Ball State softball split a pair of games with Miami on Sunday. The Cardinals now possess a 13-1 record in the Mid-American Conference, and move to 29-13 overall.
The team sported bright pink uniforms in support of breast cancer awareness. The day’s “Think Pink” theme had special meaning for freshman Kelsey Schifferdecker.
The pitcher’s older sister, Tasha Rinehart, who is fighting breast cancer, was in attendance. Rinehart did more than just support her sister, she threw the game’s first pitch.
Schifferdecker went on to throw the first complete shutout game of her career. In the second game of the day, she held Miami to just two hits as a team.
“It really meant a lot to me, just because of having my sister there, along with the rest of my family,” Schifferdecker said. “I wanted to play well for her.”
The first game of the day, however, was a different story. Miami was able to score first, tallying two runs in the fifth inning. They would add a third run in the top of the seventh, pushing their score to an eventual final of three runs.
Ball State had just one run in the game. Amanda Carpenter drove in the team’s only run. With bases loaded, Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly allowing Loren Cihlar to score. The strong performance from Schifferdecker helped propel Ball State to a 6-0 victory in the second game of the double header. Through seven innings she allowed just two hits and struck out two hitters.
After losing to Ohio State last week, and then suffering a defeat to Miami in the first half of the double header, it was important for Ball State to get a win.
“In the loss to Ohio State, we learned a lot from it. We learned that we can’t really be complacent, and we have to keep pushing,” Schifferdecker said. “After losing in the first game, we just needed to get our grasp back and realize that we have what it takes to win.”
Taylor Rager continued to play at a high level, going 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs in game two. Jennifer Gilbert and Briana Evans each scored for Ball State as well.
Now with a 12-1 record in the MAC, Ball State holds a marginal lead over Central Michigan (11-3). The Cardinals will travel to Bloomington, Ind., on Tuesday for a non-conference game against the Hoosiers.