AKRON, Ohio - - Freshman pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker recorded her second complete game shutout of the season, while the offense exploded late as the Ball State softball team scored a 10-0 win over Toledo Friday morning in an elimination game in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Softball Tournament at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
The Cardinals, who improve to 36-16 this season, advance to face No. 6 Ohio at 11 a.m. Saturday after rain played havoc on this afternoon's schedule. The Rockets end the season with a 16-36 overall record.
In improving to 14-4 this season, Schifferdecker limited the Toledo offense to just seven hits over seven innings of work. She struck out two batters while issuing just one walk.
After scoring an unearned run in the second, the Cardinals’ bats officially heated up in the top of the fifth thanks to a two-run home run from junior first baseman Taylor Rager. Rager, who also doubled in the seventh inning, finished the contest 2-for-4 with two RBI, a run scored and a walk.
Freshman shortstop Selena Reyna also finished the game with a pair of hits, while every player who recorded an at bat for the Cardinals reached base.
Ball State scored the game’s first run in the top of the second thanks to the help of a pair of Toledo errors. With one out and the bases empty, senior center fielder Amanda Carpenter reached base when her grounder to first went right between the UT fielder’s legs.
After a second out and a walk to senior catcher Sadie Robertson, Reyna popped up to short left field for what looked to be the final out of the inning, however the Toledo fielder dropped the ball and Carpenter came around to score.
The game remained 1-0 until the top of the fifth when the Cardinals’ bats finally broke out of their MAC Tournament slump. With one out, junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert battled for a nine-pitch walk to set up Rager’s two-run blast to right field.
Carpenter followed with a single up the middle, while junior third baseman Audrey Bickel doubled to put runners at second and third. After senior pinch runner Julie Cortez entered the game to run at second, sophomore pinch hitter Jessica Craft reached base on an RBI fielder’s choice to make the score 4-0 as the play on the lead runner Carpenter was unsuccessful.
The Cardinals then successfully pulled off a double steal to bring home their fourth run of the inning, as Craft broke for second drawing a throw from the Toledo catcher which allowed Cortez to take off from third and easily cross the plate.
Ball State would tack on five more runs in the top of the seventh, putting the game out of reach. With one out, Bickel and Robertson both drew walks, while a groundout from Reyna advanced both runners.
In another clutch pinch hitting appearance, junior Lauren Schroeder sliced a RBI single through the left side to give Ball State a 6-0 edge. After sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox reentered the game and stole second, sophomore right fielder Loren Cihlar drew a walk to load the bases.
Back-to-back two-run singles from sophomore designated player Hanne Stuedemann and Gilbert then capped the scoring at 10-0.
Marla Gooding suffered the pitching loss for Toledo, falling to 12-23 on the year after giving up 10 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) over seven innings. She would strikeout four batters, while issuing six walks.