SOFTBALL: Ball State sweeps doubleheader on road at Dayton

Ware, Montalto lead offensive charge for BSU

The Ball State University softball team kept on rolling Wednesday evening, taking care of business with a doubleheader sweep at the University of Dayton.

With the win, the Cardinals improve to 19-6 and have now won 17 of their last 19 games.

"With this team, I feel like there's a certain energy about us," sophomore catcher Amanda Montalto said. "We walk on the field and we know we're going to get business done and that's what we did today."

Montalto brought the lumber for Ball State against Dayton (9-14), hitting a three-run home run in the Cardinals' 7-2 game-one win and a two-run homer in their 5-0 game-two victory.

"In the beginning, I wasn't really feeling like myself," Montalto said. "Then I was talking to Jess [Ware] and she said ‘Just relax and have fun.' Then I just relaxed and next thing I knew it was going over."

Ware, meanwhile, continued her torrid pace at the plate for the Cardinals. The Mid-American Conference leader in hits, total bases, triples and runs scored combined to go 6-for-8 on the day with three RBIs.

The senior infielder improved her batting average 34 points from .390 to .424.

"I felt really loose and I swinging it well in [batting practice]," Ware said. "I was feeling good, really relaxed and seeing the ball well."

Ball State coach Craig Nicholson said he's come to expect that kind of production out of his middle-of-the-lineup hitters like Montalto and Ware.

"They both had good days," he said. "We expect them to go up there and have quality at-bats."

The Cardinals also got solid performances from their No. 2 and 3 pitchers, Audra Sanders and Kim Mazzapica.

Sanders (4-4) went the distance in game one, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out 10.

Mazzapica (2-1), meanwhile, went six innings in game two, allowing three hits before being pulled in the seventh to allow ace Elizabeth Milian to get an inning of work.

"I just tried to jam them a lot and get ahead in the count so I could make them hit a pitch that I wanted them to hit," Mazzapica said.

Nicholson said he was happy to see his No. 2 and 3 pitchers step up.

"It was good to see both our pitchers go out and throw the ball well and give us an opportunity to win the ballgame," he said.

Ball State has five days off before traveling to IUPUI for its final non-conference game Tuesday before beginning MAC play April 3 at home against Miami University.