CMU softball sweeps Buffalo, extends win streak to eight


Junior outfielder Michaleigh Vallimont hits the ball during a game against Western Michigan Sunday, April 16 at Margo Jonker Stadium. Vallimont had two hits and one RBI.

For the second straight weekend, Central Michigan University softball secured a series sweep as it traveled to New York to face off against Mid-American Conference foe, University of Buffalo. 

CMU is currently 24-19 overall and 14-6 in conference play, sitting at the top spot in the MAC tied with Ohio.

Game 1

Junior pitcher Grace Lehto recorded the shutout in game one of the doubleheader on Friday to help the Chippewas to the 3-0 win. 

CMU started the game hot, with junior Michaleigh Vallimont hitting a home run to right field in the second at bat of the game. 

However, the Chippewas were unable to score through the next three innings. But CMU put itself back on the board in the top of the fifth, when Vallimont singled up the middle, recording her second RBI of the game. Freshman pinch runner Cierra Laska was batted in to give the Chippewas the 2-0 lead.  

On the next at-bat, senior Kelsey Alexander singled to left field, batting in junior Abbey Tolmie and recording an RBI. 

Lehto recorded a win for the Chippewas, allowing no runs on three hits, while striking out 11 and walking two. 

Game 2 

CMU secured the second game of the double-header against Buffalo, 3-2 to win the season series. 

Sophomore Maddie Springer singled to left field in the second, scoring senior Emily Bracamonte to put the Chippewas up 1-0. 

Buffalo answered back in the fourth, scoring one run on two hits to tie the game at one. 

The Bulls lead didn't last long as CMU scored two runs in the top of the fifth to take the 3-1 lead. Sophomore Allyssa Hollo started the scoring for the Chippewas when she batted in Vallimont on a sacrifice fly to center field. Later in the inning, junior Lucy Cronin doubled to center to score Alexander. 

Buffalo answered with an RBI single at the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the deficit to one. However, CMU held the Bulls scoreless for the last two innings to secure the win. 

Redshirt senior Kaitlyn Bean pitched the first five innings against Buffalo to get the win, striking out five and allowing six hits. Sophomore Madelyn Wallace closed out game two for the Chippewas, allowing only one hit through two innings. 

Game 3 

Following a scoreless fifth inning, CMU took a 5-3 lead, for the first time in the matchup when redshirt senior Samantha Mills hit a single to score senior Emily Bracamonte and junior Lucy Cronin, who both singled earlier in the inning.  

The Chippewas were able to come back to defeat Buffalo with a final score of 9-7 and secure the series sweep. 

Buffalo leadoff hitter Madison Fernimen, who reached after getting hit by a pitch, scored to put the Bulls up 1-0 in the bottom of the first after back-to-back base hits by the Bulls. 

Buffalo extended its lead to three in the next inning, when the Bulls’ Abbey Nagel hit a double to add two more runs to its tally.

After they were held hitless through two innings, the Chippewas were able to get some offensive production in the top of the third, when sophomore Maddie Springer hit a double. Springer later scored on a passed ball to cut the deficit to two. Following a walk from Vallimont, Hollo delivered with a two-out double to score one more run in the inning and put CMU within one, 3-2. 

The Chippewas added one more run in the top of the fourth inning when Springer hit a single to score freshman pinch runner Cierra Laska and tie the game at three. 

The Chippewas took their first lead of the game as Mills singled, scoring Bracamonte and Cronin to put the Chippewas up 5-3. 

In the bottom half of the inning, the Bulls scored one run off of a home run to get them within one. 

However, the Chippewas exploded in the top of the seventh with four runs, which started with Hollo, who hit in her second run of the day to give CMU the two-run advantage. On the next at-bat, Coberley added two more insurance runs following a two-run shot over the wall to secure her third home run of the season. The Chippewas added one more run in the inning following a single from Cronin. 

Following back-to-back strikeouts from Lehto, the Bulls started to rally with two outs and a home run to get within four. Buffalo didn’t let up just yet as Alexis Luchyshyn hit a shot for the second home run of the inning, adding two more runs for the Bulls to cut the deficit to 9-7. However, the threat was stopped on the next at-bat to give CMU the victory. 

Mills went 2-for-4 at the plate knocking in two runs for CMU. Springer went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, scoring one run and driving in one. Coming out of the cleanup spot, Hollo also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. 

Lehto (11-10) got her second win of the weekend in the circle, pitching a complete game while giving up seven runs on nine hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. 

The Chippewas will look to continue the momentum when they return to Margo Jonker Stadium to compete in a three-game series versus Bowling Green, starting on Tuesday at 3 p.m.