SOFTBALL: Ball State prepares for double dip at Dayton

Cards have won 15 of its last 17 games and received a vote in TuesdayGÇÖs top-25 poll

It may be a simple formula of success, but Ball State University softball coach Craig Nicholson said staying consistent as a team has produced win after win for the Cardinals in the past few weeks.

Ball State (17-6), which received a vote in Tuesday's Softball Collegiate Top-25 poll, heads into today's doubleheader at the University of Dayton a winner of 15 of its last 17 games.

"Obviously, we want to go over there and get two wins," Nicholson said. "But we just want to continue to play at a high level."

The Cardinals' consistency this season begins with two seniors: pitcher Elizabeth Milian and infielder Jessie Ware.

Milian has racked up four Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week awards this season, her latest coming on Tuesday. Milian is 13-1 this season and has a microscopic 0.52 ERA to go with 124 strikeouts to just 16 walks, leading the MAC in just about every pitching category.

Nicholson said the best aspect of Milian's game doesn't even lie in the numbers.

"The best thing about [Milian] is, really, anytime you give her the ball, she's ready to go," Nicholson said. "She's not one to complain about being tired or being hurt, she's going to get you outs."

Ware, meanwhile, has lived up to the high expectations set upon her arrival when she transferred from prestigious Arizona State University to Ball State prior to this season.
Ware is third in the MAC in hitting at .390 and leads the conference in total bases (56), hits (30), triples (seven) and runs scored (24).

"She's really a spark plug," Nicholson said. "You look at some of those tight games, and when she's leading off an inning, she always finds a way to get an inning started and get our offense going."

The Cardinals look to keep that consistency going against a host Flyers team that has been "up-and-down" this season, according to Nicholson.

Dayton is 9-12 on the year and seemingly loses a couple games before winning a couple and then repeating the process again.

"I think the big thing for us is that we continue to play the game the way that we want to play it," Nicholson said. "I think if we can do that, then we can be successful."


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