CMU softball falls to first ranked Miami (Ohio)

Central Michigan's redshirt senior infielder Skylar Coberley turns two during a doubleheader against Miami (Ohio), Saturday, April 20 at Margo Jonker Stadium. Coberley's throw got the runner out on first, completing the double-play. (Marie Underwood | CM-Life)

As the clouds rolled onto the campus of Central Michigan, CMU softball hoped to knock off the Miami RedHawks. 

Miami (Ohio) came into the matchup with an undefeated record in Mid-American Conference play and a win streak of 21. 

Led by a strong offensive performance, the RedHawks maintained their undefeated record as they defeated the Chippewas 16-0 and 15-6. CMU now moves to 12-27 overall and 9-8 in conference. 

Game 1

Senior pitcher Grace Lehto started the game in the circle for the Chippewas after capturing MAC pitcher of the week honors, the week before. 

Miami took the commanding lead early in the first inning with four home runs.

"We always like to control our energy," head coach McCall Salmon said. "After the first inning, we decided to ramp it up and keep it up for the whole game and the second one."

The offense was held to five walks and no hits until the bottom of fourth when Allyssa Hollo doubled to give the Chippewas their first hit of the game. In the end, no one could bring her home as Hollo was the lone Chippewa with a hit in the game. 

The offense fell silent as the Miami pitching staff shut out the CMU offense. 

Freshman pitcher Emma DeBoer got her first action as a college player as she gave up a three-run homerun to start her career. After that, she settled down and got her first strikeout. 

Lehto struggled in the circle as the Redhawks came out swinging and put up seven runs before Lehto could gather three outs.

The productive offensive performance led to a 16-0 win for Miami in game one. 

Game 2

After losing 16-0 to Miami in the first game, enforcing the mercy rule, Central Michigan softball went on to lose in the second game of its doubleheader. 

“Overall, I mean, Miami is a great team, we knew that coming in,” Salmon said. “There's a reason they lead the nation in home runs, they have three players that are in the top five in the nation, and it showed today and we knew it's going to be a dogfight.”

The first inning was quiet as both teams quickly struck out. As the second inning began, CMU’s defense was efficient, as starting pitcher Brooklyn Compau struck out Miami’s batter. 

After a somewhat quiet second inning, senior Michaleigh Vallimont hit a double while the bases were full, sending senior Skylar Coberley, freshman Grace Koenig, and freshman Emma Lotus all home. 

“I think our players in the dugout are just as important as those in the lineup,” Salmon said. “We need everyone to fill a role and when your role is called, be able to be up to the task. I just love this group. I think they support each other, they work hard for each other.”

The Chippewas followed up with their scoring streak in the third as Lotus secured a triple, sending Petrovitch home in the midst. Up to bat next was Vallimont who hit a single ultimately sending Lotus home. 

CMU looked to maintain its 5-0 lead in the fourth, but the overpowering momentum of Miami clapped back scoring seven runs, one off a home run. The Chippewas were unable to return the fire, scoring zero in the bottom of the fourth. 

After trailing 8-5 going into the fifth, Miami turned up the heat hitting two home runs in the sixth inning. In the final inning, the RedHawks were able to score four times unanswered.

Despite a run in the seventh, CMU ultimately couldn’t shorten the deficit as the game ended 15-6.

"I mean, that's what's nice about this game,” Salmon said. “You get an opportunity to play again. (We) can't dwell on it, we just got to adjust. Then after game two today, now we get to go and fight again for game three and see what we can do.”

The Chippewas will return to Margo Jonker Stadium to finish off their weekend series against Miami on Sunday at noon.