CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Ball State softball team fell to No. 23 Florida Gulf Coast 6-5 Friday in day two of South Florida’s Under Armour Showcase. The Cardinals beat Hofstra 2-1 later in the day. Ball State has won the last five of its seven games.
Ball State had No. 23 Florida Gulf Coast (25-4) on its heels for Friday’s first game.
Lisa Rozanski started off by reaching first on a walk. She made her way to third and scored on a wild pitch for the first run. There were no hits for Ball State in the inning.
With no outs and bases loaded, the Cardinals dug themselves out of a hole with double play from third to home to first, preventing any scoring for the Eagles. Allie Pennock ended the inning by catching a fly ball in left field.
In the bottom of the second, Rozanski caught a ball deep into center field wall for the second out. The bases loaded once again for Florida Gulf Coast with two outs. Pennock caught her second fly ball to save Ball State.
For the third consecutive inning, the bases loaded for the Eagles with two outs. This time Kate Wilczynski made the assist to first base for the last out.
With a deep hit into left field for a possible triple, the ball rolled under the fence for a ground rule double, preventing Florida Gulf Coast from driving in a run. After an intentional walk, the bases were loaded for the fourth time. Laura Masch saved the inning with a strikeout, her second of the day.
Jessica Carter notched a double into center field for the Eagles in the bottom of the fifth. She advanced to third after a line drive shot back to Laura Masch, allowing the batter to reach first. The next batter singled to left field to put Florida Gulf Coast on the board. The Eagles scored three more runs in the inning for a score of 4-1.
Rozanski beat out her hit to second base for a single to begin the sixth. The hit was the first in the game for Ball State. Pennock matched the hit with one of her own. Following the play, Florida Gulf Coast changed pitchers. Bases were loaded for the Cardinals this time. Jen Reifschneider doubled down the right field line, driving in Rozanski and Alicia Barkley. Elizabeth Milian laid a sacrifice bunt to bring Collins home for the tying run. Three runs and five hits were made in the inning for Ball State.
Rozanski singled up the middle to become the possible winning run, and stole second. However, the Cardinals were unable to send her home in the top of the seventh.
With two runners on base for Florida Gulf Coast, a fly out to Kamilah Holle ended the seventh, putting the game into extra innings.
Barkley started on second for Ball State for international scoring. Milian singled down the right field line for her second RBI of the day to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead.
The Eagles answered with their own run off a single to left field, driving in the placed runner who stole third. With the score at 5-5, another single to left field pushed the winning runner home to end the game 6-5 in favor of the Eagles.
Ball State totaled seven hits to Florida Gulf Coast’s 14 in the loss. The Cardinals also left six runners on base to the Eagles’ 15.
After previously losing to Hofstra 2-1 March 6, Ball State (7-10) redeemed itself with a 2-1 win Friday.
Milian struck out the first two batters of the game, while the third popped up to Bejarano at catcher for the last out.
Rozanski doubled to left center for the first hit of the match, but was unable to make it around to the plate.
It was three up, three down for Hofstra in the second inning as Ball State’s defense did not let up. The Cardinals then took an early 1-0 lead when Wilczynski hit a wall-slamming double to knock Milian in.
Barkley beat out the hit to shortstop for a single in the third. That would be the only hit in the inning for the Cardinals. She also made a back-handed fly in foul territory for the first out the following inning. Bases were loaded, with two outs, when Pennock made a diving catch in left field to close the side.
The Pride scored the tying run with a single to center field, driving the runner on second home. Another single advanced the runner on first to third base. A popup to Milian on the mound ended the hits for Hofstra in the sixth inning.
Collins singled to center for the Cardinals fourth hit of the game, but was unable to score.
Milian began the bottom of the seventh inning with a single to left field for the lead off run. Katelyn Gunderson was sent in to pinch run for her. She made it to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jen Moore. Wilczynski dropped one into the center field, allowing Gunderson to score the winning run for a final score of 2-1. Wilczynski earned two RBIs in the match.
Ball State earned six hits, including two doubles throughout the game.