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March 2, 2013


Central Michigan  8, St. Joes Collegiate Institute  3
Recaps still to come...
TAMPA, Fla.—Kent State's softball team earned a split on the opening day of play Friday at the Under Armour Invitational, hosted by the University of South Florida. The Golden Flashes (3-7) topped Eastern Kentucky, 4-2, to start the day before falling in the nightcap to Illinois-Chicago, 2-1.
Senior Lauren Grimes (Tallmadge, Ohio) delivered a two-inning single in the top fo the seventh inning that drove in the game-winning runs to complete a comeback victory to get the day started. Unfortunately, the Flashes came up just short of repeating their comeback performance in the second game.
"Our pitchers did an excellent job for us today, our defense is holding steady, and our offense is starting to come around," head coach Karen Linder said.
Eastern Kentucky struck first in the opener. The Colonels had two runners cross home plate before recording an out in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) kept her composure to strikeout the next two batters. Following a single by the Colonels, Johnson got a fly out to end the inning.
The Flashes responded with a run in the top of the fourth. Grimes reached on a leadoff walk and freshman Erika Warren (North Canton, Ohio) advanced her to second base with a single of her own two batters later. A bloop single by senior Lauren Balodis (North Royalton, Ohio) brought Grimes around to score and put the Flashes on the scoreboard.
An RBI double by Warren, who went 2-for-3 in the game, in the sixth inning pulled Kent State even with Eastern Kentucky. The Flashes got back-to-back singles sandwiched between a leadoff fly out and a pop up in the seventh, setting the stage for Grimes' big hit.
"Lauren Grimes' hit was really, really clutch for us," Linder said. "And Erika Warren also had some clutch hitting in that game that allowed us to get a win."
Johnson (2-4) tallied eight strikeouts in throwing her fourth complete game of the season. Leanna Pittsenbarger (5-2) was the losing pitcher for the Colonels after pitching the final three innings in relief of starter Shaylon Robb.
Kent State dug a 2-0 hole in the first inning against Illinois-Chicago, but junior Lauren McNeil (Akron Ohio) did not surrender another run the rest of the way.
"Lauren McNeil, after giving up two runs in the first, she shut them out the rest of the way," Linder said. "I was pleased with the way recovered and was able to shut them down."
McNeil (1-3) allowed two earned runs on seven hits and struck out three batters in six innings.
Grimes drove in the lone run for the Golden Flashes on a single in the top of the fifth inning. The Flashes struggled to advance runners throughout the game, finishing with nine runners left on base.
"I was happy with how we responded offensively today, especially after falling behind in both games," Linder said.
Devin Miller (1-4) pitched a complete game in victory for the Flames. Miller allow just five hits while striking out seven batters.
Kent State will be back in action Saturday morning with Georgia State at 10 a.m., followed by Florida Gulf Coast at 12:15 p.m.
Georgia State  11, Western Michigan  2
Fla. Gulf Coast  7, Western Michigan  1
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Western Michigan softball opened the 2013 USF Under Armour Invitational fell to Georgia State, 11-2, and Florida Gulf Coast, 7-1, on Friday.
In the tournament opener, WMU fell behind quickly as the Panthers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after the top of the first.  Three runs scored on a double, a fourth crossed the plate on a wild pitch and the fifth run scored on a ground out to first base.
The Broncos plated their only runs of the game in the home half of the third inning.  Melissa Palmer drew a two-out walk followed by Caity Pixley doing the same.  Sabrina Gamboa hit her first career triple to clear the bases.
GSU would score another run in the fourth to take its advantage back to four runs and blew the game open with another five runs in the top of the seventh.  The game ended on a peculiar play as Western Michigan had an illegal substitution, resulting in the third and final out.
Later in the afternoon, the Broncos faced Florida Gulf Coast, which is receiving votes in national polls coming into the week.
After giving up a pair of runs in the top of the first, WMU scored to cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the opening inning.  Palmer led off with a single and advanced to second on an fielding error.  Gamboa plated her third RBI of the day on a ground out to the shortstop but it would be the only run despite six hits throughout.
