Lindsay Gerber, CMUChippewas.com
VALPARAISO, Ind. - Rachel Vieira hit two home runs, three Central Michigan pitchers combined to allow just three hits, and the Chippewas did not commit an error on Tuesday as they swept Valparaiso, 6-0 and 8-0, in a nonconference softball doubleheader at the Valpo Softball Complex.
The Chippewas (28-12) opened the twinbill with a 6-0 victory and then posted an 8-0 win in the nightcap.
"I'm really happy with this team," CMU coach Margo Jonker said. "I've been really happy with them all year. They really work hard and work well together. They're very team-oriented, which obviously shows in the win-loss columns."
The Chippewas collected 23 hits in winning for the 27th time in their last 33 starts.
Junior Hanna Warren (9-5) struck out five and walked three in tossing a complete game two-hitter in game one. Laura Vaccaro and Taylor Weaver combined on a one-hitter in the nightcap.
Vaccaro (2-0) started and allowed one hit and struck out four over five innings. Weaver set down the Crusaders in order in each of the final two frames, striking out two.
"All three pitchers did an outstanding job today," Jonker said. "You also have to give credit to the catchers (Maison Kalina, Danielle Marlink) for calling a good game. So I thought they did an outstanding job and our defense made some great plays. If you put the pitching and the defense together, it's a great game."
The Chippewas jumped on Valpo starter Lindsay Zdriok (1-2) with two runs in the first on a Vieira sacrifice fly and a Sydney Heath RBI single. Vieira's homer, a solo shot, came in the third.
CMU finished with 12 hits and Valpo committed three errors. Kayla Noch had three hits to lead the Chippewas, while Lacy Tolfree, Kalina and Heath added two each.
The Central Michigan drive did everything but slow down in game two.
Vieira's two-run homer highlighted the Chippewas' four-run fourth, and Erika Underwood added a seventh-inning solo shot. Viera leads the team with five home runs, while Underwood has four.
Curtis had three hits including a double and a triple, while Heath and Underwood finished with two hits apiece.
"Overall everybody had really good games," Jonker said. "Ally Curtis had some opportunities to make some great plays, she made an ESPN top 10 diving play. We threw someone out at first base from right field, so you give (Andrea) Perlberg and Underwood credit for that. And, obviously, the ability to score a lot of runs helps ease the situation too."
The Chippewas return to Mid-American Conference play this weekend at home with a three-game series against Northern Illinois. The opener is Friday at 3 p.m. at Margo Jonker Stadium.
CMU is 11-4 in MAC play, tied for first place in the West and overall with Ball State. NIU is 21-16, 9-6.