Game 37 - Ball State at Northern Illinois
Wednesday, April 11, 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT
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Game 38 - Ball State at Northern Illinois
Wednesday, April 11, 4 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. CT
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Game 39 - Ball State hosts Western Michigan
Friday, April 13, 3 p.m.
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Game 40 - Ball State hosts Western Michigan
Saturday, April 14, 1 p.m.
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Game 41 - Ball State hosts Western Michigan
Saturday, April 14, 3 p.m.
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• After a brief three-game homestand, the Ball State softball team hits the road again Wednesday for a 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT doubleheader at Northern Illinois ... The Cardinals return home, however, for a weekend series with Western Michigan which includes a single game Friday (3 p.m.) and a twin bill Saturday (1 p.m.).
• Fans unable to attend this week's games can follow the action with live stats for all five games at: http://www.sidearmstats.com/ballstate/softball... Live video will also be offered by NIU Wednesday at http://www.niuhuskies.com/watch and by Ball State this weekend at http://www.ballstatesports.com/watch... Fans can also follow @BallStateSB on twitter for game updates throughout the season.
• Wednesday's doubleheader at NIU will be a little different than normal, as Ball State will serve as the home team for the first game ... The Cardinals and Huskies were originally scheduled to open a three-game midweek series with a twin bill in Muncie last Tuesday (April 3), but the day was rained out ... Unfortunately, league rules prohibit moving dates and locations of the midweek series, however, one of the games is allowed to be made up as part of a doubleheader in the return trip ... In that makeup game, the original home team is designated as the home team for that contest, making Ball State the home team for the first game at Mary M. Bell field on Wednesday.
• SERIES VERSUS NIU:The Huskies hold a 45-29 lead in the all-time series versus the Cardinals, including a 6-3 win in DeKalb in the 2017 series finale played April 12 ... Ball State won both ends of an April 4, 2017 doubleheader in Muncie, by scores of 3-2 and 6-4, to open the series ... NIU's last win in Muncie was a 12-4 (6) victory April 13, 2016 ... Overall, the Huskies hold a 17-11 edge in games played on Ball State's home field ... A complete series history can be found on page four of this release.
• SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS:The Huskies enter Wednesday's doubleheader with a 14-22 (5-4 MAC) record after going 1-2 versus Ohio last weekend ... NIU won the first game of the series 15-5 (5), before losing the final two by scores of 2-0 and 7-6 ... Jenny Van Geertry leads the Huskies with a .443 batting average, 29 runs scored and nine doubles, while her 22 RBI and four home runs are second on the team ... Sam Schmidt is second on the squad with a .402 average ... Tara Thacker has thrown a team-high 88.0 innings in the circle and has a 4.14 ERA and a 5-10 record ... She also has 52 strikeouts and is holding opposing batters to a .284 average ... As a team, the Huskies have a .281 batting average, a 4.06 ERA and a .959 fielding percentage.
• SERIES VERSUS WESTERN MICHIGAN:The Broncos hold a 62-56 lead in the all-time series including a pair of wins to close out the 2017 regular season in Kalamazoo, Michigan ... The Cardinals won the first game played May 5 by a score of 2-1, only to drop both ends of a May 6 doubleheader by scores of 8-2 and 2-1 ... Ball State did sweep a three-game set from Western Michigan in its last trip to Muncie (April 29-30, 2016) by scores of 5-4 (9), 6-2 and 10-2 (5) ... Overall, Ball State holds a slim 32-30 edge in games played in Muncie, including eight straight wins ... WMU's last win in Muncie was an 11-10 victory May 6, 2011 ... A complete series history can be found on page four of this release.
• SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN:The Broncos enter a Wednesday doubleheader at Central Michigan with a 19-16 (6-4 MAC) record ... WMU went 2-2 last week, starting with a 5-2 Tuesday loss at CMU ... The Broncos rebounded with a pair of wins over Akron, 9-2 and 5-2, before losing the series finale by a score of 5-4 ... The first game was played Saturday, while the final two were on Sunday ... Samantha Coffel leads the Western Michigan offense with a .383 batting average, 11 doubles and 23 RBI ... Mackenzie Swinehart is second on the team with a .371 average and is also second with 23 runs scored ... Jordan Kurth has started a team-high 11 games and has thrown a team-high 70.0 innings ... She has a 3.80 ERA and a 7-3 record, while limiting opposing batters to a .241 average ... As a team, the Broncos have a .299 batting average, a 3.91 ERA and a .961 fielding percentage.
