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Gilbert Is Madness Softball MAC Player Of The Week

   MUNCIE, Ind. - - Ball State sophomore outfielder Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) has been named the Madness Softball Mid-American Conference Player of the Week. This is the second time Gilbert has picked up the honor this season, after also earning it April 17.

   "Jenny continues to perform at a high level," said Ball State head coach Craig Nicholson. "She is putting together one of the most impressive seasons a MAC player has ever had. Not only is her offensive production is on par with the best players in the country, her defense has also been impressive this season."

   Last week, Gilbert helped guide the Cardinals to a 3-1 record by posting a .438 (7-for-16) batting average with two home runs, two doubles and a triple. She also led the BSU offense with seven RBI and five runs scored while posting a 1.063 slugging percentage.

   With her two home runs, Gilbert upped her season total to 16 which is a Ball State single-season record. Her 16 home runs rank 14th in the nation this season, while her 0.33 home runs-per-game average is 16th. In addition, Gilbert ranks third in the nation with a 0.38 doubles-per-game average and is 21st among all NCAA Division I players with four triples.

   After going 1-for-4 in the Friday opener at Kent State, Gilbert sparked the Cardinals' offense in the second game victory with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate. In the second inning, she blasted a two-run double to right center field. In the fifth, she would post a one-out single and eventually come around to score the game-winning run. She added an insurance run in the top of the sixth with her school-record tying 15th home run of the season.

   In the series opener at Buffalo Saturday, Gilbert blasted her program-record 16th long ball of the year in the third inning to give BSU two runs, while adding her fourth triple of the year to drive in another run in the seventh. In the weekend finale at Buffalo, Gilbert drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run with an RBI double in the third. She also scored in the inning.

   Gilbert and the Ball State softball team close the 2012 regular season this weekend with four games at the BSU Softball Complex. The Cardinals open the week with a Friday doubleheader versus Toledo (1 p.m.), before hosting MAC East Division leader Bowling Green Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).

   With wins in three of the four games this weekend, the Ball State softball team will lock up its third Mid-American Conference regular season title in the past four years.

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