Senior left fielder Amanda Arnett looks outfield after making contact with the ball in the game against Central Michigan on April 22 at the Varsity Softball Complex. The Cardinals will travel to Arizona this weekend to compete in the Wildcat Invitational. Allye Clayton // DN File
RECAP: Ball State vs. Abilene Christian, North Dakota State in second day of Wildcat Invitational
Ball State softball finished the second day of play at the Wildcat Invitational, splitting a double header against Abilene Christian and North Dakota State.
The Cardinals (3-6) worked their way out of a defensive pinch in the top of the fifth inning to allow Abilene Christian (1-4) only one run after having the bases loaded with no outs. Freshman pitcher Darcie Huber struck out the last batter to secure a 5-3 Cardinal lead.
Huber threw her first complete game with three strikeouts and five walks, putting her at a 3.00 ERA on the season.
The Ball State offense stood behind Huber, taking an early lead in the first inning after junior second baseman Maddy Labrador reached base on a double. Senior center fielder Rachel Houck singled up the middle to put her at one RBI in the game. Freshman catcher Janae Hogg kept the Cardinal offense alive with another single to left field to bring in Houck.
Hogg went 3-3 with two RBIs and now holds a .417 batting average on the season.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the Cardinals added on to their lead after a pair of errors from the Abilene Christian defense.
Wildcat second baseman Holly Neese attempted a comeback in the seventh inning, singling up the middle to put the tying run at the plate. Designated player for the Wildcats, Blair Clayton, was no match for Huber as she struck out to end the game.
With a 5-3 victory over Abilene Christian, Ball State went on to lose the second game of the day, suffering a 6-0 loss to North Dakota State (2-6).
In a scoreless game, freshman left fielder Stephanie Soriano found life for the Thundar in the top of the third as she doubled to left and advanced to third on an error by left fielder Kennedy Wynn. The Cardinal defense was able to recover after a heads-up play from Hopper to connect with sophomore catcher Olivia Huffman to get the out at the plate.
Remaining scoreless in the bottom of the inning, Labrador fired a shot down the left field line for a lead-off double. Houck reached base on a walk, but the Cardinal offense failed to bring in a run.
Junior right hander Carolyn Wilmes for the Cardinals ran into problems on the mound in the top of the fourth, putting two on base on balls. A single to right field from junior Bre Beatty put a run on the board for the Thundar.
A pair of base hits and a three-run homerun put North Dakota State up 6-0 to end the top of the fourth inning.
Failing to get on the board, the Cardinals took a 6-0 loss to the Thundar.
Wilmes pitched 3.2 innings, allowing seven hits and six runs. Sophomore pitcher Aeshia Miles came in to close out the game, only allowing one hit.
Ball State will wrap up the weekend tomorrow at 11 a.m. against Boston College to close out the Wildcat Invitational.