CMU softball's season ends in stunner versus Ball State

Photo courtesy of CMU Athletics/Julia Bice

After advancing and beating Western Michigan on day one of the Mid-American Conference tournament, the Central Michigan softball team attempted to survive against Ball State in an elimination game. 

Taking the lead in to the seventh inning, the Chippewas had one final inning to shut down the Cardinals. However, the CMU defense struggled to come up with a stop as it let up three runs and gave BSU the lead. 

In their final opportunity, the Chippewas couldn't put together any runs in the bottom of the seventh as they fell to the Cardinals, 7-6 on Friday, ultimately ending CMU's season.

Both defenses came out strong to start the matchup as both teams were held to no runs in the first two innings. 

The game didn’t remain scoreless for long as Ball State broke the deadlock in the top of the third and fourth, capitalizing on a series of hits and an error to plate three runs, taking an early 4-0 lead.

Undeterred, Central Michigan responded in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Carly Sleeman drew a walk, and junior Allyssa Hollo followed up with a double. Freshman Grace Koenig followed that up with a 2-RBI single, sending Hollo and Sleeman home to put the Chippewas on the board. 

The Chippewas were able to push Koenig to third base after stealing second. That's when freshman Keira Tolmie singled to center field to score Koenig and cut the Cardinals lead 4-3.

Petrovitch made her way around the bases through steals and found herself home after a wild pitch tying the game up at four at the end of the fourth.

With runners in scoring position, Koenig singled through the right-side sending Skylar Coberly home for the first Chippewa lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Shortly later, another hit from Abbey Tolmie sent her sister Keira Tolmie home for a 6-4 lead. 

As the game headed into the seventh inning, tensions were high. Ball State managed to regain the lead with a pair of unearned runs, putting CMU’s season on the line. In the final moments in the top of the seventh, the Cardinals scored, breaking the tie, and putting the Chippewas behind.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Chippewas fought to keep their season alive. Despite their efforts, no further runs could be made leaving the final score 7-6.

This game closed out the season for the Chippewas as they celebrate the eight seniors who leave Mount Pleasant after graduating this May. 

They all finish their senior seasons with a 17-33 overall and 13-12 conference record. 

In addition, CMU is celebrating three players who received postseason honors. Coberley was a First Team selection, Sleeman earned All-Freshman Team honors, and A. Tolmie received the Nan Harvey Award.