BY MIKE URSERY
The Central Methodist softball Eagles (20-14-1, 11-7 HAAC) had lost six straight games over a span of four days.
The Eagles were swept by conference foes MidAmerica Nazarene and Clarke, along with losing a pair of games in a non-conference matchup against Park University.
The Eagles snapped their losing streak in a loud way on April 15, sweeping the Mount Mercy Mustangs (6-32, 5-21 HAAC).
CMU shut out Mount Mercy in a 3-0 win in Game 1, then followed with a 13-5 victory in Game 2.
“A lot of these girls hasven’t been through losing six games, let alone three or four, in a row,” head coach Pat Reardon said.
CMU junior pitcher Erin Enke made the start in the circle in Game 1, throwing seven shutout innings to record a complete game.
Enke allowed seven hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.
“In the first game, we had a great pitching performance from Erin,” Reardon said.
Enke was in a jam in the top of the second inning. She gave up a pair of singles in the inning, and Mount Mercy had runners at second and third base with one out.
Enke got the next two hitters to strike out swinging to get out of the inning.
Sophomore third baseman Bailey Fidler hit an RBI-single with two outs in the bottom of the second inning to put CMU on the board.
She hit a line drive to centerfield. Moun Mercy centerfielder Maddie Flemr got her glove on the ball, but couldn’t secure it. CMU sophomore outfielder Skyler Hime was able to score from first base. Fidler advanced to second base on the throw home.
Enke found herself in another jam in the top of the third inning. She gave up a walk and a single to put two runners aboard with two outs.
Then, Enke got Mount Mercy leftfielder Mallory Madsen to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
CMU scored two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. With a runner on first, sophomore outfielder Addyson Reardon hit an opposite-field home run to make the score 3-0. It was the first of three home runs by the Eagles on the day. It also is Reardon’s first of the season.
“It was good to finally hit some home runs,” Reardon said. “In the first game, it was big. That gave us two runs and gave us the cushion we needed with Erin pitching.”
After the third inning, Enke retired eight of the next nine hitters she faced.
She was in another jam in the top of the seventh inning.
After retiring the first two hitters., Enke gave up back-to-back singles, and Mount Mercy was able to put a runner in scoring position.
Enke got the next batter to strike out looking to end the threat, and the game.
Enke improved to 8-6 on the season. Her strikeouts against Mount Mercy brings her season strikeout total to 105.
CMU senior Alexis Korhs made the start in Game 2.
She pitched five innings, and had plenty of run support to get the win, as CMU rolled to a 13-5 victory.
Kohrs allowed five runs on five hits and five walks. She had one strikeout.
The Eagles’ offense stormed out the gate from the beginning in the second game.
CMU went through the first six hitters in the lineup without recording an out.
Sophomore second baseman Sydnie Harmon led off with a single. Freshman shortstop Hannah Steeby followed with a walk, and Reardon singled to load the bases.
Senior outfielder Alyssa Lilly hit an RBI-double to left-center to drive in two runs. Reardon stopped at third base.
Freshman catcher Jordan Jenkins was up after Lilly, and hit her first home run of the season to make the score 5-0.
Mount Mercy cut into the lead in the top of the second inning when Flemr hit a two-run home run.
Steeby got one of those runs back for CMU when she hit a solo shot over the fence in right field for her fourth home run of the year. The score was 6-3 after four innings.
Kohrs gave up three singles and two walks in the top of the fifth inning, which led to three Mustang runs.
Third baseman Payton Bruner singled in a runner from third. Dual purpose player Peyton Baskerville followed with an RBI-single to left field to make the score 6-4.
Later in the inning, Bruner scored on a wild pitch to make it a 6-5 game.
CMU responded with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Senior Kylee Foster hit an RBI-single to score junior Alyson Fuemmler from second base.
Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Steeby hit an RBI-double that drove home two more runs, making the score 9-5.
Reardon followed, and drew a walk to load the bases again. Lilly hit a ball deep to left field for a double, driving in two more RBIs to make it an 11-6 game.
Freshman Mae Mitchell drove in the last two runs of the game with an RBI-double, making the score 13-5. The game was called due to the run rule.
“This is one of the closest groups I’ve had,” Reardon said about how his team played. “They support each other. They are a loose group. That’s one of the things I’ve learned over the years in coaching, that sometimes girls are different. Sometimes laughing and giggling doesn’t always mean ‘Hey, I don’t care.’ It’s their way to vent through things.”
CMU played two doubleheaders over in two days following the doubleheader against Mount Mercy.
CMU plays their third straight road doubleheader on April 19 against Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, on April 19.
The Eagles return home to host Evangel on April 22. The first game of that doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.