SOFTBALL: Ball State doesn't change practice for Big Ten opponent

Cardinals ready for doubleheader against Purdue

Whether preparing for an opponent of one of the big six conferences, or a small school looking to make their way up the ranks, Ball State University's practice routine never changes.

Ball State will host Purdue University in a doubleheader Wednesday starting at 3 p.m.

"This will be just another typical week," coach Craig Nicholson said. "We've been doing what we always do."

For Nicholson, he has learned one thing about Purdue's (20-22) style of play: aggressiveness on the base paths.

"We've played [Purdue] the last couple years and one thing that they do as well as anyone, is running the bases," Nicholson said. "They are very aggressive, and that's something that we need to focus in on when they're up at the plate."

Ball State (28-11) will find a way to have their ace starting pitcher Elizabeth Milian (20-4) on the rubber at some point in the two games. One week ago, Milian became the all-time strikeout leader in Ball State history.

"To tell you the truth I don't know the [rotation] of our pitching for [Wednesday]," Nicholson said. "We're going to throw Milian in at some point tomorrow. We're just not sure how we're going to plan it out yet."

Ball State dropped its last two games for Saturday and Sunday at Kent State University, but Nicholson isn't looking to make major changes, necessarily.

"Typically, it's not about making adjustments for us," Nicholson said. "It comes down to executing better than we did. It's a matter of doing what we do best."

Continually playing big conference teams can be beneficial to making a team better. Nicholson said that the higher level of completion with those teams is obvious.

"To some degree the [competition is higher], and that's fine," Nicholson said. "As far as what we do, our mentality doesn't change. We go out and try to win as many games in the regular season every single time."

This will be Ball State's third doubleheader in a week. Going into this matchup, they have swept both doubleheaders against Indiana University and University at Buffalo.