The Ball State softball team went 2-3 in its second weekend of the season at the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational in Houston, Texas.

Ball State took on Texas, Iowa State and Houston in the five-game invitational, bringing its season record to 4-6.

MAC West Division Standings

1. Northern Illinois 2-3

2. Ball State 4-6

3. Central Michigan 4-6

4. Eastern Michigan 4-6

5. Western Michigan 1-4

6. Toledo 1-7

The weekend started rough as the Cardinals dropped their first two. The first loss came against 24th-ranked Texas, 13-2 in five innings (due to the NCAA softball mercy rule). The second loss of the day came at the hands of Iowa State, who edged Ball State 8-5 after the Cyclones scored seven of its runs in the last three innings.

"Texas is a very good team," head coach Megan Ciolli Bartlett said in a statement. "The Iowa State game was a heartbreaker. ... We made better adjustments at the plate, but came up at the short end."

The third defeat of the weekend came early on Feb. 20 when the Cardinals saw Texas again, this time losing 8-0 and being held to only one hit in the five-inning ball game.

Later that day, the Cardinals once again played in a five-inning game on the other side of the scoreboard beating Houston 10-0.

“It’s a great feeling to finally get a quality win this weekend,” Bartlett said. 

Senior pitcher Nicole Steinbach put together another stellar outing, getting her third win of the season by turning in five scoreless innings against Houston. 

The bats came alive against Houston, too. Senior infielder Emily Dabkowski went 3-3 with a double, single and home run while tallying five RBIs. There were four Cardinals who finished that game with multiple hits.

On Feb. 21 the Cardinals picked up its last win against Iowa State 6-4 in eight innings. Junior outfielder/infielder Rachel Houck stepped up going 3-4 with 2 RBI's and Dabkowski went 1-4 with 2 RBI's and a homerun. 

Senior pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker came in to pitch in the fourth inning, in relief of Steinbach, and went on to pitch 4.2 scoreless innings to grab the win.

After two weekends and 10 games, Ball State sits at 4-6 and in second place in the MAC West division.

The Cardinals return at the Western Kentucky Tournament in Bowling Green, Kentucky. They’ll face Southeast Missouri, Western Carolina, Western Kentucky, and Valparaiso. They’ll kick off the weekend against Southeast Missouri Feb. 26.