Ball State swept Central Michigan in a crucial double header on Friday. With the pair of wins, the Cardinals move to 32-13 overall, and 15-1 in Mid-American Conference play.
The Chippewas fell to 11-5 in MAC play, giving Ball State a four-game lead in the MAC West.
The Cardinals opened game one with an offensive explosion. Jennifer Gilbert’s two-run double in the top of the first inning got things started.
Selena Reyna followed up nicely with a huge grand slam. Her bomb gave the Cardinals a 6-0 lead at the close of the first.
In a short, five-inning game, the Cardinals would bring in a total of 12 runs. Nicole Steinbach held Central Michigan to just three hits, while striking out six batters.
The 12-0 victory was no indication of what would follow in the second game.
Things slowed down dramatically, and after seven innings, the teams were tied at just one run each.
Central Michigan had runners at the corners with two outs, when a Chippewa hitter sent a fly ball to right field. Ball State Sophomore Loren Cihlar was there to make a diving catch, sending the game to extra innings.
The extra innings gave Gilbert an opportunity to break yet another MAC hitting record. Gilbert gave Ball State its first lead of the game with a home run in the top of the eighth.
The clutch home run was her 20th of the season, breaking the MAC single-season record. With five RBIs on the day, she also extended her MAC career-record total to 178.
The Cardinals went on to seal a 6-4 victory after ten innings.
Ball State will return to MAC play Saturday with a 2 p.m. game at Eastern Michigan.