Control the controllables.
That has been the message head coach Lacy Wood has preached to her players on the Cardinals’ current road trip, which they have endured since March 5 and will continue to until March 13.
Riding its momentum from last weekend’s Bulldog Invitational, Ball State (5-5, 0-0 MAC) delivered a 4-2 victory over Jacksonville State (2-9, 1-2 OVC) Tuesday evening.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Senior outfielder Kennedy Wynn got the scoring started with a two-run home run down left-center field, her first of the season, while freshman infielder Kayla Lissa was responsible for the third score. Wood believes Wynn’s home run quickly set up the Cardinals for success.
“Her home run was definitely huge for us,” Wood said. “It let us take a little bit of a breath there in the second, which was nice.”
However, Jacksonville State mustered up two runs in the next two innings and cut the deficit to one. Despite the Gamecocks picking up momentum, Wood said, she knew the Cardinals would keep their composure and not get too rattled.
“They weren't really affected or really shaken by it,” Wood said. “They knew they were going to stick to their game plan, and I'm really proud of them with how they came out and kept their focus.”
Ball State held the Gamecocks scoreless in the last three innings. The Cardinals added one more run to the scoreboard in the sixth inning, as senior left fielder Haley Dominique hit a two-out RBI single and sophomore infielder/outfielder Haley Wynn.
Senior pitcher Darcie Huber picked up the win, allowing two hits and one earned run in relief. Junior pitcher Tieghan Morio got the start and pitched the first 2.1 innings while sophomore pitcher Deborah Jones closed the game by striking out two of the five batters she faced.
“On paper, they gave up a few hits,” Wood said. “It's not really reflective on how well they pitched today. When you can throw three pitchers at a team as strong as Jacksonville State and they're very effective, it’s huge. It just sets us up for what we're going to face in conference.”
Ball State will return to action at the Blazer Classic March 11 in Birmingham, Alabama, facing UAB (8-9, 0-0 CUSA) at 6 p.m.