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Softball Sweeps MAC Weekly Awards For Third Time

   MUNCIE, Ind. - - For the third time this season, the Ball State softball team has swept the Mid-American Conference West Division weekly awards with senior outfielder Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) earning player of the week and sophomore pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker (Belton, Mo./Belton) garnering pitcher of the week accolades.

   Both players are picking up their respective awards for the third time this season. Gilbert is now an 11-time career MAC West Division Player of the Week, while Schifferdecker earns her fourth career MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week honor.

   “Jenny is locked in right now,” Ball State head coach Tyra Perry said. “She has taken her game to a new level since MAC play began, and it’s not just her offensive numbers. She has also made some tremendous plays on defense, including a game-changing throw home Saturday which stopped a Western Michigan rally and ultimately helped us pull out a victory. Kelsey turned in a pair of strong performances in the circle last weekend. She did a great job attacking batters and was able to keep them off balance and uncomfortable at the plate.”

   It was another benchmark-setting week for Gilbert who climbed into the top 10 on the NCAA Division I career home run list, at 71, and became the first player in MAC history to score 200 career runs. In helping guide the Cardinals to a 4-1 record for the week, Gilbert blasted four home runs and three doubles, while batting .571 (8-for-14) and posting a 1.643 slugging percentage.

   In Wednesday’s come-from-behind victory at Purdue, Gilbert launched a pair of homers, including a game-winning solo shot to lead off the seventh inning. Gilbert tallied her 70th career home run in Ball State’s 7-4 win Friday at Northern Illinois, while blasting her 71st career round-tripper in the Cardinals’ 5-2 victory Saturday at Western Michigan.

   Later in the same game versus the Broncos, Gilbert became the first player in league history to cross the plate 200 times, when she reached base on a sixth-inning walk and eventually came around to score on a groundout from classmate Taylor Rager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern). Prior to Gilbert, the MAC record for career runs scored was 167 set by former Ball State four-year letterwinner Lisa Rozanski (2008-11).

   Schifferdecker turned in a pair of strong pitching performances last weekend, picking up complete game victories at Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. Over 14.0 innings of work, she limited opponents to a combined five runs and 11 hits, while striking out eight batters. She posted a 2.50 earned-run average (ERA) for the week, and a 1.21 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP).

   In Saturday’s win at WMU, Schifferdecker limited the Broncos to just one run and three hits, while posting seven total strikeouts, which is one shy of her career-high.

   Gilbert, Schifferdecker and the rest of the Ball State softball team return to action Wednesday, when they play a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Indiana.

   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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