MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State Softball shut out Mid-American Conference foe Kent State, 10-0, in five innings Friday afternoon at the BSU Softball Complex. Game two was called for inclement weather.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 28-17 overall and 8-3 in league play, while the Golden Flashes fall to 16-22 on the season and 6-3 in the MAC.
Senior right fielder Alyssa Collins (Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) led the Cardinals in the top of the first after she doubled to center field and senior shortstop Alicia Barkley (Oklahoma City, Okla./Putnam City) drew a walk off Kent State's Lauren McNeil. Then, junior catcher Amanda Montalto (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde) singled down the right field line to score Collins.
Freshman first baseman Taylor Rager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) then drew a walk off McNeil. With the bases loaded, Barkley scored on a wild pitch and freshman designated hitter Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) was hit by a pitch. Then, sophomore left fielder Amanda Carpenter's (Santee, Calif./Santana) single to left field scored Montalto, but Gilbert was called out at second.
Kent State initiated a pitching change after senior third baseman Kate Wilczynski (Tucson, Ariz./Canyon Del Oro) drew a walk off McNeil. Then, senior center fielder Lisa Rozanski's (Tampa, Fla./Daytona Beach CC) sacrifice fly out to right field drove in Rager and junior second baseman Alison Mercado (Perris, Calif./Arizona Western) singled to center field to score Carpenter and Wilczynski.
Ball State added one more in the bottom of the third as Wilczynski's sacrifice bunt scored Gilbert, who got on base after doubling to left center field and advancing to third on Carpenter's at-bat, a ground-out to first base, to put the Cardinals up 7-0.
The hot bats continued in the fourth as pinch hitter Audrey Bickel (Munster, Ind./Andrean) drew a walk off Kent State's Danielle Abernathy. Re-entering the contest, Mercado stole second and advanced to third on an error by the Golden Flashes' shortstop, Mary Holt, followed by Collins drawing a walk off Abernathy. With two in scoring position, Montalto doubled to left field to drive in Mercado and Collins and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Gilbert then singled up the middle to score Montalto.
Ball State kept Kent State at bay into the fifth inning to secure the run rule and win the contest. Montalto continued her stellar streak at the plate after going 2-for-3 and driving in three runs, while Gilbert tallied a perfect two hits in two appearances and one RBI.
Sophomore pitcher Audra Sanders (Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh) had a phenomenal day from the circle, improving to 15-10 with the win. Sanders allowed three hits, walked two and struck out eight Golden Flashes in five innings of work. McNeil tallied the loss on the mound after 0.1 innings of work, giving up six runs, allowing three hits and walking three. McNeil and Abernathy did not tally a single Cardinal strikeout on the day.
Head coach Craig Nicholson and the Cardinals return to the field Saturday starting at 2 p.m. for a contest versus the Buffalo Bulls.