FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Ball State (14-10) softball team opened play in the Colorado State Spring Tournament with a dominating 15-5 win over Marist (6-11) Friday morning at Ram Field.
The Cardinals used a 10-run second inning, in which BSU’s first 10 batters reached base before the first out, to take control of the contest.
Five Cardinals tallied two hits apiece in the game, led by sophomore right fielder Hanne Stuedemann who went 2-for-4 with a game-high five RBI and two runs scored.
Junior third baseman Audrey Bickel turned in a 2-for-2 effort at the plate and drew a pair of walks in the 10-run second inning. Bickel also scored three runs in the contest, as did sophomore catcher Jessica Craft who went 1-for-3 and blasted her first career home run.
Reigning MAC Player of the Week Taylor Cox finished the game 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.
In her first collegiate start at shortstop, freshman Emily Dabkowski finished the game 1-for-3 with a two-run double, a walk and a run scored.
Overall, the Cardinals scored 15 runs on 14 hits and four Marist errors.
Audra Sanders earned the pitching win for the Cardinals, improving to 3-2 by allowing just four hits and five earned runs over five innings. She also struck out a season-high eight batters in the contest.
The Cardinals started the scoring in the top of the first when Stuedemann came around to score on a RBI double down the left field line from Rager.
Marist would take the lead in the bottom of the frame, however, as a two-run home run from Nicole Cheek gave the Red Foxes a 2-1 edge.
Ball State answered with a 10-run second inning to pull ahead 11-2. Bickel opened the frame with a walk and Craft followed with her first career home run to give BSU a 3-2 edge. After Dabkowski reached on a fielding error, bunt singles from Cihlar and Cox loaded the bases for Stuedemann who cleared the bases with a double to the left-center field wall.
Junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert followed with a double of her own to bring home Stuedemann and make the score 7-2. Rager added a RBI single up the middle in the next at bat, which was followed by a RBI double from Carpenter pushing the score to 9-2.
Bickel draw her second walk of the inning to put runners at first and second, while a fielder’s choice from Craft forced out the lead runner for the first out of the inning. Dabkowski then capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run double to left center.
Marist would cut the lead to 11-5 in the bottom of the third thanks to a three-run blast from Alyssa Zahka.
However, the Cardinals got all three runs back in the top of the fourth thanks to the help of a couple of Marist errors. With one out, Bickel singled to left field and advanced to second when Craft reached base on an error. After a fly out for the second out, Cihlar singled through the right side while a throwing error by the third baseman allowed Bickel to score and the other two runners to advance a base.
Following a walk to Cox to load the bases, Stuedemann hit a double which went off the Marist first baseman to bring home two more runs and move the score to 14-5.
Ball State added its final run of the game in the top of the fifth, when pinch runner Julie Cortez scored on a RBI infield single from Bickel.
Emily Osterhaus suffered the pitching loss, falling to 2-5 after surrendering all 14 hits and 15 runs (10 earned).
The Ball State softball team continues play in the Colorado State Spring Tournament later this afternoon with a scheduled 1:30 first pitch versus host Colorado State.