April 16, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The WMU softball team (8-21, 3-4 MAC) earned a pair of dramatic Mid-American Conference victories over rival Eastern Michigan (16-16, 3-4 MAC) Saturday afternoon at Ebert Field, claiming both wins in the team's final turn at the plate.
Junior Nicole Drabecki's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning of game one secured a 6-5 Bronco win and classmate Alison Honaman's RBI base hit in the seventh frame of game two notched a 3-2 WMU league win. Western Michigan came from behind in both matchups.
After surrendering five Eagle runs in the top of the fourth inning, the Broncos began to chip away at the lead by scoring a single run in each of the team's next two at-bats. Trailing 5-2 as the squad came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, WMU plated three runs in the frame to tie the contest at 5-5.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Reagan Harris was forced out at home on a fielder's choice. Freshman shortstop Angie Fiero drove in a run with a walk and Drabecki followed with an RBI single. The Broncos wrapped up the inning's scoring on a sacrifice fly by Honaman, the designated player.
Neither team managed a run in the seventh and the game went to extra innings. WMU reliever set EMU down in order in their half of the eighth, setting up Drabecki's heroics. With two outs, Fiero stole second base after reaching on a fielder's choice. Drabecki followed with base knock up the middle and Fiero managed to beat the throw home, which was slightly up the third base line, giving WMU a 6-5 win.
Drabecki, Fiero and Melissa Martens all collected two hits in the game, helping to pace the team's 11-hit attack. Kern collected her second win of the season with five innings of work.
Game two of the doubleheader started similar to the first, with EMU claiming an early lead. Eastern Michigan collected both of its runs with two outs to jump out to a 2-0 margin.
Again, the Broncos responded both offensively and defensively, coming back to score three unanswered runs and allowing just two more Eagle hits. In the bottom of the fifth Drabecki again found herself with an RBI opportunity. For the second time she came through, driving in a pair of runs with a bases-loaded single and two outs to tie the score at 2-2.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when the Broncos would again end up walk-off winners. Leadoff hitter Jen Myslinski, who finished the game with three hits, opened the inning with a single. Myslinski eventually ended up at third after a sac bunt by Drabecki. Honaman, looking for her third win of the season on the mound, took care of things herself by hitting a rope to deep centerfield and securing the 3-2 decision. The Merrill, Mich., native battled EMU hurler Marla Otterbacher, fouling off several pitches, before ending the game.
Western Michigan returns to action on Tuesday with league action against Northern Illinois at 2 p.m. at Ebert Field.
Media contact: Scott Kuykendall; 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org
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