Broncos Repay Eastern Michigan

The Western Michigan University softball team (7-10, 2-1 MAC), which yesterday dropped a 1-0 decision to Eastern Michigan (6-12, 1-2 MAC) in the Mid-American Conference opener, posted a 1-0 victory of its own Sunday afternoon. Behind another strong pitching performance from junior Wendy Cannon, the Broncos were able to take 2-of-3 games in the weekend series.

WMU claimed a 7-1 win Saturday afternoon in the second game of a doubleheader with the Eagles.

"This was a big step for us," head coach Kathy Leitke said. "Our defense really stepped up throughout the game and gave our offense a chance to win."

The defense stepped up in the EMU portion of the second inning after an error allowed the leadoff hitter to reach first base. With runners on second and third after a double steal, Cannon gunned Christie Koester out at home after a ground ball and struck out Natalie Hales to end the
threat.

Eastern Michigan didn't advance a runner past second base from the third inning on.

The Broncos had several opportunities throughout the game to plate at least one run and ended up stranding 11 runners on the afternoon. WMU's first real scoring opportunity came in the fourth. A double down the rightfield line by senior Holly Seales put runners on second and third with no outs. A pair of groundouts and a strikeout after an intentional walk kept the squad from collecting its first run of the afternoon.

In the seventh, the Broncos had runners at the corners with two outs after senior Andrea Kellicut beat out a grounder to the shortstop and junior Angie Fiero was able to advance to third. Outfielder Heather Frederick struck out to end the frame and the game headed to extra innings.

Eastern Michigan was retired in order in the eighth, but not before some heroics by Frederick. Leadoff batter Jilian Raines lined a rope to rightfield and Frederick charged to make a diving catch just before the ball hit the ground.

A pair of Eagle errors set up WMU's winning run in the eighth. After Marie McCarthy had reach on an error, pinch runner Jessica Gibson was called safe at second after second baseman Deanna Wisnieski failed to touch second base on a fielder's choice ground ball by Cannon. With two outs, freshman pitcher Julie Brewster, who was pinch hitting, stroked a single to centerfield and Gibson easily beat the throw home for the winning run.

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