The Bowling Green State University softball team split its series with Western Michigan Friday afternoon, dropping the Broncos by a score of 2-0 in game one before falling, 4-3, in game two. The split improves the Falcons' overall record to 26-20, including a 9-11 record in the Mid-American Conference. Western Michigan's record falls to 15-32 overall, with a mark of 6-12 in conference play. The Falcons' nine conference wins solidifies a bid to the 2013 MAC Tournament, marking Bowling Green's second straight trip to the conference postseason.
Junior Erika Stratton recorded two of the Falcons' three hits in game one, going 2-for-3 with two singles and a pair of RBI. Senior Paige Berger also picked up a hit, going 1-for-3 with a run scored. Sophomore Jamie Kertes picked up the win after allowing just six hits and striking out four in 6.1 innings. Fellow sophomore Paris Imholz recorded the final two outs of the ball game, marking her third save of the season.
Bowling Green scored the first run of the afternoon in the top of the first, crossing home plate one time on one hit for the early 1-0 lead. After reaching first on a hit by pitch, senior Hannah Fulk moved to second on a ground out in the following play. With Fulk in scoring position, Stratton singled through the right side of the infield, bringing Fulk home for the score.
The Falcons added an insurance run in the top of the sixth, giving Bowling Green the late 2-0 lead. Berger singled to start the frame, eventually moving to second on a ground out. Stratton once again came through in the clutch, sending a single up the middle to bring Berger home.
Kertes would retire her next four batters before being relieved by Imholz in the bottom of the seventh. Imholz closed out the contest, recording the save in the game one victory.
Western Michigan rebounded with a win in game two, defeating Bowling Green by a score of 4-3.
Stratton continued to produce in game two, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Fulk also had a solid game, going 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored. Along with her single, Fulk earned her 121st walk in the contest, tying Hayley Wiemer for first on the Bowling Green all-time walk list.
Imholz pitched the first 4.1 innings of game two, allowing two earned runs and six hits in the no decision. Kertes (10-13) was credited with the loss after giving up the game-winning run in the final 2.0 innings of play.
Bowling Green got on the board early, scoring two runs on three hits in the top of the opening frame. With one out and runners at second and third, Stratton shot a single up the middle towards center field, bringing home two runs to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
Stratton added to her RBI total in the top of the third, sending a solo homer to left field. Stratton's home run marked her second of the season, and gave Bowling Green a commanding 3-0 lead after three innings of play.
The Broncos chipped away at the Falcon lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, eventually scoring a second run on two hits in the bottom of the fifth to put the score at 3-2 in favor of Bowling Green.
The Broncos turned on the offense in the bottom of the seventh, crossing home plate twice on three hits for the walk-off victory. A bases loaded single from Western Michigan's Caity Pixley brought home the winning run, giving WMU the come-from-behind victory.
The Falcons are back in action on Saturday, May 4 in a single road game against the Northern Illinois Huskies. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.