SOFTBALL: Offense shines in doubleheader against Buffalo

Mazzapica earns sixth win of the season

Ball State's high-powered offense continued its dominance Saturday in its doubleheader against Buffalo, winning the first game 7-4 and second game 9-1.

In the two games combined, Ball State hit a remarkable .385 to go along with 16 runs and 20 hits.

Senior shortstop Alicia Barkley said the team's energy and focus were the keys to Ball State's success.

"We came out from the get go," Barkley said. "We had a lot more energy than them and we were ready to play from the start. I think that had a lot to do with it."

In the first game of the doubleheader, Ball State defeated Buffalo 7-4 in an up-and-down game.

The Cardinals opened up the game with a quick 3-0 lead. Junior catcher Kristin Waldron, however, cut the lead to 3-2 with a two-run double in the top of the third inning.

After a scoreless fourth inning, Waldron hammered a two-run home run to center field in the top of the fifth inning to give the Bulls a 4-3 lead.

Freshman designated hitter Jennifer Gilbert returned the favor in the bottom of the fifth with her own two-run home run to right center, giving the lead back to the Cardinals at 5-4.

Barkley added a two-run inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the game at its final score of 7-4.

Junior right-handed pitcher Kim Mazzapica picked up her sixth win of the season after coming in for a struggling Audrey Workman in the top of the fourth inning. Mazzapica gave up seven hits and two runs in her 3 1/3 innings of work.

Gilbert said despite her late-inning heroics in game one, all she was trying to do was get a base hit.

"To be honest, I was just trying to get a base hit," Gilbert said. "I never go up to the plate thinking I really need to hit a home run right now and if I do, then we'll be ahead. I got a good pitch to hit and I hit it well enough that it went over the fence."

Ball State took its momentum into the second game, dominating Buffalo by a score of 9-1 in five innings.

In 25 at-bats, Ball State had a remarkable 11 hits to go along with nine runs. Gilbert continued her hot streak from game one, going 2-2 with two RBIs.

Freshman first baseman Taylor Rager added two RBIs of her own after hitting a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning that ended the game for Ball State because of the mercy rule.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Audra Sanders picked up her 16th win of the season for Ball State. In five innings of work, Sanders gave up three hits and one run.

Sanders said wins of this magnitude are important for Ball State going into the rest of the season and Mid-American Conference play.

"These wins help so much," Sanders said. "We are on a roll, we have our confidence, and we're a great team."

Sanders also said the key to more victories this upcoming weekend is playing the way Ball State knows how to play.

"In terms of this weekend, we just have to play our game," Sanders said. "If we do that, I know we'll do great."


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