WOODSTOCK, Ga. - Freshman pitcher Nicole Steinbach threw her second complete game shutout of the young season to help the Ball State softball team score a 10-0 win over Tennessee Tech Sunday morning at the KSU Classic hosted by Kennesaw State.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 3-0 on the season, while Tennessee Tech drops to 4-3 with the setback.
In her second strong outing of the season, Steinbach (2-0) limited TTU to just one hit over five innings, while striking out six batters. After giving up an infield single in the first and a one out walk in the second, Steinbach retired the final 11 Golden Eagles she faced.
Junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert opened the scoring by blasting a two-run homer in the top of the first to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead it never relinquished. The homer was her second of the season and the 35th of her career. Gilbert finished the game 3-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBI, as she added RBI singles in the third and fourth innings.
Junior first baseman Taylor Rager also belted a two-run shot for Ball State, while senior center fielder Amanda Carpenter went 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Sophomore right fielder Hanne Stuedemann also collected a pair doubles and two RBI in the win.
Stuedemann open the game by reaching base on an error, while Gilbert followed with her two-run blast to make the score 2-0.
After a scoreless second inning, Stuedemann opened the third with a double and was driven home once again by Gilbert who singled to left field to make the score 3-0.
Ball State added four more runs in the top of the fourth, moving the score to 7-0. With one out, Carpenter singled and senior catcher Sadie Robertson was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Freshman Selena Reyna followed with her first career hit, a single up the middle, to drive home Carpenter from second.
Junior Julie Cortez would come in to pinch run for Robertson and come around to score two batters later on a two-run double from Stuedemann, which also plated freshman Emily Dabkowski who reached base on a fielder's choice and stole second base. BSU's final run in the frame came on another RBI single from Gilbert.
Ball State tacked on its final three runs in the top of the fifth, giving the game its final score of 10-0. Junior third baseman Audrey Bickel drew a walk to open the inning, and Rager would follow with her two-run shot to center field. Carpenter then collected her second double of the game and would come around to score on a fielding error by the TTU shortstop.
Claudia Harke (1-2) suffered the loss in the circle for the Golden Eagles, allowing three runs (two earned) and three hits over 2.0 innings of work.