Led by a 37th-place finish from Jill Scully, the women's cross country team placed 13th out of 22 teams at Saturday's Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis.
The Cardinals totaled 285 points, with Michigan State's 72 being the winning total. Two other Mid-American Conference teams competed and finished ahead of BSU - Toledo (sixth, 158) and Miami (ninth, 237).
Head coach Sue Parks said that while the competition was strong, her team could have run better.
"It was a great field, but it still wasn't the kind of performance we're looking for," she said.
"It's been the same thing every meet. There are a few individuals who run well, but we're still struggling to put together a strong team performance."
Scully was one who did run well. She covered the 6,000-meter course in 22:02.5. It marked the third straight meet in which the sophomore has led the Cardinals.
Senior Stacey Ritz and sophomore Sarah Huddleston crossed the line 10 seconds later in virtually a dead heat. Ritz placed 42nd in 22:10.2. Huddleston placed 43rd in 22:10.5.
"Jill and Sarah ran really well," Parks said. "I also thought Stacey, for just her second race back, gave a good effort. Other than that, we weren't really on, and we need more than two or three people running well."
Junior Crystal Meeks was Ball State's next highest finisher, crossing the line in 86th. Senior Katie Nowak (96th), sophomore Aubrey Gaffer (129th), sophomore Linda Stebbins (135th) and freshman Nicole Hartford (147th) rounded out the Cardinal finishers.
Parks said that while her team's performance wasn't that good, there is still potential for high finishes.
"The Notre Dame Invitational on Friday will be a good opportunity for us to bounce back," she said. "We know the season's half done and time is running out, but we're not panicking.
"I'm still confident we have a good team. If we hit on all cylinders, we'll be very good."