TOLEDO, Ohio – The Miami University softball team had a successful start to Mid-American Conference play with a doubleheader sweep of Toledo on Friday. The RedHawks took the first game, 7-5, and then won a wild nightcap, 11-10. Miami improves to 6-18 on the season and 2-0 in the MAC. The Rockets fall to 5-17 overall and 0-2 in the MAC.
Junior catcher Kayla Ledbetter had a career day for the RedHawks. In her nine plate appearances during the two games, she went 7-for-7 with six RBI and six runs scored. She also drew a walk and was hit by a pitch. Among her seven hits were two doubles, one triple and two home runs, giving her a slugging percentage of 2.429 on the day.
In the opener, Miami struck first with three runs in the top of the first inning. Taylor Shuey led off the frame with a single to center field. Tiyona Marshall bunted herself on. Ledbetter walked to load the bases with no one out. An Allie Larrabee single brought home Shuey and put the ‘Hawks on the board. After Toledo retired Marshall at home, an error allowed Ledbetter to score. Kylie McChesney followed with a walk, forcing home Larrabee and making it 3-0.
The Rockets got one back in the bottom half of the inning off starter Paige Myers. Miami answered by scoring three more in the top of the second. With one out, Marshall singled to center field. Ledbetter then hit a shot over the left field wall to make it 5-1 and chase the Toledo pitcher Alli Beery out of the game. Two batters later, Shanyn McIntyre made it 6-1 with her own shot over the left field wall, this time off the Rockets’ reliever, Marla Gooding.
Toledo hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the second inning to cut the deficit to one at 6-5. Megan Mattera came in to relieve Myers and shut the Rockets out the rest of the way. She allowed only four hits in 5.1 innings and struck out a career-high six.
Miami recorded one more insurance run in the top of the fourth when Shuey led off with a double and scored on an error off of a Marshall groundball.
Ledbetter finished 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored in the opener. Shuey was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Marshall was 2-for-4 with one run scored.
Ledbetter’s second home run of the day gave the RedHawks a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap. Miami made it 4-0 with two more runs in the top of the third. Ledbetter led off with a double down the right field line. McIntyre singled to right field to bring her home. Larrabee followed with a double to right center to score McIntyre.
Jenna Modic started game two and kept the Rockets off the board until they scored three in the bottom of the third to pull within one. Mattera came in to relieve her, but Toledo scored another run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 4-4.
The RedHawks broke the deadlock with two runs in the top of the fifth. Ledbetter was hit by a pitch to lead things off. McIntyre sacrificed bunted her over to second. Larrabee singled to shortstop, but Ledbetter was unable to advance. That did not matter as Hailey Reed followed with a double that allowed both runs to score.
In front 6-5 in the top of the sixth, Miami added four more runs. With Shuey on third base, Ledbetter doubled to score her. One batter later and with two outs, Larrabee singled to center field to move Ledbetter to third. A single by Reed brought Ledbetter home and made it 8-5. After each runner advanced on a wild pitch, McChesney doubled to deep left center to bring home two more runs.
In the top of the seventh, Ledbetter got her sixth RBI of the day when she singled to right center to score Marshall and make it an 11-5 advantage.
The RedHawks ended up needing every run they had scored. Toledo erupted for five runs on six hits and was assisted by a passed ball and an error in the bottom of the seventh inning. However Mattera bore down and recorded the final out, stranding the tying run on second base to earn her second win of the day.
Ledbetter finished the nightcap 4-for-4 with four RBI and four runs scored. Reed was 3-for-4 with three RBI and one run scored. McChesney was 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Shuey was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
Miami next heads to Bowling Green for a weekend series. Due to expected poor weather on Sunday, the teams will now play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m.