A walk-off victory ended Ball State University's action last weekend, but the Cardinals would not need quite the same dramatics this weekend.
The Cardinals (36-13) swept Northern Illinois University in a double header on Friday before sweeping Western Michigan University on Saturday and Sunday to improve to 14-4 in Mid-American Conference play heading into the final week of the regular season.
Ball State had two tough wins Friday in DeKalb, Ill., as both ended in extra innings. The Cardinals used a four-hit performance from third baseman Jessie Ware and a four-run 10th inning to claim game one, 10-7, in 10 innings.
Ware collected another four hits and reached base five times en route to a 7-6 game two win. Ware started off the winning rally with a double to lead off the eighth inning. Lisa Rozanski followed with a walk, and Alicia Barkely moved both runners into scoring position with a groundout.
The Huskies' pitcher then bobbled the next play, allowing Ware to score the eventual game-winner, and Kim Mazzapica pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half to earn the save.
Ball State used the momentum from the Northern Illinois series to demolish Western Michigan on Saturday. Alyssa Collins had three hits and three RBIs as the Cardinals won 13-0 in five innings. Elizabeth Milian went the distance for the shutout, allowing only three hits and striking out eight.
Milian also became Ball State's all-time leader in wins in the victory over the Broncos. The senior toed the rubber Saturday afternoon at Western Michigan Fran Ebert Field with 77 career wins, tied with Bernie Coffman as the most in program history.
But she left with win 78 — and her eighth shutout this season — becoming Ball State's all-time leader in wins in the Cardinals' five-inning romp of the host Broncos.
The game Sunday was a much tighter one. Again, Ware was the catalyst for the offense, collecting four hits and scoring four runs.
But Western Michigan attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh. Michelle Bendewald hit her second home run of the game to bring the Broncos within one run.
But Milian was able to hold down the Broncos the rest of the inning, and she picked up her 26th win of the season.
The Cardinals return home to play Akron University in a doubleheader on Friday. After that, they play a two-game set against Ohio State University Saturday and Sunday. Sunday is the last regular season game, and Milian, Meredith Nash, Jen Reifschneider, and Ware will be honored on Senior Day.