SOFTBALL: Offense carries Ball State to road win at IUPUI

Top six BSU hitters combine for 10 hits, 7 runs

Ball State University's first through sixth hitters brought the silverware, plates and napkins to their game Tuesday night at IUPUI.

That's because they were constantly setting the table for hits and runs against the Jaguars, as the first six batters combined for 10 hits, seven runs and seven RBIs in the Cardinals' 11-4 win.

Senior third baseman Jessie Ware, who was named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week on Tuesday, continued her dominance from the clean-up spot with two solo home runs against IUPUI.

She said communication between her teammates has been important to her team's consistency throughout the lineup.

"At first, that's what we struggled with – picking each other up," Ware said. "But now, even if somebody gets out, they want to tell the next batter, ‘This is what she threw.' It's good that we can all communicate."

Ball State (20-6) opened the game with a run in the first inning before exploding for seven runs in the top of the second to bust the game wide open.

Coach Craig Nicholson said a little luck was on his team's side in that key second inning before the Cardinals began to really hit the ball.

"To be quite honest, at the beginning of the inning, we really hit a few balls that just kind of found holes," he said. "Later on in the inning, we just hit the balls hard."

But IUPUI (6-20) wouldn't go away from that point, even facing Ball State ace Elizabeth Milian.

Milian, whose 0.51 ERA entering the game ranked No. 1 in the nation, got the win on Tuesday to improve to 14-1 on the season but gave up three runs – all earned – including two home runs to the Jaguars.

"I actually thought Elizabeth was pretty sharp, really," Nicholson said. "Those two home runs – those were on good pitches where they put good swings on the ball."

Nicholson said he was also pleased he could get his other two pitchers – Audra Sanders and Kim Mazzapica – a little work against the Jaguars. Sanders pitched 2 1/3 innings, while Mazzapica worked 2/3 of an inning.

Offensively, Ware, Alyssa Collins, Alicia Barkley, Amanda Montalto and Kate Wilczynski each had two hits on the day. Montalto had a game-best three RBIs and hit a home run.

Tuesday's game marked the end of the Cardinals' 26 consecutive games away from home to start the season. Ball State will finally host a game Saturday when Miami University comes to Muncie for a two-day series to start Mid-American Conference play.


More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue

Loading Recent Classifieds...