Cardinals take 3 of 4 to win weekend series over Ohio

Ball State Cardinals cheer on graduate student infielder/outfielder Gabby Magnifico (second from left) after she hit a home run on April 23, 2021, at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. The Cardinals won 4-2 against the Bobcats. Madelyn Guinn, DN
Ball State Cardinals cheer on graduate student infielder/outfielder Gabby Magnifico (second from left) after she hit a home run on April 23, 2021, at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. The Cardinals won 4-2 against the Bobcats. Madelyn Guinn, DN

Ball State (25-12, 19-2 MAC) defeated Ohio (17-18, 13-13 MAC) in three of four games this weekend to claim the series victory. 

In Friday’s doubleheader, the Cardinals won 4-2 and 3-2. 

Graduate student infielder Gabby Magnifico connected on her first home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning, which accounted for three Cardinal scores in route to the 4-2 victory. Graduate student pitcher Alyssa Rothwell recorded her 30th career save after junior pitcher Tigehan Morio held Ohio to five hits in the first six innings.

In the 3--2 victory, sophomore infielder Haley Wynn brought home senior outfielder Katie Janiga on a sac fly in the seventh inning to give Ball State a game clinching score. Sophomore pitcher Deborah Jones held the Bobcats scoreless in the final inning, while senior pitcher Darcie Huber allowed two runs in 5.2 innings. 

“We still have yet to fire on all cylinders,” head coach Lacy Wood said. “It can be frustrating in the moment, but also exciting because we know it's just a matter of kind of pulling them all together.”

Ohio picked up their first win of the weekend with a 3-1 victory Saturday. Junior Makenzie Kohl threw all seven innings and allowed seven hits in 26 at bats.

“They had a great pitching plan,” Wood said. “They stuck to it and we were just too slow to make an adjustment. Their pitching staff did a great job.”

After falling behind 6-1 in the top of the third, the Cardinals responded with seven runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to help secure the 11-7 win Sunday.

“We came back to the drawing board,” Wood said. “We saw three pitchers, which is unusual for them. Our goal was to see at least two pitchers, and we saw three, so the girls did a great job.” 

Lissy scored three runs and tallied one RBI, while senior Stacy Payton added two RBI. Junior Faith Hensley scored two runs and finished with three RBI, including the only Ball State home run of the game, which came in the third inning. 

Junior pitcher Tieghan Morio held the Bobcats to two hits and one run in the 4.2 innings. She improved her season record to 8-2.

“(Morio) has been fantastic for us,” Wood said. “Mentally and physically, she has just impressed me all season long. You can't expect somebody to come out and have a perfect game every time they step on the field, but what she has done with everything that has been thrown at her, it's been huge for us when we need her.”

The Cardinals return to action Wednesday, April 27, as they play host to Miami-Ohio (31-7, 21-1 MAC) in a doubleheader. The two split their doubleheader last Tuesday. First pitch is 2 p.m. 

“We're really excited about the bounce back today,” Wood said. “I think it puts us in a good headspace going into our doubleheader.”

Contact Charleston Bowles with comments at clbowles@bsu.edu or on Twitter @cbowles01.

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