The Rocket softball team opened MAC play on Saturday, March 24th and Sunday, March 25th with a convincing three-game sweep over the Akron Zips.
In the first game of the series, the Rockets would light up Akron for 13 runs and win 13-5. Akron started the game hot as they scored three runs in the second inning, jumping out in front of the Rockets, 3-1.
The Rockets changed the course of the game in the fifth inning, scoring four runs to Akron’s zero, giving the advantage back to Toledo 5-3. The flood gates opened in the seventh inning, when the Rockets scored seven runs to increase their lead to 12-3, all but ending the contest.
The scoring in the first match was done by a plethora of batters for the Rockets. Third-years Kaitlyn Bergman and Katie Cozy recorded three hits apiece, and six combined RBIs. Fourth-year Ashley Rausch also added to the winning cause by scoring two runs.
Third-year pitcher Heather Webb weathered the early storm and notched her ninth win on the season, striking out five batters in six innings of work. All in all, it was a total team effort that aided the Rockets to a 13-5 win.
In the second game at Lee R. Jackson field in Akron, Ohio, the Rockets did not appear to be slowing down.
The Rockets started fast, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. Bergman helped with that, by blasting a three-run home run to right field. The onslaught continued throughout, as the score reached 9-1 by the end of the third inning.
After the tone of the game was set prior to the fourth inning, third-year pitcher Kailey Minarchick continued to dominate on the defensive end. Minarchick struck out three batters and only allowed one hit, for her seventh win of the season. The Rockets went on to win 15-1.
The third and final game of the series showed the dominance of the Rockets on the defensive end rather than an offensive explosion.
The combination of Minarchick, Webb and second-year pitcher Leah Allison proved advantageous for the Rockets as the three only allowed one run. Minarchick was granted the victory, her eighth of the season.
First-year center Bailey Curry hit her team-leading eighth home run, in a modest offensive affair for the Rockets. The final was 6-1 Rockets, giving them the sweep for the weekend.
“It's huge to get off to a good start in conference. We have a goal in MAC play that we want to reach and having these three wins will help towards reaching that goal,” said Kristen Butler, head coach, after the series. She thought the offense performed well over the weekend as well, evident by the large amounts of runs tallied by the Rockets.
After winning their first three MAC games on the year, the Rockets sit at 17-12 on the season. The Rockets’ next MAC series takes place at Kent State on March 30th and 31st.