steffan, taking an early 2-0 lead.
CMU answered the bell in the bottom half of the second, beginning with Alexander reaching via error. Sammi Mills drove her in with a sacrifice fly before Tolmie, Stein and Vallimont drove in runs to make it 4-2 after two.
The Chippewas pounced once again in the fifth, as Bracamonte kicked off a five-run inning with an RBI single. Mills, Tolmie, Stein and Britton each drove in runs, making the score 9-2.
Brianna Castro cut into the lead with a solo home run, but Lehto slammed the door soon after to secure an important series win.
The Chippewas travel to Bowling Green for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday May 3 at 3 P.M.