The Eastern Michigan University softball team opened the home portion of its season on Wednesday with an afternoon doubleheader against the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies. The Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the bottom of the sixth to defeat the Golden Grizzlies by a score of 6-5.
Senior pitcher Jenna Ignowski (W, 5-3) (see profile on page 3) got the start for the Eagles (9-12). She pitched a complete game, allowing five runs (three earned) on three hits, while walking five and striking out five.
Erin Kownacki (L, 3-4) threw a complete game of her own for the Golden Grizzlies (3-8, 0-2 Summit Conference). She allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits while striking out four and walking two.
Oakland got things started in the top of the second when the wheels seemed to come off the bus for Eastern.
OU’s Sarah Hartley laid down a sacrifice bunt, but reached base on a throwing error by EMU catcher Courtney Loe, allowing Shannon Cleveland to score. After which Alivia Nikolaus singled, but advanced to third base after the throw from the outfield was misplayed by Ignowski, scoring three more runs.
Hartley added another run for Oakland with a home run in the top of the fourth inning which barely cleared the fence in center field.
Down 5-0, things looked bleak for the Eagles.
But senior third baseman Nellie Coquillard had other plans.
In the bottom of the fifth, Coquillard launched her fourth homer of the year over the center field fence, this one a three-run shot cutting the Eagle deficit to 5-3.
The Eagles weren’t done yet.
One inning later, sophomore first baseman Amanda Herron hit an RBI single to left field, scoring senior shortstop Katy Blaharski (see profile on page 3). Two batters later, junior second baseman Amanda Stanton singled up the middle, scoring senior right fielder Courtney Nicholson and pinch runner Elaine Whitbeck.
In game two, the Eagles and the Golden Grizzlies were tied 4-4 after seven innings, but darkness prevented the teams from playing extra innings.
Sophomore Lindsay Rich (ND) got the start for EMU (9-12-1) and pitched 4-1/3 innings. She gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits, while striking out one and issuing one walk.
Junior Lauren Wells went the rest of the way, surrendering zero runs in 2-2/3 innings, while scattering five hits, striking out four and walking one.
Laura Pond (ND) went the distance for OU. She gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits while striking out six and walking three.
Nicholson started the scoring in the home half of the first when she drove in Blaharski on an infield single.
Oakland answered in the top of the third with two batters on base after a sacrifice fly from Cleveland, scoring Jackie Kinsman. One batter later, the Golden Grizzlies scored on a double steal, with Erika Polidori stealing second and Erin Galloway stealing home.
Freshman left fielder Abby Davidson tied the game for the Eagles in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single scoring Coquillard.
The Golden Grizzlies scored two more in the top of the fifth before Nicholson made the score 4-4 on a two-run homer to right field, her first of the season.
The Eagles next face the Central Michigan University Chippewas for two games starting Friday. Friday and Saturday’s games are at Varsity Field and first pitch for both is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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