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Softball Slams Its Way Past Michigan State, 7-2
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   BOCA RATON, Fla. - - Senior center fielder Amanda Carpenter blasted her second career grand slam to help the Ball State (9-8) softball team score a 7-2 win over Michigan State (13-8) Thursday morning in the first game of the FAU Invitational hosted by Florida Atlantic.

   Carpenter finished the day going 2-for-4 with four RBI and one run scored. Sophomore designated player Hanne Stuedemann also belted a home run for the Cardinals, a solo blast, on her way to a 3-for-3 effort with a walk, a double, two RBI and three runs scored.

   Freshman Kelsey Schifferdecker earned the pitching victory, improving to 5-1 on the year by yielding just six hits and two runs over five innings. She would also strikeout a batter.

   Freshman Nicole Steinbach closed the game for the Cardinals, striking out four batters and allowing just one hit in two innings of work.

   The Cardinals opened the scoring in the top of the first thanks to a leadoff walk to sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox which was followed by an RBI double from Stuedemann. Junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert would make the score 2-0 with an RBI single to right in the next at bat.

   After walks to Stuedemann, Gilbert and junior first baseman Taylor Rager loaded the bases in the top of the third, Carpenter launched her first home run of the season over the left field wall to extend the lead to 6-0.

   Ball State's final run came on a two-out solo shot from Stuedemann in the top of the fourth to make the score 7-0.

   Michigan State loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth and managed to score two runs, but the Cardinals would hold the Spartans off the board the rest of the game to secure the victory.

  Kelly Smith was the losing pitcher for MSU, falling to 10-3 after surrendering seven runs on four hits over four innings of work. Smith, who struck out 14 batters in the first game between the two teams on March 2, struck out just five today while issuing five walks.

   The Ball State softball team returns to action in the FAU Invitational Friday, when it plays both Stony Brook (11 a.m.) and Florida A&M (4 p.m.).

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