Robertshaw was the Chippewas' Miss Clutch on the Diamond

Leading up to the Friday, October 26 CMU Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, members of the Class of 2012 will be periodically featured with an article on Friday evening's event is free of charge and open to the public. It begins at 7 p.m. in McGuirk Arena.

The ability to perform in pressure situations is what separates the great players from the good players.

In Central Michigan University softball history, there hasn't been a clutch performer like Hope Robertshaw.

"She's the person you wanted to be up when the game was on the line," legendary coach Margo Jonker said.  "Hope may not have had the best overall average, but she was her best when we really needed a hit.

"You also wanted the ball to go to her on defense when you needed a big play, as her height and her wingspan gave her a big advantage."

Twice the LaCrescenta, Calif., native was named the Most Valuable Player at the Mid-American Conference Tournament and three times she made the all-tournament team.  The corner infielder led CMU to one MAC regular season title, three MAC Tournament titles and three trips to the NCAAs.

"Hope made so many great plays it's hard to narrow it down to a most memorable one," teammate Kim Burke said.  "In any clutch situation she always stepped up and it seemed she always played well at the end of the year and in the postseason."

One defining moment of her career was in CMU's first game of the 2001 MAC Tournament against Kent State.  The top-seeded Chippewas hosted the tournament and Central found itself down by one run as the game went to the bottom of the seventh.

Becky Manson was on second base and Robertshaw, a senior, was at the plate with two outs and two strikes before she singled through the infield scoring Manson and sending the game to extra innings.  CMU went on to win the game in eight innings before cruising to the title with a 2-0 win over Northern Illinois and an 8-3 victory over Ball State.  She earned her second straight MAC Tournament MVP honor that year and still remains the only player in league history to win tournament MVP honors twice.

"If I was Kent State, I wouldn't have pitched to her," Jonker said. 

Robertshaw was named first team All-MAC twice in her career, as a freshman and a senior.  She was a second team pick in 1999. 

The third baseman still holds the CMU career record for doubles (43), and at the completion of her career she ranked third in career RBI (97), tied for fourth in games played (216), sixth in at-bats (641) and seventh in hits (193).

According to Jonker, Robertshaw was one of the top three defensive players at the "hot corner" in CMU history.  She made several key plays in 2001 preserving no-hitters for Amber Puchalski who fired six of them that season.

"Hope was one of the most focused and determined athletes I've seen," Burke said.  "Talent-wise she was good, but combined with her leadership and communication skills she was a really great player.  Her preparation was so great that she was confident no matter what situation she found herself in."

For her efforts on the softball diamond, Robertshaw is being inducted into the CMU Marcy Weston Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 26, in a ceremony at McGuirk Arena. The event is free and open to the public beginning at 7 p.m.

In addition, the induction class will be recognized at halftime of the CMU-Akron football game on Saturday, Oct. 27. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

Robertshaw currently lives in Portage, Mich., where she is a speech pathologist for the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency's family infant/toddler program.

Also being honored as part of the CMU Marcy Weston Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2012 are Allison Campbell (women's soccer; 2000-01), Craig Fuller (cross country/track and field; 1982-2008), Carleton Kinkade (wrestling; 1984-88), Kevin Young (baseball; 1991-94) and David Webber (men's basketball; 1999-2002).
Don Helinski is a Hall of Fame committee member and former CMU Sports Information Director.
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