MUNCIE, Ind. - - For the second straight week, and fourth time this season, Ball State softball senior outfielder Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) has been named the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week.
A 12-time career honoree, Gilbert led the Cardinals offense with a .500 (10-for-20) batting average last week, including three doubles and a pair of home runs. Her nine runs-batted-in were also tops on the squad, while her seven runs scored tied for team-high honors.
“Jenny continues to prove why she is considered one of the top players in the nation,” Ball State head coach Tyra Perry said. “She has provided clutch hits time and again this season, and this past weekend was no different. Jenny is really playing well right now and providing a big spark for our team.”
Gilbert had a direct hand in all three league wins over the weekend, driving in the game-winning RBI in two, while scoring the game-winning run in the other. In Friday’s nightcap versus Akron, Gilbert’s two-run homer run in the bottom of the first inning put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 in what turned out to be a 15-2 (5 inn.) victory.
In Saturday’s opener versus league-leading Ohio, Gilbert scored the eventual game-winning run thanks to a two-out double in the bottom of the first, followed by an RBI triple from senior first baseman Taylor Rager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern). The triple from Rager gave BSU a 1-0 edge in a 10-0 (5 inn.) win. In Sunday’s win over the Bobcats, Gilbert drove in the game-winning run with a RBI fielder’s choice in the bottom of the third, making the score 1-0 in a 7-0 victory.
So far this season, Gilbert has helped account for the winning run in 12 of Ball State’s 27 victories. She has nine game-winning RBI and six game-winning runs scored, three of which are factored out as she drove in herself for the game-winning run. Six of Gilbert’s MAC-leading 17 home runs this season have produced game-winning RBI.
With her two home runs last week, Gilbert raised her career total to 73 which is tied for eighth on the NCAA Division I career home runs list. Next up for Gilbert to pass is Arizona’s Jenny Dalton who blasted 76 home runs for the Wildcats from 1993-96.
Gilbert enters this week with a MAC-best .424 (55-for-131) batting average. She also paces the conference in RBI (54), runs scored (46), slugging percentage (.969) and on base percentage (.513). In Ball State’s 10 MAC games, Gilbert is batting .552 (16-for-29) with a 1.069 slugging percentage, a .649 on base percentage, four doubles, three home runs, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored.
Gilbert and the Ball State softball team return to action with a two-game weekend series versus its Mid-American Conference travel partner Miami. The teams are scheduled to play single games Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) at the BSU Softball Complex.
For the most up-to-date news on Ball State softball, follow the team on Twitter: @BallStateSB and @TyraPerry13/ Instagram: ballstatesb / Facebook: BallStateSoftball
- BallStateSports.com -