Right-handed pitcher junior Carolyn Wilmes cracked open Ball State's softball history book this afternoon by recording her first career no-hitter to lead the team to a 2-1 victory over Toledo (20-30, 8-9 MAC) in the first game of today's double-header.
The last time Ball State softball recorded a no-hitter was in May 2010 against Buffalo. With today's win, Ball State (29-20, 13-4 MAC) sits atop the Mid-American Conference as it closes out the home portion of the 2017 season in a three-game series with Toledo.
With today's win, head coach Megan Ciolli Bartlett also added to the book, recording her 50th career win in her two years with Ball State softball.
"It's exciting," Ciolli Bartlett said. "I'm just really proud of what we're building. These kids play hard and I think they're just helping us build something really special with the culture."
Wilmes recorded four strikeouts in just 18 at-bats in her seven innings pitched. Walking five batters today, Wilmes was able to work her way out of a few jams forcing the Rockets to strand runners on base.
"The great thing about Carl [Wilmes] is that she just batted through it, and that would have been a really hard thing for her to do a year ago," Ciolli Bartlett said. "The toughness factor went up a little bit today and I'm proud of her for that, but she will be sharper in the morning."
Toledo left runners on base in four innings, including three runners to load the bases for Wilmes in the top of the second. With the help of Ball State's defense, Wilmes forced a pop-up to center field to remain perfect after two.
Ball State's offense picked up its first run in the first inning after freshman lead-off batter Haley Dominique hit a solo shot to right field to give the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead.
Ball State's defense ran into trouble in the third inning, allowing Toledo to put a run on the board after two fielding errors. Remaining tied through five complete innings, Ball State junior infielder Maddy Labrador had an RBI double to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
Wilmes held the Rockets in their last two at-bats to secure a 2-1 victory. Dominique lead Ball State's bats with two hits to put her at .321 batting average on the season.
Ball State closed out the second game of the day with another victory. Junior first baseman Danae King gave Ball State a 4-3 lead over Toledo in the bottom of the third. King's three RBI home run puts her at 23 RBIs on the season.
The Cardinal offense continued to load the bases, after a pair of walks, followed by a base hit from sophomore catcher Olivia Huffman. Labrador hit a sacrifice fly to center to extend the Cardinal's 5-3 lead as they enter the fourth inning.
"We made better adjustments at the plate," Ciolli Bartlett said. "[Toledo] came inside a little bit and we turned on the ball. Danae King came up with a big home run that kind of broke the game open."
Freshman right-handed pitcher Darcie Huber started on the mound for the Cardinals. Grabbing a win today, Huber is now 8-6 on the season after giving up three runs and four hits in three complete innings pitched today.
Toledo right fielder Kylie Gross brought in two of the Rocket's three runs scored in the first inning with a 2 RBI double to put her at 10 RBIs on the season.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Alyssa Rothwell came in to pitch for the Cardinals in the top of the fourth. Rothwell picked up the save and had three strikeouts on the day.
Ball State added another run in the bottom of the fourth after freshman third baseman Janae Hogg lead off the inning with a lead-off single, followed by an RBI single from freshman Kennedy Wynn.
Wynn led the Cardinal's offense with three hits and two RBIs in today's second meeting.
The Rockets only managed to score one more run off a pair of singles in the sixth inning in an attempt to close the gap. The Cardinals were able to tack on another run in the bottom half of the sixth after junior pinch hitter Cadie O'Donnell beat out an infield hit.
Senior pinch hitter Amanda Arnett joined in with a 2 RBI single up the middle, to make it 9-4 at the end of the sixth inning. Ball State went on to beat Toledo with a final score of 9-4.
Ball State will close out the three-game series tomorrow with a single game against Toledo. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. at First Merchants Ball Park Complex.