'Hawks snap skid with win over Butler
The Miami University softball team earned its first win since April 19 Tuesday with a 4-1 victory over Butler University. The team (19-25, 6-10 MAC) put together a performance in which it dominated in all three phases. The RedHawks scored four runs off nine hits, allowed one earned run on four hits and committed no defensive errors.
"It was a good game for us," head coach Clarisa Crowell said. "Everything came together for us. We had good pitching with [senior pitcher] Paige Myers and [sophomore pitcher] Jenna Modic we had good at-bats and strung together some hits, and we played great defense. We played with a lot of energy, and we'll try to ride this momentum into the weekend."
Miami drew first blood against the Bulldogs (23-26, 9-8 Big East) in the top of the third, as Modic drew a walk with the bases loaded and senior first baseman Allie Larrabee connected on a RBI single. The Bulldogs got a runner in in the bottom of the fourth before the 'Hawks rounded out the scoring in the sixth with RBIs from sophomore infielder Hailey Reed and junior outfielder Shanyn McIntyre. Larrabee went 3 for 3 on the day and Modic did great work in relief, as she held Butler hitless in the final three innings.
"It's nice to have a game like this after having a rough weekend," Modic said, alluding to the shellacking the team took at the hands of Ball State University Saturday and Sunday "This will be a huge weekend for us and this game will help us. We need to stay together, play with energy and be relaxed, don't think too much, and just go out there."
The RedHawks now direct their attention to their home doubleheader Friday against Eastern Michigan University (12-32, 3-13 MAC), which has lost 18 of its last 21 games. Very few things have gone right for the Eagles this season as they have the lowest batting average in the MAC at .223, while also having the highest ERA in the conference at 5.10. Not coincidentally, the Eagles have the worst record in the conference. EMU's lone bright spot this season is sophomore infielder Abby Davidson, who leads the team with a .292 hitting percentage, 19 runs scored and 35 hits.
Miami then hosts Central Michigan University (31-17, 9-7 MAC) Saturday and Sunday. CMU is in second place in the West Division and will come into Oxford after taking on first-place Ball State. The Chippewas have been excellent on defense all season long, boasting the third-best ERA in the conference at 2.84, as well as the second-best fielding percentage at .967. The Chips are led on the mound by freshman pitcher Rachael Knapp and senior pitcher Morgan Yunker, who have two of the top five ERAs in the MAC at 2.04 and 2.37, respectively.
"We're looking to get some wins this weekend," Crowell said. "We need to come in and play with energy and focus. You have to give credit to the girls because it's hard to be confident when you're losing and they did a good job of fighting through it. We're looking to get back on track and we're going to need all three phases again."
The 'Hawks take on the Eagles in a doubleheader starting 1 p.m. Friday and square off against the Chippewas 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. The game Sunday will be prefaced by senior day ceremonies to acknowledge the careers of Larrabee and Myers plus seniors second baseman Kristy Arbour, outfielder Brandi Hernandez and catcher Kayla Ledbetter.
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