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Softball Blanks Florida A&M 9-0 In 5 Innings

   BOCA RATON, Fla. - - The Ball State (11-8) softball team ended the second day of the FAU Invitational with a 9-0 (5 inn.) victory over Florida A&M (5-16) Friday afternoon at the Florida Atlantic Softball Stadium.

  The Cardinals slugged two more home runs in Friday's nightcap, with two-run blasts from sophomore designated player Hanne Stuedemann and senior catcher Sadie Robertson.

   As a team, the Cardinals have hit 18 home runs so far this season which is two ahead of their record-setting pace from last season. BSU had 16 home runs through the first 18 games in 2012 in which they hit a school and Mid-American Conference record 70 long balls.

   Robertson would lead the Cardinals at the plate with a 3-for-3 effort, while Stuedemann went 1-for-2. Both players had two RBI and one run scored.

   Junior third baseman Audrey Bickel would add a two-run double, going 1-for-2 in the game with a walk, to extend Ball State's double streak to 17 consecutive games.

   BSU's 39 doubles in 2013 are also five ahead of their school-record pace from last season. BSU had 34 doubles through the first 18 games last season in which they hit a school and MAC-record 100 two-baggers.

   The Cardinals' defense would also collect its 15th double play of the season to close out the game in the bottom of the fifth. Ball State led the nation with 33 double plays turned last season and had racked up only seven though the first 18 games a year ago.

   Redshirt senior Audra Sanders earned the win in the circle, yielding just three hits over her five innings, while striking out six batters. With the win, Sanders' season record moves to 2-2.

   After three scoreless innings, the Cardinals found their offense in the top of the fourth, scoring seven runs on five hits and two FAMU errors.

   Junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert opened the inning with a single up the middle, while one out later, senior center fielder Amanda Carpenter reached base on an error. Bickel followed with a two-run double to the left-center field wall to make the score 2-0.

   A Robertson single through the left side put runners at the corners, before freshman pinch runner Briana Evans stole second. A wild pitch would bring in BSU's third run of the inning and put Evans at third.

   After the Cardinals' second out, the Rattlers looked to be out of the inning but a throwing error on a bunt from sophomore right fielder Loren Cihlar kept the inning alive and allowed Evans to score from third. Cihlar would proceed to steal second setting up an RBI single to left for sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox.

   With the score now 5-0, Stuedemann belted a no doubter over the center field wall to extend Ball State's advantage to 7-0.

   The Cardinals' final two runs came on a Robertson's first home run of the season, a two-run rocket shot over the left field fence. Freshman pinch runner Sammi Cowger scored on the blast after entering the game for Bickel who drew a one-out walk.

   The Ball State softball team concludes play in the FAU Invitational Saturday afternoon with a scheduled 4 p.m. first pitch versus Kansas.
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