Central Michigan softball wins game one against Buffalo


Central Michigan freshman catcher/utility player Carly Sleeman runs across second base during a softball game against Buffalo, Friday, April 12, in Margo Jonker Stadium. 

Central Michigan softball battled with the wind and the Buffalo Bulls in a 9-0 walkoff-win Friday at Margo Jonker Stadium.

CMU was playing for more than its fifth Mid-American Conference win of the season as it was the team’s autism acceptance game.  

“I just think it was a great event being able to raise awareness,” head coach McCall Salmon said. 

The Chippewas combined with a strikeout from senior pitcher Grace Lehto and two groundouts to junior shortstop Maddie Springer to go three and out at the top of the first inning.

CMU continued its momentum going into the bottom of the first. Three Chippewas racked up two RBIs to give them an early six run lead. 

“I just think getting a win on today with the weather conditions, it’s just a great way to start the weekend,” Salmon said. 

The scoring in the first started off with a single from senior right fielder Michaleigh Vallimont, batting in senior center fielder Abbey Tolmie and freshman catcher Carly Sleeman. 

Central Michigan did not stop there with junior first baseman Allyssa Hollo and freshman designated player Keira Tolmie being walked to load the bases for CMU. 

The Chippewas went through the order in the first inning with Abbey Tolmie reaching first as Buffalo’s second baseman couldn’t get the out. Both Springer and Keira Tolmie added two more runs for the Chippewas to make the score 6-0 going into the top of the second. 

“We know Buffalo’s bats can take off at any time, so more runs the better,” Salmon said. “I thought Mac’s (Vallimont) hit with two outs really set the tone. Two out rallies are areas and game changers for us to be successful.” 

Senior second baseman Skylar Coberley continued to keep things heated up for CMU getting all three outs in the top of the second with one being a double play from second to first.

Lehto recorded two strikeouts in a row to get the Chippewas out of the top of the third still with a 6-0 lead.

“She’s never satisfied. She’s got a competitive attitude,” Salmon said. “We know she’s going to make adjustments… I think it was just a matter of her settling in and trusting some things and working through some things and sometimes that’s just the nature of our sport.” 

Central Michigan added another run in the bottom of the third after Keira Tolmie slugged out a hit to right center field, batting in Hollo to make the score 7-0. 

Lehto continued to keep the Chippewas in comfortable position recording her sixth and seventh strikeout followed by an out at first base from Hollo to bring CMU into the bottom of the sixth. 

Lehto tied her season high of seven strikeouts in the matchup against the Bulls. 

Sleeman walked it off for the Chippewas with a double to right center field, Abbey Tolmie and freshman left fielder Emma Lotus scored to make the final score 9-0. 

The Chippewas improve to 8-24 overall and 5-5 in MAC competition as they face against Buffalo in a double header Saturday at 1 p.m. in Margo Jonker Stadium. 

“We just have to play with the same intent,” Salmon said. “Take advantage of freebies but also know that anytime we step on the field nothing’s given to us.”