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Softball Travels to Toledo, Bowling Green
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MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State Softball returns to MAC play Friday as the Cardinals head east to Toledo for a doubleheader with the Rockets, starting at 1 p.m. from the Scott Park Softball Complex. From there, Ball State continues to Bowling Green for weekend matchups at Meserve Softball Field.

BSU enters weekend play with a 30-17 overall record and 10-3 tally in league play after defeating league rivals Kent State and Buffalo Friday and Saturday at the BSU Softball Complex.

LAST TIME OUT: Ball State took both games of the doubleheader against Buffalo Saturday afternoon at the BSU Softball Complex. The Cardinals won the first game, 7-4, then went on to defeat the Bulls, 9-1, in five innings in the second contest.

Freshman designated hitter Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double, scoring two runs and recording five RBI. In the Cardinals' 7-4 victory versus the Bulls, Gilbert hit a solo shot over the right center field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning to reach a career-high nine home runs.

Junior hurler Kim Mazzapica (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) improved to 6-1 on the season in game one after 3.1 innings of work. She gave up two runs off seven hits, while striking out four batters. In game two, sophomore pitcher Audra Sanders (Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh) recorded the win for BSU after dishing up five innings of three-hit pitching, while striking out six batters and improving to 16-10 on the season. 

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: As a team, Ball State owns a .323 batting average, while its opponents are batting .266, in addition to scoring 254 runs (5.4 runs/game), while allowing 160 runs (3.4 runs/game).

Senior right fielder Alyssa Collins (Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) continues to lead the Cardinals at the plate with a .403 batting average with eight doubles, one triple and 20 RBI, while senior shortstop Alicia Barkley (Oklahoma City, Okla./Putnam City) ranks second on the squad with a .370 batting average with seven doubles, two triples, two home runs, 14 RBI and a team-high 18 stolen bases.

Barkley's home runs stand as the first in her career with the Cardinals. Against Buffalo, the exercise science major hit an inside-the-park homer to score classmate Lisa Rozanski (Tampa, Fla./Daytona Beach CC).

From the circle, Mazzapica has made 21 appearances with a 2.52 ERA in 64.0 innings of work, while Sanders has made 29 appearances and owns a 2.64 ERA in 159.1 innings of work. Junior Audrey Workman (Wickenburg, Ariz./Wickenburg) owns a 4.31 ERA in 74.2 innings pitched with 19 appearances, good for an 8-6 record on the season.

SCOUTING THE ROCKETS: The matchup marks the 85th and 86th times Ball State and Toledo will meet, as the Cardinals own the 45-39 series advantage. The two squads last met earlier in the season on the Cardinals' first day of the Miami Tournament as Ball State defeated its opponent, 6-2, at the MU Softball Stadium

Rozanski tallied three hits in three at-bats in the opener, while Gilbert went 2-for-4 with a double and two stolen bases. Credited with the win, Mazzapica pitched three strikeouts and allowed for no walks and five hits to improve to 2-1 on the season.

Toledo owns an 8-31 overall record and 3-9 tally in MAC play after recording a split with Northern Illinois Saturday and Sunday in DeKalb, Ill. at Mary M. Bell Field. Sophomore outfielder Lindsey Tobias, a native of Defiance, Ohio, leads the Rockets' charge, batting 35-for-107, including four doubles, seven home runs, 25 RBI and a team-leading .561 slugging percentage.

Senior pitcher Shana Szypka from Genoa, Ohio has made 21 appearances and owns a 1-0 record on the season, with a 5.65 ERA in 48.1 innings of work, while freshman Jen Solanics, a native of Columbia Station, Ohio, owns a 6.53 ERA in 108.1 innings pitched with 32 appearances, good for a 4-15 tally on the season.

SCOUTING THE FALCONS: The weekend contests stand as the 80th and 81st meetings between Ball State and Bowling Green, as the Falcons own the 47-32 series advantage. The two teams last met earlier in the season on the final day of the Phyllis Rafter Memorial as Ball State defeated Bowling Green, 9-6, in Woodstock, Ga. at the Twin Creeks Softball Complex.

Versus the Falcons, Collins went 2-for-3 and tallied two RBI and a stolen base, while Sanders dished up just over six innings of two-hit pitching, in addition to recording 10 strikeouts and walking one.

Bowling Green owns a 7-29 overall record and 1-12 mark in league play after falling to IPFW twice Tuesday in Bowling Green, Ohio. Sophomore infielder Hannah Fulk, a native of Jeromesville, Ohio, owns a .337 batting average, including eight doubles, one triple, four home runs and 11 RBI, while classmate Paige Berger from Rootstown, Ohio is 33-for-104, with four doubles, two triples, eight home runs and a team-leading 25 RBI for a .625 slugging percentage. From the circle, senior Zada Lines from Akron, Ohio has made 27 appearances with a 3.85 ERA in 87.1 innings of work. 

