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Errors Costly As Toledo Rallies Past Softball

   MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State softball team held a 4-0 lead after two innings, only to see Toledo respond with six unanswered runs to pull out a 6-4 victory over the Cardinals Sunday afternoon at the BSU Softball Complex.

   The Cardinals (19-13, 1-1 MAC) did manage to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but the Rockets’ (13-22, 5-3 MAC) Emily Anderson struck out the final Ball State batter of the game.

   Junior left fielder Loren Cihlar (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) collected two of Ball State’s five hits in the game, while also scoring two of BSU’s four runs.

   Senior designated player Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) remained perfect at the plate versus the Rockets, with a two-run single in the second. She was hit by a pitch in her first at bat, while drawing intentional walks in the fourth and sixth innings. Gilbert finished the two-game series versus Toledo by going 5-for-5, with four singles, a triple, two intentional walks and a hit by pitch. She scored two runs, while driving in three.

   The Cardinals opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, thanks to a bases loaded walk to senior first baseman Taylor Rager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern). Cihlar scored on the play after opening the inning with a bunt single to the catcher.

   Ball State extended its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second, capitalizing on two hits and two UT errors to score three more runs. With one out, sophomore center fielder Briana Evans (Tulsa, Okla./Union) drew a walk and advance to second on a Toledo fielding error which allowed Cihlar to reach first.

   Sophomore second baseman Emily Dabkowski (Plainfield, Ind./South Putnam) followed with a fielder’s choice to second, but another Rockets error kept the bases loaded. After an illegal pitch brought home Evans from third, Gilbert sliced a two-run single through the right side to give BSU a 4-0 lead.

   Toledo posted its first three runs (all unearned) of the game in the top of the third, capitalizing on three Ball State miscues to draw within one. After two scoreless innings, the Rockets evened the score in the sixth on a pinch hit RBI single from Leigh Nebendahl.

   Another Ball State error in the top of the seventh proved costly, however, as Toledo was able to score two more unearned runs to take its first lead of the weekend. The Cardinals managed to load the bases in the bottom of the frame, but came up empty on a game-winning strikeout by Anderson.

   The Ball State softball team returns to action Wednesday, when it travels to Purdue for a 5 p.m. first pitch at the Boilermaker Softball Complex.

   For the most up-to-date news on Ball State softball, follow the team on Twitter: @BallStateSB and @TyraPerry13/ Instagram: ballstatesb / Facebook: BallStateSoftball

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