MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State softball team moved to 13-1 in Mid-American Conference play with a Think Pink doubleheader split versus Miami Sunday afternoon at the BSU Softball Complex.
The split also moves the Cardinals’ overall record to 29-13. Miami goes to 17-24 (10-4 MAC) with the split and maintains its lead in the MAC East Division.
In support of cancer awareness, the Cardinals wore special pink jerseys (donated in part by Country Shack) during Sunday’s games which will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Cancer Services of East Central Indiana - Little Red Door.
Other auction items include gift cards from Amazing Joe’s, Scotty’s Brewhouse in Muncie, Eye Candy Beauty Design and Twisted Scissors Salon, as well as a Breast Cancer Awareness Luggage Set.
Fans can start their bidding now by visiting http://ballstatesports.com/softball and clicking on the link to the Think Pink Auction which runs until Friday, April 26 at 5 p.m.
Another highlight of the day was the day’s ceremonial first pitch which was thrown out by Tasha Rinehart, who is currently fighting breast cancer. Rinehart is the sister of current Ball State freshman pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker.
Schifferdecker road the momentum from her sister’s first pitch into her start in the second game, recording her first career complete game shutout.
Over seven innings, Schifferdecker limited the RedHawks to just two hits and one walk. After Miami tallied 12 hits in the opening game, Schifferdecker retired 21 of the 24 batters she faced, including a pair of strikeouts in the first inning.
After being limited to just a pair of hits in the first game, the Cardinals responded with 10 in the second, including a fourth-inning leadoff home run from junior first baseman Taylor Rager. Rager finished the second game 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Senior center fielder Amanda Carpenter also had a strong showing in the nightcap, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore pinch hitter Jessica Craft also drove in a pair of runs with a clutch two-out double in the bottom of the fourth.
The Ball State softball team returns to action Tuesday with its final non-conference mid-week game of the season. This time, BSU will travel to Bloomington for a 6 p.m. first pitch versus the Indiana Hoosiers.
GAME TWO RECAP: Ball State 6 – Miami 0
Behind the strong pitching performance from Schifferdecker, the Cardinals rebounded from their first MAC loss of the season with a 6-0 win in the nightcap.
After a quick two outs in the bottom of the first, the Cardinals used three straight singles to push across the game’s first two runs. Junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert started the rallied with a single to left, while Rager followed with a single to center. Gilbert advanced to third on the play, while the throw to third allowed Rager to advance to second.
Carpenter then dropped a single just out of reach of the Miami shortstop to give BSU the game’s first two runs.
After a pair of scoreless innings, Ball State pushed the score to 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth with three more runs. Rager opened the frame with a solo blast over the center field wall, while a single from Carpenter and a Miami error on a ground ball from senior catcher Sadie Robertson put a pair of runners on with two outs.
After a double switch put junior pinch runner Julie Cortez at second and sophomore pinch hitter Craft at the plate, Craft smashed a double over the Miami right fielder’s head to make the score 5-0.
Ball State would post the game’s final run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a RBI double from Rager. Sophomore designated player Hanne Stuedemann opened the inning with an infield single, while Gilbert singled through the right side to put a pair of runners on. Rager followed with a RBI double which drove in freshman pinch runner Briana Evans to right to make the score 6-0.
Paige Myers suffered the loss in the game, throwing the first 3.0 innings and surrendering six hits and four runs (three earned). She fell to 8-13 on the season with the loss.
GAME ONE RECAP: Miami 3 – Ball State 1
Miami handed Ball State its first league loss of the season with a 3-1 win in the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader at the BSU Softball Complex.
Myers picked up the win the contest, entering the game in relief and throwing the final 3.2 innings. During that span, she held the Cardinals hitless while issuing three walks. She also struck out four BSU batters.
Jenna Modic started in the circle for Miami, giving up one run and BSU’s lone two hits of the game over 3.1 innings.
The Cardinals looked ready to pull ahead big early, loading the bases in the top of the first. Sophomore designated player Loren Cihlar opened the inning with a bunt single, while a fielder’s choice allowed Stuedemann to reach. Gilbert followed with a single to left, while Rager drew a walk to load the bases.
Carpenter would then drive in BSU’s lone run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field. A unfortunate bounce off the leg of the Miami pitcher Modic right to the third baseman off the bat of Robertson would lead to the final out of the inning.
Miami tallied their first two runs of the game in the fifth on RBI singles from Modic and Shanya McIntyre to pull ahead 2-1.
The RedHawks tallied an insurance run in the top of the seventh on another RBI single from Modic to give the game its final score of 3-1.
Freshman pitcher Nicole Steinbach suffered her first league loss in the contest, falling to 12-8 on the year after surrendering 12 hits and three runs over 7.0 innings. She would strikeout one Miami batter.