Individual Stats (Top 5)

 

Individual Batting:

Collins: 4th, .403

Individual Pitching:

Mazzapica: 5th, 2.52

Hits:

Collins: 1st, 64 (1.36 H/G)

 

Barkley: 2nd, 60 (1.28 H/G)

 

Gilbert: 4th, 53 (1.13 H/G)

Home Runs:

Montalto, Gilbert: T-3rd, 9 (.20/.19 HR/G)

 

Rozanski: T-3rd, 29 (.67 R/G)

Triples:

Alison Mercado, Barkley: T-1st, 2 (.04 3B/G)

Runs Scored:

Barkley: 1st, 43 (.91 R/G)

 

Rozanski: 4th, 32 (.68 R/G)

 

Gilbert: T-5th, 31 (.66 R/G)

Doubles:

Gilbert: 2nd, 14 (.30 2B/G)

 

Montalto: T-3rd, 13 (.28 2B/G)

Runs Batted In:

Gilbert: 1st, 46 (.98 RBI/G)

 

Rager: 2nd, 35 (.78 RBI/G)

Stolen Bases:

Barkley: T-2nd, 18 (.38 SB/G)

Total Bases:

Gilbert: 1st, 96 (2.04 TB/G)

 

Barkley: T-3rd, 77 (1.64 TB/G)

 

Montalto: T-5th, 76 (1.65 TB/G)

Walks:

Wilczynski: T-2nd, 23 (.58 BB/G)

 

Rozanski: 4th, 22 (.47 BB/G)

Slugging Percentage:

Montalto: 4th, .724

Wins:

Sanders: 2nd, 16-10

Innings Pitched:

Sanders: 2nd, 159.1 (5.49 IP/G)

Strikeouts:

Sanders: 2nd, 127 (5.58 SO/G)

Appearances:

Sanders: 5th, 29

Saves:

Mazzapica: T-2nd, 2

Games Started:

Sanders: 25

Shutouts:

Sanders: T-3rd, 4

Complete Games:

Sanders: 2nd, 18

   

Team Stats (Top 3)

 

Batting Average:

1st, .323

Slugging Percentage:

3rd, .466

On Base Percentage:

2nd, .401

Runs Scored:

1st, 254

Hits:

1st, 409

Runs Batted In:

1st, 230

Doubles:

1st, 78

Triples:

T-1st, 8

Home Runs:

T-3rd, 29

Total Bases:

1st, 590

Total Plate Appearances:

1st, 1459

At Bats:

1st, 1267

Walks:

1st, 151

Strikeouts:

2nd, 219

Sac Flies:

2nd, 10

Stolen Bases:

2nd, 79

Steal Attempts:

2nd, 94

Grounded Into DP:

T-1st, 4

Innings Pitched:

1st, 299.0

Batters Struck Out

3rd, 228

Batters SO Out Looking:

T-2nd, 70

Wins:

1st, 30

Saves:

T-3rd, 3

Sac Bunts Allowed:

2nd, 32

Triples Allowed:

T-2nd, 4

Hit Batters: 

3rd, 27

Fielding Percentage:

1st, .973

Chances:

2nd, 1233

Putouts:

1st, 897

Fielding Double Plays:

T-3rd, 9

Passed Balls:

2nd, 15

ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOK: With 20 bombs and nine on the season, junior catcher Amanda Montalto (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde) sits at first place in the Ball State record book, just one over former Cardinal Abby Gross' (2005-08) career record of 19 career home runs, also breaking her 2010 single season total of eight.

TERRIFIC FRESHMAN: Gilbert was a standout at the plate last week as the freshman went 7-for-9 through four games against Indiana and Kent State and Buffalo, tallying one home run, scoring three runs and recording six RBI. Continuing the phenomenal start to her collegiate career, Gilbert is 53-for-152 with 31 runs scored since the start of the season, including her nine home runs and a grand slam.

Also making a standout impact at the plate, freshman first baseman Taylor Rager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) owns a .350 batting average with eight doubles and five home runs, including one grand slam recorded at Ohio, and 35 RBI.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Ball State has traveled a total of approximately 5,950 miles so far this season after visiting Clarksville, Tenn. for the Austin Peay Tournament and a round-trip total of 718 miles, in addition to the 1,149 mile venture to Woodstock, Ga. for the Phyllis Rafter Memorial and back.

The cruise to the Under Armour Invitational and Under Armour Showcase racked up approximately 2,138 miles round trip, in addition to a 211.5 mile pit-stop to Orlando in-between. Then, a voyage over to Troutville, Va. for the Radford Tournament added another 933 miles and the excursion to Oxford, Ohio for the Miami Tournament added 150 miles, before Ball State started MAC play in Athens, Ohio and Akron, Ohio, adding an additional 650 miles to the squad's tally.

CARDINALS ADD FIVE: Ball State head coach Craig Nicholson announced that five student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the Ball State softball program for the 2012 season. Loren Cihar (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North), Taylor Cox (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica), Jessica Craft (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte), Haley Smith (Baytown, Texas/Lee) and Hanne Stuedemann (Mattawan, Mich./Mattawan) will be joining the returning Cardinals next season.

CARDINALS PICKED FIRST IN MAC WEST: Ball State was picked to finish first in the MAC West Division in the preseason coaches' poll, followed by Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Toledo. In the East Division, Miami was selected to win, followed by Ohio, Kent State, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Akron. The RedHawks were also predicted to win the 2011 MAC tournament title.

Live stats will be provided for all games on BallStateSports.com and updates can be found by following @BallStSoftball on Twitter.

COMING UP FOR THE CARDINALS: The Ball State softball team returns to the BSU Softball Complex next weekend for its final contests of the regular season, as the squad hosts Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.

Ball State's seniors - Barkley, Collins, Rozanski, Kristy Stratton (Paw Paw, Mich./Paw Paw) and Kate Wilczynski (Tucson, Ariz./Canyon Del Oro) - will be recognized Sunday, which has been designated Senior Day at the park.

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