The start of WMU’s long road trip started in Ohio for both teams as the Broncos faced off in a doubleheader against the Akron Zips on Friday and another doubleheader with the Ohio
Bobcats on Sunday. WMU took care of Akron on Friday with a sweep in the doubleheader and split the series against the Bobcats on Sunday.
In the first game of Friday’s double-header against Akron, WMU beat out the Zips, 3-2. WMU senior pitcher Meredith Whitney clinched her 72nd complete game of her career, and striking out eight as well.
The Broncos jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first inning, which was a common theme throughout the whole weekend.
Akron did manage to come back, but WMU scored on a ground ball out to first that brought in pinch runner Bri Russell from third to give the Broncos the lead for good.
The second game was close all the way through, but the Broncos were able to pull off a victory in extra innings against the Zips, 5-3.
Once again, the Broncos were early inning scoring as they scored three run in the top of the first inning.
The early hitting was thanks to WMU third baseman Gracie Barstad who went 3-for-5 on the day. WMU freshman pitcher Becca Shemberger went 5.1 innings allowing just five hits, three runs and striking out a career best eight.
With the sweep over Akron, WMU head coach Kathy Leitke surpassed 150 MAC wins in her career with the Broncos.
Game one of Sunday’s double-header against Ohio, was a rematch of last year’s MAC tournament championship series.
Both teams played tough until the top of the sixth when WMU scored four runs and added another run in the top of the seventh to beat the Bobcats, 5-0.
WMU designated hitter Elisha Handshoe had a two-run home run to start off the inning and her fellow teammate Courtney Rousseau also blasted a home run to give the Broncos the four run lead. WMU pitcher Meredith Whitney threw yet again a complete game allowing no runs, on two hits and striking out 11.
Whitney improves her record on the season to 15-9.
The Broncos in game two couldn’t get the bats going as they were kept scoreless in a 4-0 loss.
The Bobcats scored four runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth inning that sealed the game.
WMU pitcher Becca Shemberger went four innings allowing three hits but giving up those four runs. The lone highlight was the five strikeouts that Shemberger had.
WMU is now 22-18 and 8-6 in the MAC.
The Broncos head back on the road for a Friday April, 27 doubleheader against Toledo and a Saturday, Sunday series against Bowling Green.
The Broncos are second in the MAC West with just nine games remaining.
There’s no doubt that the Broncos can make another run at the MAC championship title, but there chances seem to solely depend on the arm and hitting of Meredith Whitney.
If WMU freshman pitcher Becca Shemberger can cut down on the walks, then the Broncos can once again be named MAC champions.