SOFTBALL: Pinch-hit double leads Ball State to victory

Cardinals pick up key conference win Sunday

Comeback wins are always a nice way to finish off a weekend, and a good way to gain momentum as the season progresses.

For Ball State University (24-9, 4-2), Sunday's 4-3 win over Eastern Michigan University (11-19, 3-5) was about more than momentum.

"It was a nice win, but it wasn't about momentum." coach Craig Nicholson said. "It was a win we needed in the standings."

The win gave the Cardinals their first sweep of a Mid-American Conference team this season after splitting the first pair of series.

For the second straight day, the Eagles struck quickly, scoring a run in the first inning courtesy of a Sarah Gerber RBI single. The Cardinals answered in bottom half of the inning with an RBI double by Amanda Carpenter that drove in Lisa Rozanski.

The tie was short-lived, however, as a second inning Jenny Scherer home run gave Eastern Michigan a 2-1 lead. The Eagles would add a second run in the inning to make it 3-1.

The score would remain that way until the Cardinals came up to bat in the sixth. An Amanda Montalto walk and a double by Kate Wilczynski put the tying run in scoring position. Jen Moore came in to pinch-hit and delivered a two-run double to tie the game.

Being a pinch hitter is not an easy thing to do, and Nicholson recognizes that Moore is the type of player that can be successful in such a role.

"It's probably more of a mental challenge than anything else," Nicholson said, "But the type of player who is successful at it is one who pays attention to everything that goes on in the game and is ready when she gets her turn."

This set things up for Kristy Stratton, who had delivered the game-winning RBI in Saturday's game. She came through once again with an RBI single that gave the Cardinals their first lead of the day at 4-3.

Elizabeth Milian tossed a scoreless seventh, and Ball State took the contest. 
Milian struck out six batters, and she needs just seven more to break the Ball State career record for strikeouts. Bernie Coffman, who pitched for Ball State from 1986 to 1989, currently holds the record with 628.


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