AKRON, Ohio– The seventh-seeded Akron softball team upset the sixth-seeded Miami, 10-2 in five innings, in the second round of the 2017 Mid-American Conference Championship on late Thursday night at Firestone Stadium.
The Zips (27-29 overall) will now face No. 8 seed Western Michigan on Friday, May 11, at 1 p.m. in the third round of the MAC's double elimination tournament.
Akron started the first inning getting on the board from a solo home run from senior OF Savannah Fruin (Delray Beach, Fla.).
The RedHawks, who finished the season at 29-24 overall, had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the first inning with runners on first and third, but were stopped by the Zips defense on a double play to end the inning.
The Zips added three runs in the top of the second inning. With bases loaded, junior OF Taylor Kirian (New Riegel, Ohio) was hit by a pitch that drove in a run. With two outs Fruin hit a two-RBI single that scored junior SS Jenna Jones (Fulton, Ill.) and junior OF Ashley Sims (Brooksville, Fla.) that gave UA a 4-0 lead.
Miami cut Akron's lead in half in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run homer from Michaela Schlattman.
Akron added two-more runs in the fourth inning when Fruin hit a two-run homer that put the Zips up 6-2. This was Fruin's second home run in the game, and also her 34th career home run. She's also the third Zip to hit multiple home runs in a single game this season.
In the top of the fifth inning Akron scored four runs. Pinch hitter Cassie Gillespie (Sylvania, Ohio) drew a walk with bases loaded brining in a run. A two RBI single from Sims put UA ahead 9-2. Akron went ahead 10-2 when pinch runner Kayla Schlosser (Erie, Pa.) scored on a throwing error by the catcher.
Freshman Lexie Handley (20-16 overall), the 2017 MAC Freshman of the Year, pitched a complete game. She struck out six batters and walked four.
Overall the Zips out hit the RedHawks, 6-2. Miami committed two errors.
2017 Mid-American Conference Championship Bracket & Results
Firestone Stadium • Akron, Ohio
Wednesday, May 13
Game 1: #4 Kent State 4, #5 Ball State 1
Game 2: #8 Western Michigan 3, #1 Central Michigan 1
Game 3: #2 Ohio 2, #7 AKRON 0
Game 4: #3 Northern Illinois 5, #6 Miami 4
Thursday, May 11
Game 5: #1 Central Michigan, #5 Ball State 0
Game 6: #4 Kent State 9, #8 Western Michigan 3
Game 7: #2 Ohio 1, #3 Northern Illinois 0
Game 8: #7 AKRON 10, #6 Miami 2 (5 inn.)
Friday, May 12
Game 9: #1 Central Michigan vs. #3 Northern Illinois • 10:30 a.m.
Game 10: #7 AKRON vs. #8 Western Michigan • 1 p.m.
Game 11: SEMIFINAL: #4 Kent State vs. #2 Ohio • 3:30 p.m.
Game 12: Winners from Games 9 & 10 • 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 13
Game 13: Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 winner • 10:30 a.m.
Game 14: CHAMPIONSHIP: Winners from Games 11 & 13 • 1 p.m.
Game 15*: Game 14 rematch • 30 min. following conclusion of game 14
* if necessary