CMU softball goes 1-4 at WKU Hilltopper Classic


Junior pitcher Katlyn Bean throws a pitch on Saturday, April 30, at Margo Jonker Stadium.

Central Michigan softball dropped four out of five games at the Western Kentucky Hilltopper Classic over the weekend losing to Jacksonville State 7-5 and 4-2, Western Kentucky 2-1 and 6-4 then defeated Illinois State 5-4. 

The Chippewas move to 3-6 on the season. 

Game 1 

To open the tournament, CMU fell to Jacksonville State 7-5 on Friday. 

The Chippewas got on board first in the bottom of the second when sophomore Maddie Springer hit an RBI single followed by another single from junior Abbey Tolmie to score redshirt senior Samantha Mills to take a 2-0 lead. 

However, after three scoreless innings from the Gamecocks, Jacksonville State came alive in the fourth to produce seven runs on four hits to take the 7-2 lead over CMU. 

With one final chance in the bottom of the seventh, the Chippewas got on the board after four scoreless innings when Tolmie hit a single to score Springer to cut the deficit to four, 7-3. Following a walk to junior Michaleigh Vallimont, sophomore Allyssa Hollo hit a 2-RBI double to get within two of the Gamecocks. However, the comeback effort was cut short, and CMU dropped its first game to open the tournament. 

Junior Grace Lehto got the start in the circle for the Chippewas, giving up seven runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts in 3.2 innings. 

In relief for Lehto, sophomore Madelyn Wallace pitched the final half of the game allowing zero runs on two hits. 

Tolmie led the offensive effort at the plate, going 3-for-4 driving in two runs and scoring one. 

Springer went 2-for-3 on the day with two runs and one RBI. 

Game 2

The Chippewas looked to bounce back after their loss to the Gamecocks as they faced off against tournament hosts Western Kentucky for their second game of the day. After holding the lead for 3.5 innings, CMU couldn’t hold on to drop to the Hilltoppers 2-1. 

Tolmie got the Chippewas on the board first as she scored on a wild pitch. However, that was the only production CMU created during the game, ending with only one run and one hit. The hit didn’t come until the seventh inning when redshirt junior Caitlyn Britton recorded a single. 

The Hilltoppers tied the game at one on a SAC fly in the bottom of the fourth, and then took the lead in the following inning, 2-1. 

Redshirt senior Kaitlyn Bean got the start on the mound, allowing two runs on six hits racking up five strikeouts and two walks in six innings pitched. 

Game 3 

On day two of the Hilltopper Classic, the Chippewas faced off against Western Kentucky for the second time and fell, 6-4.

Similar to the first two games, CMU struck first against the Hilltoppers when senior Emily Bracamonte hit into a fielder’s choice to score Tolmie in the top of the first.

The Chippewas continued the momentum in the top half of the second when Alexander hit into a fielder's choice with bases loaded to score junior Lucy Cronin to take a 2-0 lead. 

Leading off in the top of the fourth, Tolmie got CMU going with a double. She was later scored on a SAC fly from Hollo to add one more run to the Chippewas’ tally, 3-0.

However, in the bottom of the fourth, the Hilltoppers got on the board when DH Faith Hegh hit a solo home run to cut the deficit to two. 

In the next inning Western Kentucky scored two more to tie that game at three. The Chippewas shot right back with an RBI double from redshirt junior Skylar Coberley to take a 4-3 lead in the top of sixth. 

The CMU lead didn’t last long as the Hilltoppers responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs to take a 6-4 lead. The Chippewas were held scoreless in the seventh to hand Western Kentucky its second win of the weekend against CMU. 

Tolmie had her second multi hit game of the tournament, going 3-for-4, scoring three runs for the Chippewas. 

Coberley also went 3-for-4 in the game with two singles and a double while batting in one run.

Lehto got her second start in the circle for CMU, allowing three runs on four hits with two strikeouts and four walks in 4.1 innings pitched.

Wallace came in for Lehto in the bottom of the fifth and gave up three runs on two hits and two walks. Wallace was credited with loss to move to 1-1.   

Game 4 

In a back-and-forth battle between Illinois State and CMU, the Chippewas came out on top with a final score of 5-4 on Saturday.

After a quick top half of the first inning from CMU, the Cardinals led off with a double to left center from leadoff hitter Delainey Bryant. With a single down the left field line from Abby Knight, Bryant was able to score, opening the scoring for the Cardinals and the game with a score of 1-0. 

Singling down the left field line, Coberely led off the second inning for CMU, later advancing to second on a ground out and third on a passed ball. Cronin singled up the middle to send Coberely home, tying the game at one. 

As the Chippewas went two innings three up, three down, the Cardinals extended their lead in the fourth inning with a solo homerun to left center, taking back the lead with a score of 2-1. 

Back-to-back walks to Cronin and Bracamonte started off the fifth inning for CMU. After redshirt junior Tessa Nuss, who pinch ran for Cronin, was out on an attempt to steal second, Maddie Springer reached on a fielder's choice. An error on the Cardinals allowed Mills to load the bases. A sacrifice hit from Tolmie forced an out at first but earned her an RBI as Bracamonte scored to tie the game at two. 

Going into the bottom of the fifth, the Chippewas took a 3-2 lead after a wild pitch scored Springer. 

Late in the sixth inning the Cardinals tied the game at three as Bean walked in a run after bases were loaded. 

With one inning left and all tied at three, Mills singled through the left side, giving CMU its first base runner of the inning. After Mills advanced to second on a Tolmie ground out, Kelsey Alexander took the lead back for the Chippewas, sending a ball over the left center field fence to take a 5-3 lead. 

With on final chance in the bottom half of the inning, the Cardinals homered to left center, but fell short of the comeback, giving CMU a 5-4 victory. 

Bean got the start in the circle for the Chippewas, pitching six innings facing 28 batters. Bean struck out two, walked four, and gave up four runs. Lehto took the mound in relief in the seventh inning and faced two batters. 

Bean secured the win, while Lehto earned the save.

Game 5

Unable to keep momentum going after scoring two runs in the first inning, CMU fell to Jacksonville State on Sunday with a final score of 4-2. 

Jacksonville State got on the board first scoring two runs in the first inning. 

On two outs, Coberely gave CMU its first baserunner of the game reaching on a dropped third strike. A double from Hollo moved Coberely to third setting up Britton for a 2-RBI double to tie the game at two. 

Jacksonville regained its lead in the third inning with a leadoff single from Lauren Hunt followed by another single from Ashley Phillips to score Hunt making the score 3-2. 

Jacksonville extended its lead in the fourth inning with a bases loaded walk.

Unable to create momentum and only record five hits on Jacksonville's Jaliyah Holmes, the Gamecocks held onto their lead winning with a final score of 4-2. 

CMU freshman Angela Petrovich got her first hit of her career with a single in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Bean got the start in the circle for the Chippewas in their final game of the tournament, pitching three innings, striking out one, walking two and giving up four runs. Freshman Cierra Laska took the mound in the fourth inning, only facing two batters and recording one out before Lehto took the mound. Lehto finished the game pitching three innings and striking out one. Bean got the loss, moving her to 1-3 on the season. 

CMU is back in action on Friday as it travels to Madeira Beach, Florida. The first game of the day is set for 3 p.m. against Hofstra followed by a 5 p.m. game against Georgetown.