NOTRE DAME, Ind. - - Despite home runs from three different players, the Ball State softball team suffered an 11-4 setback to No. 23/25 Notre Dame Tuesday afternoon at Melissa Cook Stadium.
With the loss, the Cardinals enter Friday’s Mid-American Conference and home-opening doubleheader versus Bowling Green with an 18-12 overall record. First pitch in the twin bill is scheduled for 1 p.m.
After entering the game as a pinch hitter in the top of the second inning, sophomore Selena Reyna (Houston, Texas/South Houston) would stay in the game to play shortstop and go on to pace the Ball State offense with a pair of hits. Reyna singled in her first at bat before blasting a leadoff home run in the fifth.
With Notre Dame (21-7) leading 6-0 after scoring four runs in the first and two in the third, junior designated player Hanne Stuedemann (Mattawan, Mich./Mattawan) put Ball State’s first run on the scoreboard with a two-out solo home run in the top of the fourth. It was the 18th home run of Stuedemann’s career.
Unfortunately, the Fighting Irish rallied for three more runs in the bottom of the frame to pull ahead 9-1 entering the fifth.
The Cardinals were able to keep the game alive, however, as Reyna opened the fifth with her third home run of the season. Following a two-out single from sophomore shortstop Emily Dabkowski (Plainfield, Ind./South Putnam), senior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) blasted her 67th career home run to cut the BSU deficit to 9-4.
Those would be the only runs for the Cardinals, however, as Notre Dame’s pitchers limited Ball State to just one hit over the final two innings, a one-out single from sophomore center fielder Briana Evans (Tulsa, Okla./Union) in the seventh.
The Fighting Irish posted their final two runs of the contest in the bottom of the sixth to give the game its 11-4 final score.
One bright spot for the Ball State defense came in the bottom of the first, when freshman shortstop Amanda Arnett (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) sparked an inning-ending double play to end the UND rally.
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