Ball State Softball (17-10, 11-0 MAC) fell to Butler (14-15, 6-7 Big East) 5-4 in its final non-conference game of the season Tuesday evening. This loss snaps the Cardinals' previous 11 game winning streak, which was tied for most in program history.
Through three innings, Butler held a 2-0 lead over the Cardinals. Head coach Lacy Wood was impressed with the Bulldogs pitching early on and throughout the game.
“Their pitching brass is very strong,” Wood said. “They pushed to their strengths, and we were just a little delayed in making some adjustments, but the testaments to their pitching staff.”
Ball State got on the board in the fourth inning, when senior Janae Hogg cut the Bulldog lead to one with an RBI single. Freshman Kaitlynn Matthews was responsible for the score.
In the fifth, Ball State took its first lead of the game after three scores in the top of the inning. Freshman infielder Kayla Lissy and graduate student infielder Gabby Magnifico connected on triples that resulted in scores for the Cardinals. It was Lissy’s fifth triple of the season, which leads the Mid-American Conference. The final score came from junior infielder Trinity Eckert after a wild pitch.
“We made some adjustments and executed,” Wood said. “There was a great squeeze by Trinity, some big hits with Kayla. They just came in and did what they needed to do.”
Ball State kept a 4-3 lead until the bottom of the seventh inning. With two outs, Butler senior Maddie Moore hit a two-run RBI double into right-center field to send two runners home and pull off the come from behind victory.
Senior pitcher Darcie Huber threw the first three innings and held the Bulldogs to three hits and two runs. Graduate student pitcher Alyssa Rothwell relieved Huber for the final 3.2 innings and held Butler to three hits.
“Our pitchers threw a great game,” Wood said. “Both Alyssa and Darcy were fantastic for us. We got some good quality endings and work out of those two, which is a huge win for us in our column.”
The Cardinals return to action Friday, April 16, against Akron. The first pitch is 3 p.m. It is the first of four weekend games in the series.