Mackenzie Shepeck, despite giving up seven earned runs on as many hits, nearly matched her career high in strikeouts for the third straight start.  She fanned seven batters and now has 18 punch outs in nine appearances in the circle so far in 2013.
Gamboa led the way offensively for WMU with a 3-for-7 effort (.429) with a double and a triple, and three RBIs.  Palmer went 2-for-5 (.400) on the day and Jenny Rohn also had a mult-hit day, going 2-for-4 (.500) at the plate.
Western Michigan continues at the USF Under Armour Invitational Saturday with games against Stephen F. Austin and Saint Joseph's.  It will be the first ever meeting between WMU and SFA and only the second meeting ever, first since 1989 (W, 14-0) against SJU.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University softball team started its 11-day trip to Florida with a bang, topping Jacksonville University, 8-0, in five innings Friday, March 1. The Eagles used a pair of four-run innings to run-rule the Dolphins in their first game of the 2013 FAU Classic.
The Green and White (3-3) were led offensively by Nellie Coquillard (Niles, Mich.-Niles) who went 2-for-3 with a run scored and three RBI. Coquillard had a double and slapped her third homer of the 2013 campaign, which was also the 20th of her career, moving her into fourth all-time at Eastern Michigan. Courtney Nicholson (Navarre, Ohio-Canton Central Cathloic) went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI. The senior belted a pair of extra base hits, a triple and double, while Amanda Stanton (Homer Glen, Ill.-Lockport Township) posted a 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
In the circle, Jenna Ignowski (Niles, Mich.-Niles) picked up her second win of the season going the complete game for EMU. Ignowski (2-0) went five innings allowing four hits without surrendering a walk, along with four punch outs. Taylor Rossman made the start for Jacksonville (11-5). Rossman (1-3) went just 0.2 innings, getting touched for three runs in the loss. Cecile Gomez came on in relief for JU and allowed five runs on seven hits over four innings of work.
Eastern opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first by putting up a four-spot, all with two outs. After the first two batters were set down, Nicholson roped a double down the left field line. Stanton scored Nicholson with a single in the next at-bat. Amanda Herron (Columbus, Ohio-Saint Francis De Sales) singled back up the middle to score Stanton. Coquillard belted a two-run homer to give the Green and White a 4-0 lead.
The Eagles saw a scoring drought of four innings before scoring four more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Abby Davidson (Westerville, Ohio-Olentangy Orange) poked a single to right field with one out. Katy Blaharski (Carleton, Mich.-Airport) followed up with a single up the middle to move Davidson up one bag. Nicholson ripped a two-run triple to left-centerfield to make it 6-0. Stanton put a pitch right back up the middle to score Nicholson from third. With a 7-0 lead, Elaine Whitbeck (Holland, Mich.-West Ottawa) entered the game to run for Stanton. After stealing second, Whitbeck came around to score on a double to centerfield from Coquillard to complete the 8-0 run rule in the fifth.
EMU continues its 11-day trip in the Sunshine State later this evening with a 6 p.m. start time against the host of the FAU Classic, Florida Atlantic University
BOCA RATON, Fla. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University softball team dropped its second contest of the 2013 FAU Classic Friday, March 1, to the host school Florida Atlantic University, 6-0. EMU is now 1-1 in its trip to the Sunshine State.
Eastern (3-4) was held to just three hits in the loss. Nellie Coquillard (Niles, Mich.-Niles), Amanda Stanton (Homer Glen, Ill.-Lockport Township) and Amanda Herron (Columbus, Ohio-Saint Francis De Sales) each poked hits for the Green and White.
Lauren Wells (Lowell, Ind.-Lowell) made the start for the Eagles. Wells (0-3) took the loss after allowing six runs on six hits in 3.2 innings of work. Lindsay Rich (Perrysburg, Ohio-Perrysburg) finished the final 2.1 innings for Eastern, allowing just two hits and punching out three batters. Stephanie Call tossed a complete game shutout for FAU. Call (2-2) allowed just three hits, while picking up nine strikeouts and walking five.
Florida Atlantic opened up the scoring in the third, when Carnesha Thompson drove in Christina Martinez to give the Owls a 1-0 lead.
