|Falcon softball loses to Central in MAC tourney opener (5-9-12)|
|Written by Sentinel Sports Staff|
|Wednesday, 09 May 2012 23:39|
The Falcons dropped a heart-breaking 2-1 decision to Central Michigan in their tournament opener Wednesday night at Firestone Stadium.
BG, the No. 3 seed, has to win six games in the next three days to win the tournament. BOX SCORE
The Falcons, 35-21 overall, will play just once Thursday, that coming at 1:30 p.m. against arch-rival Toledo (18-37) in an elimination game. The eighth-seeded Rockets were 8-0 losers to No. 5 Western Michigan Wednesday morning.
The win over BG was the second of the day for sixth-seeded Central, which posted a 2-1 win over No. 7 Kent State in an afternoon game.
Against Central (28-25), the Falcons left eight runners on base and Central scored in the top of the sixth to break a 1-1 tie.
The teams traded fourth-inning runs.
BG had five hits, four singles and a double. Hannah Fulk singled twice for the Falcons, while Paige Berger doubled.
“We played a solid game, but we just couldn’t get that one hit we needed to break the game open,” BG coach Shannon Salsburg said.
After Central opened the scoring in the top of the fourth with two out on Brogan Darwin’s single up the middle and CarolAnn Sexauer’s double to center field, BG tied the game in the bottom of the inning.
The Falcons loaded the bases on Berger’s double to left center, Andrea Arney’s walk and Katie Yoho’s single through the left side.
Arney and Yoho moved into scoring position on the play, but BG failed to score again.
Central scored the winning run in the sixth when Molly Coldren reached on an infield single to short, took second on Ashley Gilson’s sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Darwin’s suicide squeeze bunt.
BG had three other scoring chances. The Falcons had a runner at second with one out in the first and third innings, and its first two batters walked in the sixth.
“The runners we left on base were the difference in the game,” Salsburg said. “When we get runners on base, we have to figure out a way to push through and get those runs home.”
BG pitchers Jamie Kertes and Paris Imholz combined on a five-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Kertes started and went five innings, leaving after Coldren’s infield single. She struck out six and walked one.
Imholz allowed just one hit with a strikeout in two innings.
“Our pitching was solid,” said Salsburg, whose team played errorless defense.
Three Central pitchers combined to hold BG to its five hits.
Kara Dornbos, who pitched a complete-game six-hitter against Kent, pitched the final two innings against BG to earn a save.
Kristen Kuhlman was the winning pitcher, holding BG scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings. She allowed two hits and two walks, while striking out two.
If BG beats Toledo, it would have to win twice Friday and three times Saturday to advance to win the tournament and earn its first NCAA tournament berth since 2004.
“It is a long road back, but these kids have done it a lot on their summer teams,” Salsburg said. “We’ll come to the ballpark tomorrow and take it pitch by pitch, swing by swing, and focus on the process as we’ve done all season.
“We’ll just try to play our game. Our kids believe we can come back through.”
|Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2012 08:48|
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