Softball sweeps Central Michigan, ends final home stand with power

The Akron Zips women’s softball team (20-20, 4-9) won two out of three games at Lee Jackson Field this past weekend.  Akron fell to Eastern Michigan (22-12, 8-6) 6-4 on Friday, while sweeping Central Michigan (24-17, 9-7) in a doubleheader 11-8 and 8-7 on Saturday.

I’m really proud of our kids, because a lot of teams could have thrown in the towel by now, Head Coach Julie Jones said following Akron’s final home stand. We have stuck together and on to the MAC tournament we need to march forward.


The Akron Zips women’s softball team (20-20, 4-9) won two out of three games at Lee Jackson Field this past weekend.  Akron fell to Eastern Michigan (22-12, 8-6) 6-4 on Friday, while sweeping Central Michigan (24-17, 9-7) in a doubleheader 11-8 and 8-7 on Saturday.

I’m really proud of our kids, because a lot of teams could have thrown in the towel by now, Head Coach Julie Jones said following Akron’s final home stand. We have stuck together and on to the MAC tournament we need to march forward.

On a rainy day in Akron on Friday, the Zips spotted the Eagles a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.  However, the Zips fought back to take the lead in the same inning. 

Heather Bauer and Sarah Earley smacked back-to-back singles to start the rally.  Allison Dorr then advanced the runners to second and third on a sacrifice groundout.  Sarah Stromack followed with a blast to left-center field that got down for a double and brought both runners home.  Two batters later, Alex Feltes planted the ball over the left field fence to give Akron the edge at 4-3.

The Zips’ lead didn’t last long as Eastern Michigan took advantage of the elements with a three-run inning.  The Eagles scored three runs on just two hits as passed balls, wild pitches, walks and more aided EMU.  The Zips failed to rally again and the Eagles won 6-4. 

Game two of the Friday’s doubleheader was cancelled because of the weather, and the Central Michigan two-day series was turned into a Saturday doubleheader. 

Although Central Michigan crushed four home runs and put up eight runs, Akron came out on top in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.  A two-run single by Bauer in the first inning gave the Zips an early 2-0 lead, but CMU matched their score in the top of the second inning.  The Zips took the lead again in the third inning when Olivia Hegedus crushed her 13th home run of the year to left field that scored two runs.

The Chippewas brought six unanswered runs to the plate to take an 8-4 lead in the fifth.  Akron chopped the lead in half when Katie Gross hit a two-run shot to right-center field. 

Gross again came up big in the sixth inning, tripling in two runs to tie the game at eight.  The Zips were anything but finished, as their five-run sixth inning continued with a two-run double by Alissa Birkhimer.  Birkhimer was then singled home by Bauer to put Akron up 11-8 and Alex Riedeman shut down CMU in the seventh to seal the Akron victory.

The Zips were helped by the long ball again in game two as Bauer, Feltes and Birkhimer all went yard to give Akron a 4-0 cushion just three innings in.  The Chippewas re-tied the game in the top of the sixth with a four-run inning, but the Zips duplicated that feat in the bottom of the frame.  Bauer unloaded on an RBI double to right-center. Stromack then brought her home with a single, and the pinch-hitting Dorr cracked a two-run single to bust open an 8-4 Akron lead.

Early in the season we hit a lot of home runs and we’ve been a little dry at that lately and it was nice to see that back, Jones said after a windy day where the two teams combined for eleven homers.

The Chippewas did not leave Akron quietly, as they put up three runs in the top of the seventh.  However, the Zips got the final out and survived with an 8-7 win on Strike Out Cancer Day.

I am a breast cancer survivor, so we look at it as a thankful day and we are also so thankful that Olivia Ward was with our team, Jones said. We played for Olivia today and we honored her well.

The Zips will be on the road for the remainder of the season, beginning with a doubleheader versus Dayton today at 3 and 5 p.m.


” #1.2207834:886589393.jpg:Heather Bauer:Heather Bauer led the Zips offensively, going 5-for-5 on the day with five RBIs and a home run. Bauer also pitched both games for Akron, picking up the win in both and improving her record to 7-8 on the season:Ernie Aranyosi”