Ball State 11, IUPUI 4
In its 26th consecutive game on the road, the Ball State softball team defeated IUPUI, 11-4, in Indianapolis, Ind., Tuesday. The win marks the fourth in a row for the Cardinals, who lead the Mid-American Conference with a pre-conference season record of 20-6.
The MAC West Division Player of the Week, Jessie Ware (Phoenix, Ariz./Hamilton), led the Cardinals' batting line-up with two consecutive homeruns, the second of which was an in-field homer slugged in the sixth inning. This was Ware's fourth homerun of the season and she also lays claim to a team-leading .427 batting average, eight doubles and seven triples.
Ball State took an early lead when the defending MAC Player of the Year, Alicia Barkley (Oklahoma City, Okla./Putnam City), hit a single to right field that drove home Lisa Rozanski (Tampa, Fla./Alonso) in the first inning.
In the top of the first, Elizabeth Milian (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) stepped into the circle for Ball State and struck out two batters to keep the Cardinals lead at 1-0. Milian was credited with the game win and is now 14-1 this season.
Then, in the bottom of the second inning, the Cardinals scored seven runs on seven hits to solidify their offensive dominance. The scoring drive was put together by a string of four base hits which began with Amanda Carpenter (Santee, Calif./Santana) who was followed by Jen Reifschneider (Wichita, Kan./Maize), Kate Wilczynski (Tucson, Ariz./Canyon Del Oro), who advanced to second on the throw and drove in Carpenter, and, fourth, Alyssa Freiling (Bixby, Okla./Sequoyah). Freiling's single ran in Jackie Durment (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) who was pinch running for Reifschneider.
With the Cardinals leading 3-0, two runners on base and zero outs in the inning, the Jaguars brought in Samantha Bumbaugh to replace Natter on the mound.
Next up for Ball State was Rozanski who reached second base on an error by left field that also gave up runs to Wilczynski and Freiling. Rozanski scored on the next play as Alyssa Collins (Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) singled to centerfield and claimed her tenth RBI of the season. Drilling her eighth double this year, Amanda Montalto (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde) brought in the final two runs of the inning. The score at the end of the second was 8-0.
Milian took the mound in the top of the second and gave up two hits. The second hit, a two-run homer compliments of Laura Wilcox, was the first homerun Milian has allowed this season. Then, in the third inning, Milian gave up another homerun, this time to Mia Ettl. The ace struck out four batters in the two innings combined.
Leading 8-2 headed into the the fourth, the Ball State offense continued to dominate and Ware earned her first homerun of the game. The next batter, Montalto, followed Ware's lead and slugged her fourth homerun of the season over the head of the Jaguars' right fielder. After the consecutive homeruns, IUPUI's head coach was ejected from the game.
Milian pitched one more inning for the Cardinals and struck out two batters to end her day with eight strikeouts in four innings pitched. Audra Sanders (Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh) replaced Milian on the mound in the fifth and gave up one run and two hits - one of which was a homerun by Alicia Hayes - in two innings on the mound.
The upcoming Easter weekend features a battle of defending MAC Champions as the regular season MAC Champion Cardinals host the defending MAC Tournament Champion Miami Redhawks, in their home and conference opener at the BSU Softball Complex in Muncie, Ind. The first game is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. and the second for Sunday at 1 p.m.
Michigan State 9, Eastern Michigan 2
EAST LANSING, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - An early lead over in-state rival Michigan State University was short-lived as the Spartans stormed back with three home runs to defeat the Eastern Michigan University softball team, 9-2, at Old College Field Tuesday, March 30.
The Eagles (6-14) strung together a pair of singles in the second inning, leading to two unearned runs on a fielding error by Spartan shortstop Lindsey Hansen. Allison Scherer and Jessica Richard, who each reached on a base hit, came around to score to make it 2-0.
The Spartans (14-17) cut the deficit in half with a solo home run by Ali Grant in the bottom of the second, one of three home runs on the day for the home team. MSU's Jessica Bracamonte added a three-run shot in the third and Brett Williams tagged another two-run home run in a four-run fifth to make the score 8-2.
The EMU offense was stymied by MSU pitcher Lauren Kramer, who held the Eagles to just four hits. After the second inning, Kramer allowed just two hits while holding the Eagles scoreless. She struck out six batters over seven innings and, at one point, retired 14 straight batters.
Eagle pitcher Jenna Ignowski looked strong early on, but struggled to put the Spartans down in the third and fifth innings with two outs. All seven runs combined were scored with two outs while three of the four runs scored in the fifth were unearned due to two EMU miscues.
Ignowski took the loss, giving up eight runs (5 earned) on 10 hits while striking out two and walking none over 4 2/3 innings of work. Jamie Melchert came on in relief in the fifth inning to finish the job.
Eastern Michigan will return home in anticipation of its long-awaited home opener against the University of Detroit-Mercy tomorrow, March 31. First pitch of a doubleheader is slated for 3 p.m. at Varsity Field on the campus of EMU.