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Red and White lose three of four to Western Michigan and Northern Illinois

By Jordan Rinard
On April 14, 2014

The Miami University softball team lost some steam this weekend after falling 9-4 and 4-0 to Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan University and lost to Northern Illinois University 6-1, but ended on a strong note as it dispatched the Huskies 8-5 in eight innings. The RedHawks (17-20, 5-5 MAC) now have some ground to make up in the MAC East Division standings as they are in fifth place.

"We're disappointed with what happened this weekend, but there are things we can learn from this," head coach Clarisa Crowell said. "It's been a long two days, but we played great in the last game, coming back and having what it takes. It was a great team win. We're feeling good about ourselves. Everybody contributed, which was good to see. It would have been easy for us to lay down.  Now, we'll look forward to this weekend and getting 1 percent better."

In the first game against Western Michigan (13-25, 4-5 MAC), the Broncos got a grand slam in the second and never looked back en route to a 9-4 win. Miami tried to battle back as junior shortstop Kylie McChesney scored on an error in the third and senior second baseman Kristy Arbour, senior catcher Kayla Ledbetter and junior outfielder Bree Lipscomb had RBIs in the sixth. The second game was dominated by pitching until the fifth inning, where WMU reeled off four runs on its way to sweeping the 'Hawks.

The Red and White struck first in the opening game against Northern Illinois (17-20, 5-5 MAC) with a RBI from Arbour in the top of the third before the Huskies took the lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-run home run. NIU tacked on another four runs in the fifth. The RedHawks' offense put up a meager four hits in the game and the pitching staff allowed five earned runs on nine hits. McChesney went 2 for 3 with a run scored while Lipscomb and sophomore designated player Hailey Reed accounted for the other hits for the team.

The 'Hawks drew first blood in the second game when junior third baseman Remy Edwards stole home in the second inning. The RedHawks extended their lead in the fifth with a RBI-double from Lipscomb and a two-run homer from sophomore designated hitter Jenna Modic. Northern Illinois responded in the bottom of the inning with three runs of its own to narrow the lead down to one run and took the lead with two runs in the sixth.

Edwards knotted things up in the seventh by reaching on an error and senior first baseman Allie Larrabee put the RedHawks back in front with a two-RBI double in the eighth. Modic added on to the lead in the inning with an RBI-double of her own and closed the game out on the mound without allowing a hit in the final frame.

"It was a tough weekend, but we ended it how we wanted it to," McChesney said. "Some things that we need to work on for next weekend would be our pitching and being more consistent on offense. We can get hits but we need to be able to string them together. It was great to pull out the win, and we're excited for this weekend against Ohio and Akron. The rivalry [against the Bobcats] always makes it fun."

Miami was supposed to take on Butler University in a doubleheader Tuesday, but the game was postponed until April 29. The 'Hawks return to action for games against Ohio University Friday and Akron Saturday and Sunday in Oxford.

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