SOFTBALL: Milian breaks career strikeouts record in sweep of Indiana

Senior ace breaks Bernie CoffmanGÇÖs career mark set in 1989

Its official, the new magic number is 630.

With eight strikeouts in Ball State University's game-one win over Indiana University on Wednesday, senior pitcher Elizabeth Milian finally stands alone as the all-time Ball State career leader in strikeouts. Milian passed Bernie Coffman who had 628 strikeouts for the Cardinals from 1986 to 1989.

"I really didn't know what was happening [when fans started cheering]; I don't like to read the press clippings so I didn't know what was going on to be honest." Milian said as she chuckled over breaking the record. "It's nice because it means you're doing something right, right? So it must be a good thing"

Coach Craig Nicholson said he was impressed by Milian's ability to take back control of the game after an rough start.

"I thought [Milian] pitched well today," Nicholson said. "They had seven or eight hits early, but a lot of those were flairs, and we made adjustments so we were able catch those balls."

Besides the historical day for Milian, the Cardinals were able to sweep the doubleheader against the Hoosiers with a score of 5-2 in the first game and 9-1 in the second.

Indiana (9-27, 1-5 Big Ten Conference) jumped out to the early lead in game one with a one-out RBI single from Jennifer Glueckert, but Milian struck out the last two batters to end the threat.

Ball State quickly took away that lead in the bottom of the first as Alyssa Collins hit a two out single, scoring Jessie Ware and Lisa Rozanski. The Cardinals tacked on three more runs in the second off a one out double that lined down right field from Amanda Carpenter, scoring two, putting the game at 5-1.

Though Ball State experienced some struggles in the field on Wednesday, Carpenter said her teammates were there to pick each other up.

"I felt that we had a lot of team effort today," Carpenter said. "We made some errors but we picked each other up."

The Hoosiers put another run on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, but it was to no avail as Milian (19-2) was locked in and closed the game out.

Milian said hard work and determination have gotten her to where she is now, close to leading the conference in almost every statistical category.

"The big thing for me was coming back from my junior year; I kind of reinvented myself," Milian said. "This summer before coming into this season I worked on being more crisp and developing my pitches for tighter movement. Each year I've built myself. I've improved every year and I think that's why this has happened."

Milian pitched her 19th complete game giving up seven hits, two earned runs and striking out eight.

The second game was fast and swift as the mercy rule came into effect in just five innings Ball State pounded the ball for a 9-1 victory.

Indiana's starting pitcher, Jessica Dobson (2-3), was unable to record an out. She was replaced after allowing the first three batters to reach base by the previous games' starter Monica Wright (2-8).

The Cardinals (26-9, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) produced two runs in the first, but the big inning was in the third.

Eight Cardinals batters reached base in a row and six runs were put on the board. Alyssa Collins had a two-RBI single and Kate Wilczynski bunted to score Carpenter. Three runs were also added on by a one-out, three-RBI single by Sadie Robertson.

This game, just like the first, was put out of reach quickly as Ball State wrapped up the sweep.

Ball State starter Audra Sanders (5-6) had a complete-game effort for the Cardinals. She gave up four hits, one earned run and struck out two.

To continue this momentum, the job is clear for Nicholson and his team.

"We need to do the same things we did today. We played good defense and had good pitching," Nicholson said. "We did a really nice job of getting good pitches to hit and driving in runs."


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