RedHawks sweep CMU, move into first place
The Miami RedHawks shook off an ugly midweek loss to knock off MAC-leader Central Michigan twice Saturday at the Miami Softball Complex. Miami came from behind to take the first game 4-2, and the RedHawks followed with a 8-0 shutout.
With the victories, MU broke the Chippewas' 11-game winnning streak and replaced CMU atop the Mid-American Conference standings. Those two teams will close out their series with a Sunday game starting at noon.
The visiting Chippewas struck first Saturday, plating two first inning runs in the opener. However, those turned out to be CMU's only runs on the day.
"Bad things are going to happen," Miami head coach Kirin Kumar said of the Chippewas early damage. It's how you respond to it. . . . (We) did it offensively and defensively."
Miami scored single runs in . . .
. . . the third and fourth innings to tie the contest. Kate Kobayashi's two-out double in the six brought in the winning run and an insurance score.
The RedHawks offense exploded early in game two, blasting three home runs in a four-run first. Miami added two more in the second and earned a run rule victory with two more in the fifth.
Miami pitcher Brianna Pratt picked up wins in both games, giving up just two runs -- both in the first inning of game one. Lehto (13-10) took the game one loss, while Bean (10-7) got the loss in game two.
With its sweep, MU has won 12 of its last 13 conference games. The RedHawks moved to 31-17 overall. Central Michigan fell to 27-21 on the season and 17-8 in MAC action.
RECAP -- GAME 1 -- SATURDAY, APRIL 29 -- OXFORD, OH
MIAMI 4, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 2
-- CMU's first three batters reached base on hits, and two came around to score.
-- Miami's Allie Cummins tripled down the left field liine with one out in the third inning. She scored on a ground out to second by Allie Cummins.
-- Riley Coyne opened the fourth with a homer to tie the game.
-- Coyne's one-out single started Miami's decisive sixth inning rally. Her pinch runner advanced to second on a Jenna Golembiewski single to left.
-- With two outs in the inning, Kate Kobayashi ripped a double through the right side to score both runners. "That was a rocket," Kumar said. "She's been hitting the ball well. She's just been unlucky at times. We just tell them to keep barreling it up."
RECAP -- GAME 2 -- SATURDAY, APRIL 29 -- OXFORD, OH
MIAMI 8, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 0
-- Brianna Pratt gave up just two hits and worked out of a couple jams to raise her record to 24-10 on the year.
-- Karli Spaid, Jenna Golembiewski and Chloe Parks homered to drive in four first inning runs for Miami. It was Bean's only inning of work, as Wallace took over pitching duties for Central Michigan in the second frame.
-- Golembiewski doubled in Spaid and Cummins to put the hosts up 6-0 after two frames.
-- CMU's best chances to score came in the second and fourth innings when they left two runners on board. However, Pratt closed the door.
-- Parks and Kobayashi singled to start the inning. Both moved up on a sacrifice. Parks scored on Maddi Banks' single. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Holly Blaska shot a single to right. Kobayashi came home with a run to end the game at 8-0.
-- Miami totaled 10 hits with three homers, two doubles and and worked six walks in the contest.
Central Michigan pitching had given up more than two runs just once since starting its 10 game win skein.
"We have one of the best hitting teams in the nation," Kumar said. "No matter how good their pitcher is, we know that if you're going to make a mistake,, we're going to hit it."
Editor-Publisher Mike Smith
Mike grew up in Mid-American Conference football and basketball territory and returned there after military service. He has been covering MAC football and men's basketball for much of the last several decades.