Sophomore catcher Leigh McAnally attempts to hit the ball in the game against Central Michigan on April 22 at the Varsity Softball Complex. Ball State softball (3-11) will return to Florida this weekend to compete in the Under Armour Invitational. Allye Clayton // DN File
RECAP: Ball State goes 1-1 in double header vs. Drake, No. 10 Arizona on 1st day of Wildcat Invitational
Ball State softball opened the weekend up at the Wildcat Invitational with a double header against Drake and No. 10 Arizona.
What started with a two-run home run from senior center fielder Rachel Houck in the first inning ended with a 17-2 victory over Drake in the first matchup.
The Cardinals (2-5) offense pushed an 8-0 lead onto the Bulldogs in the top of the second, seeing another home run from junior shortstop Brittany Hopper to drive in Houck, who reached base for the second time on a fielder’s choice.
Ball State’s rally didn’t end there as a walk from Bulldog pitcher Aryka Knoche and three base hits for the Cardinals allowed them to put up six runs in the top of the second inning.
Giving up two runs to the Bulldogs in the bottom of the second, the Cardinals took those runs back after a walk and error from the Bulldogs, allowing for two more runs after Hopper’s sacrifice fly to bring in junior second baseman Maddy Labrador. The Cardinals weren't slowing down ending the third inning with a 14-2 lead.
Heading into the fourth, Hopper reached base again and reached the plate on a RBI single up the middle from freshman Caitlyn Robinson.
The Cardinals stayed hot when Houck grabbed her second home run of the game with a shot out to centerfield to bring in Labrador and junior outfielder Cadie O’Donnel to give the Cardinals a 15-run lead to end the game.
Houck finished with two home runs, going 2-4 with six RBI’s, putting her at a .364 batting average on the season. Hopper now holds a .400 batting average, as she went 2-3 today with one home run and three RBIs.
In an attempt to carry the momentum over to the second game against Arizona, the Cardinals let the Wildcats take an early 2-0 lead on a walk and two-run home run.
Junior right-hander Carolyn Wilmes was in the circle for the Cardinals, allowing nine hits and eight runs. The Ball State offense failed to recover, giving the Wildcats a 9-1 victory.
Reaching base on an Arizona error, freshman catcher Janae Hogg scored after freshman left fielder Kennedy Wynn’s RBI single. Wynn lead the Cardinals going 2-2 to score Ball State’s only run of the game.
Going 1-1 on the first day of the Wildcat Invitational, the Cardinals will play again at 11 a.m. Saturday as they take on Abilene Christian and North Dakota State at 1 p.m.