Softball kicks off MAC play this weekend against Miami
Controversial call sinks Ball State against Central Michigan
Junior left fielder India Steward caught the ball in the top of the second inning in the second half of Saturday's doubleheader, and the Ball State softball players began to run off the field.
The home-plate umpire, however, had a different idea.
Remaining MAC games:
April 29 vs Western Michigan - 3p.m.
April 30 vs Western Michigan - 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
May 6 at Toledo - 3 p.m.
May 7 at Toledo - 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
He ruled that the ball hit the ground off the bat and bounced into left field. The runner was safe at first.
Central Michigan went on to score four runs in the inning, creating a 5-1 deficit the Cardinals couldn’t overcome.
Head coach Megan Ciolli Bartlett said it was a turning point.
“[We were] getting out of the second, but the umpires make a controversial call," she said. "Making everyone come back out is very tough."
Softball, Ciolli Bartlett said, is very much a game of momentum, and the ability to quell your opponents' momentum and keep yours is a key to being a winning team.
“Momentum counts for a ton, and they took it back,” she said. “We had a long delay, but we’ve got to be mentally tougher. Tough calls are going to happen; umpires are human. We needed to do a better job of stopping the momentum.”
Ball State is now last in the Mid-American Conference West Division after losing two of three against Central Michigan.
Ball State will continue its season at home April 29-30 with three games against Western Michigan (18-23, 9-7 MAC), which is second in the MAC West.