Ball State senior Cadie O’Donnell hits the ball during the first game against Central Michigan April 21 at the softball field at First Merchant’s Ballpark Complex. Briana Hale, DN
Offensive surge guides Ball State Softball to series win over Western Michigan
Hit or miss?
For the Broncos and the Cardinals, there really wasn't a lot of missing as both teams would combine for 39 runs over the corse of three games. In the weekend slugfest, it was Ball State Softball (29-15, 7-5 MAC) that would walk away with a 2-1 series victory over Western Michigan (12-19, 5-6 MAC).
"Those were high offensive, absolute battles," head coach Megan Ciolli Bartlett said. "Western Michigan is a high energy, high contact team and they're just gritty. To get a series win there is a step in the right direction."
Game 1: 7-5 Ball State
Game 2: 10-9 Western Michigan
Game 3: 5-3 Ball State
Big hits in big moments were key for the Cardinals in their finish this weekend. Sophomore Kendall Fields had big hacks throughout the weekend, kicking off game one with a four run home run, a three run home run in game two to tie the game in the seventh and a two run home run in game three to bring in the winning run. She would finish with an RBI of 10 on the weekend.
"Kendall is a dynamic hitter," Bartlett said. "I think what I love most about Kendall is that there is no fear in that kid. It doesn't matter what moment she is in, she knows what she's trying to do with the ball. She takes big daddy hacks."
Alongside Fields, the roster saw a handful of players step up at the plate. Senior Annie Robinson had a big play in game one to put the Cardinals up by two early. She would finish with four hits on the weekend. Freshman Amaia Daniel continues to break out of her shell as she would score twice for Ball State this weekend, picking up single in game two to give the Cardinals a two run advantage.
"We just got some great production this weekend," Bartlett said. "Kendall Fields, Annie Robinson and Amaia Daniel came up with some really good balls in big situations and we had people on base when they did it. I thought we made a really nice adjustment on offense."
In the circle, the team's pitching unit continues to show strength in their depth. Freshman Tieghan Morio picked up a pair of wins in games two and three, striking out two in the final game. Junior Alyssa Rothwell continues to smash personal and conference save records as she would tie her conference and Ball State single season save record with 11 on the season.
Finishing off a rough week with a series win, the Cardinals head back home hosting Toledo in their final home series of the season. The Rockets sit a game below .500, coming off a similar series loss to Northern Illinois. Bartlett said if the offense continues to click, good things will happen.
"We want to continue on with the offensive momentum from this weekend, get a few more great performances on the mound and continue to fight," Bartlett said. "We just need to play our game and capitalize in big moments."