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Pair Of Home Runs Lift Softball Past Indiana 5-2

   BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - - Thanks to home runs from sophomore catcher Jessica Craft and junior pinch hitter Lauren Schroeder, the Ball State softball team picked up a 5-2 win at Indiana Tuesday evening in its final non-conference midweek game of the 2013 season.

   With the win, the Cardinals improve to 30-13 on the year and become the first team in the Mid-American Conference to reach the 30-win plateau.

   Ball State, which spoiled dedication day of Indiana’s Andy Mohr Field, also handed the Hoosiers their eighth consecutive loss with IU falling to 19-28 on the year.

   In just her sixth career start at catcher, Craft finished the game 2-for-2 with a home run, two runs scored and a walk.

   Schroeder would tally her second pinch hit home run of the season, with a three-run blast that proved to be the deciding factor in the game.

   In the circle, freshman pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker picked up her second complete game victory in as many outings, limiting the Hoosiers to just five hits and a pair of unearned runs. She also tallied strikeout in the contest.

   Indiana scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second, capitalizing on a pair of BSU errors to load the bases and bring home a run. However, with bases loaded and one out, junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert was able to tally a big inning-ending double play by catching a fly ball and throwing a runner out at home.

   Ball State would capitalize on a pair of Indiana errors in the top of the third to tie the score at 1-1. After both sophomore right fielder Loren Cihlar and sophomore designated player Hanne Stuedemann reached base on Indiana errors, junior first baseman Taylor Rager laced a RBI single to right field to even the score.

   Craft would give Ball State a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth with a leadoff home run over the left field wall.

   After a scoreless fifth frame, Craft drew a walk to open the sixth, while another Indiana error allowed freshman shortstop Selena Reyna to reach base with one out. Schroeder would then step up to the plate and deposit a 1-0 pitch over the left center field wall.

   Indiana tallied its final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth as a double, pass ball and groundout allowed Samantha Heyman to cross the plate.

   Schifferedecker would retire the IU side in order in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.

   Lora Olsen suffered the pitching loss for the Hoosiers, falling to 6-12 on the season by along five hits and five runs (three earned) in a complete-game effort.

   The Ball State softball team returns to action Friday, when it travels to Mount Pleasant, Mich., for a pivotal league showdown with Central Michigan. The Chippewas (11-3 MAC) trail the Cardinals (13-1 MAC) by two games in the MAC West Division entering the weekend.

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