'We didn’t bring it today:' Ball State softball falls to Purdue in final non-MAC contest of 2024

Senior starting pitcher Francys King gives the ball to head coach Helen Peña April 24 during a game against Purdue at Bittinger Stadium in West Lafayette. Ball State fell 6-2. Zach Carter, DN.
Senior starting pitcher Francys King gives the ball to head coach Helen Peña April 24 during a game against Purdue at Bittinger Stadium in West Lafayette. Ball State fell 6-2. Zach Carter, DN.

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - Even though it was the Cardinals’ final non-Mid-American Conference (MAC) game of the season, Ball State head coach Helen Peña did not pivot from her normal game plan against Purdue. 

“It shouldn’t be about who’s across the field from you or what [name] is across their chest,” she said. “It’s about playing our best game and executing our process.”  

It appeared the black and red were on board with the mindset as they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second with a solo home run from senior Kaitlyn Mathews. Yet that was the only time the Cardinals recorded a hit and fell 6-1 five innings later. 

“We didn’t bring it today,” graduate student Haley Wynn said. “We lacked little things as a team and when you can’t do the little things, the other stuff isn’t going to follow.”  

Besides struggles at the plate, the Cardinals could not stop the Boilermaker offense as the white and black collected nine hits in the contest at Bittinger Stadium. Ball State starting pitcher senior Francys King went four innings and allowed six hits and five runs. 

Sophomore Bridie Murphy relieved her and gave up a hit and a run as well. 

King pitches.jpg
Senior starting pitcher Francys King prepares to pitch April 24 during a game against Purdue at Bittinger Stadium in West Lafayette. Ball State fell 6-2. Zach Carter, DN.

“We need to be more engaged with our adjustments,” Peña said. “When the other team makes a pitching change, we need to be able to adjust much sooner, and the same thing with hitting.” 

After the final out was recorded, the Cardinals met in right field for an extended period of time. During the congregation, the message given was clear to the team. 

“We need to clean up the little things,” Wynn said. “And that is not just in the box or on the field. It’s in the dugout and how we’re mentally preparing. We need to be mentally and physically together, and we weren’t today.” 

With Ball State’s 2024 non-conference schedule complete, the focus shifts back to the MAC, where the black and red are currently the No. 7 team. To make the conference tournament, the Cardinals need to be in the top six. 

With five games left in the season, Peña understands they are relying on other teams for help. However, she wants to look past that and find ways the Cardinals can help themselves. 

“It’s a tough race right now,” Peña said. “...At the end of the day, we just need to focus on us and how we can be the best we can be going forward.” 

Ball State will start its sprint to the finish line when they face Northern Illinois Tuesday, April 30 in a doubleheader. The first game is set to start at 2 p.m. 

Contact Zach Carter with comments at zachary.carter@bsu.edu or on X @ZachCarter85

Comments