MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State softball team fell to 33-21 overall and 13-7 in Mid-American Conference play after tallying a 13-5 loss in five innings versus league opponent Northern Illinois Saturday afternoon at the BSU Softball Complex.
After one scoreless inning, Ball State was the first to the board in the bottom of the second as freshman first baseman Taylor Rager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) hit a solo home run to center field, her seventh on the season.
Northern Illinois returned in the top of the third inning as Stephanie Tofft's single to center field scored Amanda Sheppard, who got on base with a single to second.
The Cardinals came back in the bottom of the third with three runs as senior shortstop Alicia Barkley (Oklahoma City, Okla./Putnam City) singled to center field, scoring senior center fielder Lisa Rozanski (Tampa, Fla./Daytona Beach CC), who drew a walk off pitcher Nicole Gremillion.
Junior catcher Amanda Montalto's (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde) sac fly out to right field brought junior second baseman Alison Mercado (Perris, Calif./Arizona Western) home and Rager doubled to center field, driving in Barkley to put Ball State up 4-1 versus Northern Illinois.
The Huskies added runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings to go up 13-4 over The Cardinals.
Then in the bottom of the fifth with two outs already on the board and the bases loaded, senior third baseman Kate Wilczynski (Tucson, Ariz./Canyon Del Oro) drew a walk off Northern Illinois' reliever Tofft to score Rager.
Then Rozanski struck out swinging, leaving three runners on base, and the Huskies secured the run rule after the fifth inning, winning the game 13-5.
Sophomore pitcher Audra Sanders tallied the loss on the mound for Ball State after 4.1 innings of work, giving up eight runs, allowing eight hits and walking one.
Ball State Softball returns to the field Sunday with a matchup versus Northern Illinois at 1 p.m. Ball State's seniors - Barkley, Alyssa Collins, Rozanski, Kristy Stratton and Wilczynski - will be recognized Sunday, which has been designated Senior Day at the park.