CMU softball goes 2-3 at Gopher Indoor Classic


Eaton Rapids sophomore Grace Lehto pitches during the game against the University of Buffalo on Friday, April 29 at Margo Jonker Stadium.

Central Michigan softball competed in an indoor tournament at U.S Bank Stadium where it went 2-3 defeating Saint Thomas, 4-0 and 8-5, while falling to Drake, 3-1, Idaho State, 6-5, and Minnesota, 2-1. 

The Chippewas are now 10-12 on the season with the Mid-American Conference season approaching. 

Game 1 

CMU opened the tournament on Friday with a shutout victory, 4-0 over St. Thomas as junior pitcher Grace Lehto held the Tommies to only one hit. 

The Chippewas got the early lead in the bottom of the first when sophomore Allyssa Hollo hit a single to score senior Kelsey Alexander to go up 1-0. 

After three scoreless innings, CMU extended its lead in the bottom of the fifth when redshirt junior Skylar Coberley hit an RBI single, scoring junior Abbey Tolmie. On the next at-bat, junior Lucy Cronin singled to push the lead to three. Following a single from Hollo, the bases were loaded as sophomore Maddie Springer hit a sac-fly to score Coberley putting the Chippewas up 4-0.  

Both teams went scoreless in the final two innings to give CMU the win. 

Lehto got the win on the mound, pitching seven innings allowing only one hit with nine strikeouts and three walks. 

Hollo went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate in the matchup hitting three singles and securing one RBI. 

Game 2 

The Chippewas fell in their second game on Friday as Drake defeated CMU 3-1. 

The Bulldogs struck first following an RBI single in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. After four scoreless innings, Drake extended its lead up to three in the bottom of the sixth following a 2-RBI single from Addie Lightner.

However, the Chippewas added one run in the bottom half of the inning following a first and third situation that scored Tolmie to cut the deficit to 3-1. 

CMU was held scoreless in the seventh following three-straight outs from the Bulldogs to hand Drake the victory. 

Redshirt senior pitcher Kaitlyn Bean received the loss to move to 3-2 on the season. Bean pitched five innings, allowing three runs on six hits while recording six strikeouts and one walk. Sophomore Madelyn Wallace came in for relief in the sixth, allowing two hits and one walk. 

Game 3

To open their second day of the tournament, the Chippewas fell to Idaho State as the Bengals won 6-5 in a walk off in the bottom of the seventh.  

In the top of the third, Tolmie and junior Michaleigh Vallimont hit back-to-back home runs to give CMU the 2-0 lead.

Idaho State shot right back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at two. 

However, the Chippewas retook the lead in the top of the fourth with a single from freshman Angela Petrovitch that scored Hollo to put them up one. CMU kept the momentum when Tolmie singled on the next at-bat to score Springer and put the lead to 4-2. 

The Bengals again responded in the bottom half of the inning to tie it back up at four. 

In the top of the sixth, Petrovitch hit in her second run of the day off of a single to give the Chippewas the late, 5-4 lead. 

CMU had the one run advantage heading into the bottom of the seventh, however, Idaho State’s Olivia Robinson tripled to tie the game at five. With no outs and a runner on third, the Bengals hit a single to score the game-winning run. 

Tolmie went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in the loss. Petrovitch went 2-for-3, hitting in two for the Chippewas. 

Bean got the start on the mound for CMU, pitching three innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks. 

Wallace came in for relief for Bean and received the loss, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk. 

Game 4

The Chippewas faced off against tournament hosts Minnesota in their second game on Saturday. The Gophers defeated CMU, 2-1 in another heartbreaking loss following a walk-off homerun from Minnesota in the bottom of the seventh. 

Following four scoreless innings from both teams, the Chippewas found some life in the top of the fifth when junior Caitlyn Britton hit a single to score Hollo and give CMU the 1-0 advantage. 

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and Minnesota down by one, Kayla Chavez hit a two-run home run to give the Gophers the 2-1 win, handing CMU its second walk-off loss of the day. 

Lehto received the loss on the mound to move to 3-5 on the season, allowing two runs on six hits with eight strikeouts and three walks. 

Game 5

The Chippewas got their revenge on the final day of the tournament when they came back in extra innings to defeat St. Thomas for the second time of the classic, 8-5. 

The Tommies took the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first following a double from Brooke Ellestad.

The Chippewas shot right back to tie it at one in the top of the second, following a double from Springer to score Petrovitch. 

St. Thomas added three more runs in the bottom of the second to give them the 4-1 lead. 

CMU chipped at the Tommie lead in the top of the sixth when Springer singled to score Coberley and cut the deficit to 4-2. However, St. Thomas added another run to its tally in the sixth to bump the lead back up to three with a score of 5-2. 

Following a single from Vallimont to start the top of the seventh, Alexander hit a two-run home run to put the Chippewas within one of the Tommies. On the next at-bat, Coberley delivered with a home run of her own to tie the game at five. 

CMU held St. Thomas in the bottom of the seventh to push the game to extra innings. 

In the top half of the eighth, Britton hit a two-run home run to give the Chippewas their third home run in two innings and a 7-5 lead. CMU added one more run in the inning following a wild pitch that scored Tolmie. 

The Tommies were unable to get production in the bottom of the eighth and the Chippewas ended the tournament with a win. 

Wallace came in for Bean in the bottom of the second on the mound and got the win as she moved to 4-2 on the season. Wallace pitched 6.1 innings allowing one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. 

The Chippewas will have a week off before they face off against Michigan State in East Lansing on Tuesday, March 21 at 5 p.m.