BALL STATE TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• Ball State's postponed game at Butler has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 18 at 4 p.m. at the Bulldogs' Softball Field ... The game was originally scheduled for March 21, but snow and cold temperatures forced its postponement.
• The Ball State softball team played its first 33 games of the season on the road which is the longest stretch of road games in program history ... Ball State played 32 straight road games to open the 2016 season, while starting the 2012 campaign with 31 straight road games.
• Ball State softball enters Wednesday's doubleheader versus NIU with a 997-1031-4 (.492) all-time record ... Established as a varsity program in 1975, Ball State has won five MAC regular season titles (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014), six MAC West Division crowns (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015), three MAC Tournament championships (1998, 2010 and 2015) and advanced to the NCAA Regionals three times (1998, 2010 and 2015).
• Opening weekend saw the Cardinals play the 2,000th game in program history, earning a 5-1 win over Georgetown (Feb. 10).
• Since the 2009 season, Ball State has proven to be the MAC's premier program by compiling a 137-60 (.695) league record ... Kent State is second on the list over the same span at 131-68 (.658), while Miami is third at 122-83 (.595) ... Ball State boasts a 409-413-1 (.498) all-time MAC record in 35 years.
• Ball State enters the week ranked first in the MAC and 14th nationally with a .499 slugging percentage ... Of the Cardinals' 221 hits on the year, 61 have been doubles and 40 have been home runs, both of which lead the conference ... Five Ball State players enter the week with slugging percentages above .500, led by sophomore slugger Janae Hogg
who is third in the MAC and 50th nationally at .765.
• The Ball State pitching staff enters the week ranked second in the MAC with a 2.69 team ERA ... Junior starter Aeshia Miles
is second in the league with a 2.13 ERA over a league-high 118.1 innings, while sophomore reliever Alyssa Rothwell
is third in the MAC with a 2.15 ERA over 45.2 innings of work.
• Aeshia Miles
enters the week tied for first in the MAC with 13 pitching wins ... Her win total ranks 46th nationally and is greater than or equal to the win total of three league schools this season; Buffalo (13), Eastern Michigan (6) and Akron (2).
• Aeshia Miles
earned her first career no-hitter in Ball State's 8-0 (6) victory over Robert Morris (March 2) ... She retired the first 17 batters she faced before issuing a two-out, sixth-inning walk to spoil the perfect game ... She responded by inducing a grounder to herself for the final out to also lock up her first career complete game shutout ... Miles also joined Alyssa Rothwell
in a combined no-hitter versus St. Bonaventure (March 17) ... Miles threw the first 3.0 innings with the only baserunners coming from a pair of Ball State errors ... Rothwell pitched the final two, with her only baserunner coming via a walk.
• It's been an interesting career for Aeshia Miles
, who was originally recruited as a fielder ... In fact, Miles has earned 82 starts at eight different positions over her Ball State career; 26 (P), 22 (3B), 17 (2B), six (LF), five (RF), four (1B), one (CF) and one (DP) ... She made her first career pitching appearance in the 2017 season opener versus DePaul (Feb. 10), starting the game in left field before entering the circle to throw the final two innings and earn her first career save.
• In addition to ranking second in the league in ERA, Ball State ranks second in the MAC with 221 strikeouts ... Aeshia Miles
leads the team, ranks fourth in the conference and is 78th nationally with 111 strikeouts ... Senior pitcher Carolyn Wilmes
is ninth in the league with 64 strikeouts.
• Ball State's 16 runs in the series finale at Akron (March 31) were the most runs the Cardinals have scored in a regular season MAC game since a 17-4 (5) win over Bowling Green April 23, 2010 ... Ball State also scored a 16-1 victory over NIU (May 13) in a 2010 MAC Tournament game played at Firestone Stadium.
• In addition, the Cardinals finished the three-game series sweep of Akron with 30 total runs, which is the most runs Ball State has scored in a MAC series in the current three-game format which started in 2016 ... The previous record was 23 runs in March 23-24, 2018 series at Bowling Green.