The Owls struck again in the fourth with Call helping her own cause with the bases loaded. The FAU pitcher drove a triple down the leftfield line which cleared the bases to make it 4-0 in favor of the Owls. Thompson drove in another run later in the inning on a single which scored Call. Jordan Stovall drove a single through the left side of the infield to drive in a run that made the final 6-0 tally.
The Eagles continue their 11-game stretch in Florida Saturday, March 2, with a morning doubleheader as part of the FAU Classic. EMU will square off with a familiar Mid-American Conference foe, Ball State University, at 9 a.m. and then will take on Harvard University at 11 a.m.
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Ball State softball team fell one run short in its comeback bid versus Harvard Friday morning, suffering a 7-6 setback to the Crimson in the team's opening game of the FAU Classic hosted by Florida Atlantic.
With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 6-4 on the year entering this afternoon's scheduled 4 p.m. first pitch versus tournament host Florida Atlantic. Harvard moves to 1-1 with the victory.
Senior center fielder Amanda Carpenter and sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox each collected two hits for the Cardinals who pounded out seven hits in the contest, including four doubles.
Carpenter, who went 2-for-4 in the game, tallied her seventh double of the season to move into sole possession of second place on BSU's all-time doubles list with 40 career two-baggers. She also scored twice and drove in one. Cox finished the game 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and a run scored.
With two outs and a runner on third in the bottom of the first inning, Harvard managed to draw back-to-back walks to load the bases for Emily Gusse who blasted a grand slam over the left field wall.
The Crimson added two more runs in the bottom of second when a two-out grounder to the pitcher with a runner at first led to a pair of Ball State errors which allowed both runs to score.
Harvard added its final run of the contest in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Gusse.
Ball State's bats came to life in the top of the fourth starting with a leadoff double from sophomore first baseman Taylor Rager. Two batters later, Carpenter slice a RBI double to left field to plate the Cardinals' first run of the game.
Senior catcher Sadie Robertson followed with a RBI double of her own, making the game 7-2. Following a fielder's choice and a Cox bunt single, Gilbert laced a two-run double to left center to help the Cardinals pull within three at 7-4.
Walks to Rager, Robertson and freshman shortstop Selena Reyna would help the Cardinals load the bases with two outs in the top of the fifth, while a wild pitch brought in sophomore pinch runner Loren Cihlar to bring Ball State within two.
After a scoreless sixth, Ball State would manage to load the bases again in the top of the seventh, thanks to a Carpenter single, a Robertson walk and a Cox single. Gilbert would ground out to second to drive in BSU's sixth run of the game.
Unfortunately, a spectacular play by Harvard's shortstop on a hard grounder from sophomore right fielder Hanne Stuedemann would end the Ball State rally and the game at 7-6.
Audra Sanders (1-2) suffered the loss in the circle for Ball State, allowing five hits and seven runs (five earned) in 2.2 innings of work. Freshman Kelsey Schifferdecker would turn in a solid performance in relief, limiting the Crimson to just five hits over the final 3.1 innings.
Gabrielle Ruiz (1-0) earned the win for Harvard, combining for 4.1 innings as a starter and reliever. She held BSU to just four hits and four earned runs in her time in the circle.
BOCA RATON, Fla. - - Thanks in part to another solid pitching performance from freshman Nicole Steinbach, the Ball State softball team ended the opening day of the FAU Classic with a 2-0 win over tournament host Florida Atlantic Friday afternoon.
In picking up her third complete game shutout victory of the season, Steinbach limited the Owls (5-10) to just seven hits and a walk over seven innings of work. She also tallied three strikeouts and improved to 3-2 in the circle this season.
After a scoreless first two innings, the Cardinals (7-4) pushed across what proved to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the third. With bases loaded and one out, junior third baseman Audrey Bickel deposited an RBI single in front of the FAU right fielder to bring home freshman right fielder Briana Evans who singled three batters earlier.
Ball State would push across an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth, as a one-out single from freshman shortstop Selena Reyna was followed by an RBI triple from sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox.
