Ball State softball team poses for a team picture. PHOTO PROVIDED BY BALL STATE ATHLETICS
Softball splits doubleheader, snaps losing streak
Ball State softball (19-29, 5-13) snapped its losing streak, winning the first game of its doubleheader April 23, but still dropped two of its three games against Central Michigan (20-22-1, 7-9-1 MAC).
Sophomore pitcher Carolyn Wilmes’ led in game one of April 23’s doubleheader against Central Michigan, winning 2-1. Wilmes allowed one earned runs and five hits in the complete-game win. She is now 3-6 on the season and dropped her ERA to 6.25, the second-best mark on the team.
Ball State scored both runs in the second inning. After reaching on a walk, junior center fielder Rachel Houck scored on a throwing error by Central Michigan freshman third baseman Rachel Vieira. Later in the inning, freshman catcher Madison Lee drove in freshman infielder Madeline Porter.
Friday, April 22:
vs Central Michigan - L 0-1
Saturday, April 23:
G1 vs Central Michigan - W 2-1
G2 vs Central Michigan - L 2-9
Houck was hit by a pitch in the fourth and did not return. Head coach Megan Ciolli Bartlett said the loss would hurt.
“It’s going to sting, but somebody is going to have to step up,” she said.
Senior pitcher Nicole Steinbach started the second game, allowing 9 runs (8 earned) on 10 hits and 3 walks in the 9-2 loss.
In the second inning, junior left fielder India Steward seemingly made the inning-ending catch. Home-plate umpire Daimon Russel, however, said it bounced in front of the plate and was a live ball. Central Michigan scored four runs in that inning.
After making multiple changes to the defense and the lineup for this weekend, Bartlett said she saw the improvement she’d hoped for.
“We got more offensive production, so at the end of the day, I think we got what we needed out of the changes,” she said.
Ball State is now last in the Mid-American Conference West Division with six games remaining before the MAC tournament starts on May 11.
The team returns to action next weekend against Western Michigan at the softball field at First Merchant’s Ballpark Complex. The series kicks off on April 29 at 3 p.m., followed by a doubleheader April 30 at 1 and 3 p.m.