Nick Bonaventura, Staff Writer

Senior shortstop Sarah Billstrom sends a ball to first in Saturday’s game v. Central Michigan University. (MICHAEL GRIGGS | The Miami Student)

Miami University’s softball team split a weekend series with Central Michigan University (CMU), dropping the first game 1-0 before rebounding and winning the second game 8-4.

Following the series, Miami’s record stands at 19-16 overall and 4-2 in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

“We’ve been doing our best to stay aggressive lately and to just remember that anyone in the lineup can come up and get a rally started,” sophomore third basemen Daniela Torres said. “When we get runners on, we have people throughout the lineup that can steal bases and score runs. It’s just very important to stay aggressive.”

In the Saturday contest, the ‘Hawks were held to just one hit, a third inning single by junior second basemen Meghan Mawn.

Sophomore pitcher Jessica Simpson held the Chippewas to just one run despite allowing nine hits. The winning run came in the sixth inning, when junior Amanda Patrick hit a double to score the game’s only run.

Sunday’s game was much different for the RedHawks. After CMU took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and knocked Miami’s starting pitcher, senior Meredith Linch, out of the game, the ‘Hawks roared back to tie the game with sophomore right fielder Jordan McElroy’s two runs batted in (RBI) hit. McElroy finished with two RBI and a run scored.

With Simpson once again pitching, Miami then took charge of the game. The Red and White scored three runs in the fourth, highlighted by Torres’s double that scored two. Torres finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.

“We played very well in the second game,” Torres said. “Yesterday and today were both great defensive games. Whenever we play great defense against such a good hitting team, the defense is always going to win the game.”

Miami head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly credited the bottom of the RedHawks’ lineup for the increase in offensive production.

“The key to our victory was that our eight and nine hitters reached base every time they were up,” Schoenly said. “That gave us some people on base for our other players, which is always good. That was the difference between this game and yesterday’s.”

Simpson pitched five innings, allowing two runs and striking out four to earn the victory.

CMU threatened to come back in the sixth inning with a two run homer by senior first basemen Jill Schulz, but could not muster any offense after the blast.

After a rough start to the beginning of the season, Miami has now won five of its last six games.

“We’re playing teams now that we know a lot about,” Schoenly said. “We can prepare better for these teams. We know how to get their batters out. In the preseason, we played some pretty tough teams, and I think the experience against those teams is really starting to help us.”

Miami is next in action April 16 for a doubleheader at Kent State University.

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