Ball State's defense came up huge in the first four innings, recording inning-ending double plays in the second and third, while adding another for the first two outs of the fourth. In all, the Cardinals have tallied 10 double plays so far this season after leading the nation in 2012 with 33 twin killings last season.
From there, Steinbach would limit the Owls' offense to single two-out base runners in each of the final three innings.
Taylor Fawbush took the loss in the circle for FAU, falling to 2-5 this season. She allowed five hits and two runs over 6.0 innings of work.
The Ball State softball team returns to action in the FAU Classic Saturday, when it plays league rival Eastern Michigan (9 a.m.) and Big Ten foe Michigan State (1 p.m.).
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Toledo (2-5) earned its second win after splitting a pair of games on the first day of action at the Under Armour Invitational Friday afternoon. The Rockets dropped the opener at the Eddie C. Moore Complex to Eastern Kentucky, 10-2, but bounced back with a 3-1 victory over Maine. UT will play Big Ten Conference member Illinois and tourney host South Florida in back-to-back games on Saturday. First pitch against the Illini is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. ET.
Game 1
The Midnight Blue & Gold fell behind 7-0 to EKU early in the opener and couldn’t regain control in the second loss to the Colonels in a week. UT starter Alli Beery lasted just 2.2 innings and surrendered seven runs (two unearned) on five hits and five walks.
EKU led 2-0 after two, but mounted on five runs in the third to take hold of the game. UT added two runs in the bottom half, but that would be it as the visitors scored one in the fifth and two in the sixth off reliever Marla Gooding to reach the eight-run mercy rule.
Junior designated hitter Erinn Wright led the Rockets at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance. Four Rockets recorded a double, including Wright, Gooding (1-3) senior Lindsey Tobias (1-3; RBI) and sophomore Leigh Nebendahl (1-3).
EKU reliever Leanna Pittsenbarger earned the win after coming on with one out the third for starter Hayley Flynn.
Lauren Mitchell, Shannon McQueen and Melissa Costa each had two hits for the Colonels, as EKU totaled 11 base knocks.
UT finished with seven hits and each team left six runners on base.
Game 2
In the second game, senior co-captain Morgan Smith picked up her first hit of the season and drove in two runs at the plate, while Beery worked a complete game for the team’s second win of the season.
The Rockets plated all three runs in bottom of the second and Beery held the Black Bears scoreless until the fourth. In her strongest outing of the season, the sophomore righty went the distance while allowing a run on four hits and recording one strikeout.
Tobias extended her hitting streak to eight games with a perfect 2-for-2 performance at the dish. Her streak dates back to the final game of last season as she has hit safely in all seven games in 2013.
Freshman Jen Behunin also recorded her first multi-hit performance of her career with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate. Senior Kristen Roznoski (1-3) and Smith (1-2) had the other UT hits.
Four different Maine hitters recorded a hit, while UM pitcher Hannah Hill was charged with the loss with six hits, three runs, three walks and six strikeouts.
HUNTINGTON, WV - The University at Buffalo softball team dropped a pair of games in its first day at the Marshall Inviational, falling 6-0 to Robert Morris and 5-0 to the host Thundering Herd.
Robert Morris scored two unearned runs in bottom of the first inning and add a pair in the third to take a 4-0 lead before tacking on single runs in the fifth and sixth.  Buffalo managed six hits in the game, but stranded a pair of runners in the fourth and seventh innings.  As a whole, UB left seven runners on base.  Freshman Dani Cowan picked up the loss as she went 5.0 innings and struck out four.  Fellow freshman Nicole Aviles pitched the sixth inning.
In the second game, Marshall pitcher Andi Williamson carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of what was a pitcher's dual until late.  The Thundering Herd scored just one run over the first five innings before striking for four in the bottom of the sixth.  Heather Ryder picked up the start and went 5.1 innings, allowing four runs and striking out four.  Sophomore Alexis Curtiss broke the no hitter in the seventh with a one-out single.  Senior Alyssa Ward also recorded a base hit in the inning.
The Bulls will play twice tomorrow against these same two teams, facing Marshall at 11:00 am and Robert Morris at 1:00 pm.  UB's game for Sunday has been cancelled.

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