MUNCIE, Ind. - - For the first time this season, and the ninth time in her career, Ball State softball senior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) has been named the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week.
Gilbert earns the honor after helping guide the Cardinals to a 3-1 record last week, including a perfect 3-0 mark at the Blues City Classic hosted by Memphis at Greenbrook Park in Southaven, Miss.
For her effort at last weekend’s tournament, Gilbert was named to the Blues City Classic All-Tournament First Team. Gilbert posted a .500 (6-for-12) batting average over Ball State’s two days at the event, with five RBI and five runs scored. She also tallied a double, triple and home run for a 1.000 slugging percentage, while logging her first stolen base of the season.
With one swing of the bat versus Murray State last Saturday, Gilbert took over sole possession of two MAC career records by blasting her 58th career home run and scoring her 168 career run. Gilbert would go on to score four more runs the remainder of the weekend to finished the tournament with 172 career runs scored.
Gilbert’s five RBI at the Blues City Classic also moved her closer to becoming the first player in league history to record 200 career RBI, raising her career total to 194.
Gilbert reached base safely in all four of Ball State’s games last week, with three of her six hits going for multiple bases, including her first triple of the season versus Southeast Missouri State. Gilbert also drove in what proved to be the game-winning run versus SEMO with her RBI single in the third inning.
Over Ball State’s four games last week, Gilbert tallied a .467 (6-for-14) batting average and led the squad with a .857 slugging percentage.
The Cardinals have had a MAC weekly award winner in each of the first three weeks of the season. Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker (Belton, Mo./Belton) earned MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week accolades in each of the first two weeks, while senior first baseman Taylor Rager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) was named the MAC West Player of the Week during the first award period.
Gilbert and the rest of the Ball State softball team return to action Friday, when they open play in the Louisville Slugger Invitational hosted by Arizona State with games versus South Carolina (4:30 pm ET/2:30 pm MT) and FIU (6:45 pm ET/4:45 pm MT).
The Cardinals cap the three-day tournament with a Sunday showdown versus No.4-ranked Arizona State, which is coached by former Ball State head coach Craig Nicholson.