On Tuesday evening, Ball State softball looked to get back in the win column after being swept by Ohio. This time, they traveled to South Bend to tangle with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
But after the lights were shut down and Melissa Cook Stadium went silent, the Cardinals (16-17, 6-5 Mid-American Conference) hopped on the bus with another loss.
“This team has stuck together from day one,” head coach Lacy Schurr said. “And you know, their goal is to continue to stick together good, bad or ugly. And that's the best part about this team is they're going to put up a lot of fights."
The 10-2 primetime defeat started out with both defenses keeping their opponents at bay. One of the standout plays of the night happened at the bottom of the first. An Irish beamed a ball to an open hole near shortstop, but redshirt freshman McKenna Mulholland made a diving snag.
“I feel like right when you step on the field, it's just adrenaline,” Mulholland said. “You're trusting your teammates. If I'm laying out for a ball, I know I have two outfielders behind me that have my back and I also have a second baseman that's got my back.”
But starting in the bottom of the second, Notre Dame’s (21-10-1, 5-6-1 ACC) offense began to click. To end the inning, they went up 3-0.
Even though fifth-year Amaia Daniel singled to score two runs in the top of the third, it was not enough. As a whole, they only collected three hits.
But it wasn’t just their offense. Ball State struggled from the field and on the mound. There seemed to be multiple moments where the team miscalculated.
“There is no excuse whatsoever,” Mulholland said. “We had a few different people playing different positions, maybe something that we're not used to. But it's definitely something that we'll be working on before we get into this weekend.”
As mentioned, the Cardinals have lost four straight games since taking the top spot in the Mid-American Conference.
The Cardinals will look to right the ship this weekend as they face Toledo(11-16, 4-7 MAC) at home. Mulholland thinks this weekend is big for her squad.
“It's really important that we have an off day tomorrow,” she said. “To kind of reset our minds, and take a little self-care. Then we come back on Friday.”
Contact Zach Carter with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ZachCarter85.