• So far this season, the Cardinals have scored double-digit runs in three league wins; 12-0 (5) at Bowling Green (March 24), 16-5 (5) at Akron (March 31) and 15-7 (6) versus Kent State (April 6) ... It's the most double-digit scoring games for the Cardinals in the first nine league games since the 2013 squad accomplished the feat four times.
• Overall, Ball State enters the week with the 18th-most prolific scoring offense in the country, averaging a MAC-best 6.14 runs per game ... The Cardinals have scored six-or-more runs in 17 games so far this season, owning a 16-1 record in those contests ... In fact, Ball State has scored six-or-more runs in an inning nine times this season.
• The Ball State offense has been nearly unstoppable over the last 13 games, producing 117 runs and a .357 team batting average .... 13 different Cardinals have recorded at least one hit in the run, with sophomore left fielder Haley Dominique
paving the way with 20, including six doubles, a triple and a home run ... Senior second baseman Maddy Labrador
has a team-high seven home runs over the span, while also producing a team-leading 27 RBIs and a 1.023 slugging percentage.
• In Ball State's 12-0 (5) win at Bowling Green March 24,Maddy Labrador
did something not even the MAC's career RBI leader Jennifer Gilbert (2011-14) could accomplish in her Ball State career; tally seven RBIs in a single game ... Her first three RBIs came on a three-run home run in the top of the third inning ... She one-upped herself in the fourth by blasting her first career grand slam for the Cardinals to raise her RBI total to seven on the day ... Her seven RBIs are the most in a single game in program history.
• A two-time MAC West Division Player of the Week, sophomore left fielder Haley Dominique
leads the Ball State offense and ranks fifth in the MAC with a .408 batting average ... Dominique has scored a team-high and MAC-leading 35 runs this season and is third on the team with 28 RBIs ... She also tallied Ball State's first triple of the season versus Fordham (March 2) and hit the Cardinals' first grand slam of the year against Robert Morris (March 2).
• A .343 career batter, Haley Dominique
enters the week ranked third in program history with a .456 career on base percentage, including a .496 mark so far this season ... Dominique has reached base safely in 33 of Ball State's 36 games this season ... She had a career-long 12-game hitting streak snapped Saturday versus Kent State (April 7), but is still on a career-best 15-game streak of reaching base safely.
• Sophomore slugger Janae Hogg
enters the week ranked first in the MAC and 26th nationally with 11 home runs ... Of her 11 home runs this season, four have driven in what has stood to be the game-winning run ... Hogg leads Ball State's active players with 10 career game-winning RBIs, including her four this season ... Six of her 10 career game-winning RBIs have come via the long ball; vs. Miami (April 2, 2017), at Northern Illinois (April 4, 2017), vs. Boston University (Feb. 17. 2018); at New Mexico State (Feb. 17, 2018), vs. Florida A&M (March 9, 2018) and at Bowling Green (March 24, 2018).
• Ball State enters the week with a league-leading 40 home runs ... Nine different Cardinals have hit at least one home run this season which ties with Western Michigan for the league lead ...Janae Hogg
's 11 home runs are the 10th-best single season total in program history, while Maddy Labrador
's nine are tied for 15th ... Both also rank 11th in program history with 16 career home runs for the Cardinals.
• Alyssa Rothwell
tied the Ball State single season saves record by picking up her fifth save of the year in last Saturday's opener at Akron (March 31) ... Rothwell, who made history at the ECU Pirate Invitational by becoming the first Ball State player to record three saves in a single weekend, also raised her career saves total to eight, which is one shy of the program record of nine set by Nicole Steinbach (2013-16).
• With her 64 strikeouts so far this season, Carolyn Wilmes
has raised her career total to 273 which is ninth in program history ... Wilmes needs nine more strikeouts to pass Audra Sanders(2010-13) career total of 281 for eighth on Ball State's all-time list ... Elizabeth Milian (2007-10) holds the program record with 762 strikeouts, while only seven pitchers have reached 300 strikeouts in program history.
•Ball State batters have drawn 152 walks so far this season which ranks first in the MAC and 10th nationally ... Janae Hogg
leads the Cardinals and is second in the MAC with 30 walks, while Hailey Demnianiuk
is fifth in the league with 19 free passes ... The total already ranks as the ninth-best single season mark in program history ... The program record for walks in a season is 238 set by the 2008 squad, while last season's squad is third on the list with 197.