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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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Softball looks to stop losing streak at Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan

Senior Paige Berger will look to extend her hitting streak to 14 games as her and the Falcon softball team will travel for a doubleheader against Central Michigan and a weekend series with Eastern Michigan.

Coming off a 1-3 weekend, the Falcons stayed in third place in the MAC East standings. BG, 21-15 (5-7), is behind Kent State and Miami, who both have 9-3 MAC records, despite the Falcons having the best overall winning percentage in the division.

“I still think we haven’t peaked offensively, which I really think is a positive,” coach Shannon Salsburg said. “Last year I thought we started to peak real early in MAC, and I think we are saving it for when it matters the most.”

This past season, Central Michigan had BG’s number as the Chippewas knocked the Falcons out of the MAC tournament in the first game. The Falcons were 1-2 against Central Michigan this past season.

Central Michigan is 22-12 (8-2) and is lead offensively by Macy Merchant, who is batting .412. CarolAnn Sexauer and Cory DeLamielleure lead the Chippewas with six home runs apiece.

BG’s Katie Yoho has also hit six homers this season and leads the Falcons in that area. Berger, against conference opponents, is batting .421 and .376 overall.

The Chippewas bring four pitchers to the mound but Kara Dornbos and Chelsea Sundberg lead the way. Dornbos is 8-7 with an ERA of 2.03 while Sundberg is 7-3 with an ERA of 2.79.

In 11 conference games, BG pitcher Jamie Kertes (8-9) is posting a .85 ERA while striking out 40 batters and walking five. Pitcher Paris Imholz (13-5) was named the MAC East Player of the Week three consecutive times this season, has struck out 21 MAC batters and hasn’t given up a single walk.

“Jamie and Paris are both fantastic pitchers and we use them in tandem,” Salsburg said. “They do an outstanding job of keeping us in games.”

Saturday and Sunday the Falcons will face an Eastern Michigan team that has been struggling all season. EMU sits at the bottom of the MAC with a 11-26 (1-9) record.

In 2012, the Falcons swept the Eagles in two games, 6-1 and 7-1.

The Eagles are led by Amanda Herron, who is batting .343. Nellie Coquillard is leading the team with 23 RBIs and seven homers.

EMU has three pitchers who all share the rotation. Lindsay Rich is 5-5 with a 6.07 ERA, Jenna Ignowski is 6-6 with a 6.92 ERA and Lauren Wells is 0-15 with a 7.65 ERA.

“I think we’re in a great spot,” Salsburg said. “I think our schedule sets up that we have complete control over what our [MAC] seed is going to be.”

The Falcons defense was the main detriment to the teams’ results this past weekend, despite their offense getting on base.

“I really believe that this little bit of a down that we’ve had is our adversity, our challenge to overcome and rise up and make one heck of a run for the MAC title,” Salsburg said.

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