OXFORD — In a dominant offensive performance, Miami University’s softball team topped Western Michigan, 11-3, in five innings to claim its 11th-consecutive victory and secure a series sweep to open Mid-American Conference play.
The RedHawks (17-11) tallied a season-high 15 hits, led by senior left fielder Jenna Jones’s 3-for-3 performance. In the game, Jones homered and amassed a team season-high five RBIs. Junior third baseman Kat Lee completed a terrific weekend with a 2-for-2 outing, while junior designated player Megan Wurts went 3-for-3 with the game-clinching run.
The Broncos (12-14) struck early, using a RBI double to left to score its first run in the top of the first. Miami countered in the bottom of the second, placing two on with one out when Jones went long to left for her first home run of the season, making it 3-1. The Red and White proceeded to load the bases, but a ground-out ended the frame without further scoring.
WMU struck back in the third as senior third baseman Kelsea Cichocki crushed a two-out pitch to center, knotting the contest at 3. After Lee was struck by a pitch with two out in the bottom half, Jones singled to left and brought Lee in to regain the lead. In the next at-bat, senior second baseman Eryn McCarver alertly reached home on a WMU passed ball, extending the advantage to 5-3.
In the bottom of the fourth, Miami sent ten batters to the plate in a frame that would seal its victory. After Schlattman reached on a leadoff throwing error and two more RedHawks singled, a double to left-center by sophomore first baseman Johniann Wahl broke the game open at 7-3. Lee and McCarver followed that up with a pair of RBIs before Jones completed her fantastic day with another RBI single, leaving the game at 10-3.
WMU threatened in the top of the fifth with runners at first and second, but sophomore starter Shannon Hohman induced a ground-out to seal their chance. In the bottom of the fifth, Wurts and junior center fielder Kaitlyn Gliha quickly reached, with Wurts ending the game by beating the throw home on a fielder’s choice.
Hohman improved to 6-3 as she picked up her third win of an impressive week that included two shutouts and a save.
Conference play continues next weekend as the RedHawks make the short trip to Muncie, Ind. to face Ball State in a three-game set. The RedHawks and Cardinals will face off on Friday, March 31 at 3 p.m., before a doubleheader on Saturday, April 1.