Head coach Helen Peña poses on the pitching mound at First Merchants Ballpark Aug. 22. Mya Cataline, DN

A Summer of Change

After returning to the Mid-American Championship softball tournament for the first time since 2019, the Cardinals went through significant player and personnel changes during the summer, but remain confident going into 2023.

Ball State Sports, photo provided

Helen Peña selected as Ball State Softball head caoch

As associate head coach at Middle Tennessee State University, Peña led the Blue Raiders to their second-ever Conference USA Tournament title. This gave the team a berth in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Final. Before being defeated in the regional by fifth-seed Alabama, the Blue Raiders won three regional games. This is the most wins in a regional by a Conference USA team since 2014. 

Head Coach Lacy Schurr directs her team in a game against Toledo April 7 at First Merchant Ballpark Complex. Schurr is in her third year coaching at Ball State. Brayden Goins, DN

Lacy Schurr steps down from Ball State Softball head coach, heading to Pitt

Ball State Softball head coach Lacy Schurr is stepping down from her position and will move into a role with the coaching staff at the University of Pittsburgh, according to Ball State athletics. “We are grateful to Lacy for her contributions to the Ball State program, and we wish her well at Pitt,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Mitchell. “Our program is on an upward trajectory, and I’m excited to search for a coach that continues our upward path.”

Cowan senior Tatum Rickert winds up June 3 during the first round of semi state at Logansport High School. Zach Carter, DN.

Tigers, Blackhawks fall in Semi-State

The Yorktown Tigers and Cowan Blackhawks attempted to reach the promised land as they continued their journey in the state tournament. But there are no longer any Delaware County teams left as both teams had their quests cut just short as they were defeated in Saturday’s semi-state. In the first game of the 3A semi-state, the Tigers (17-9, 4-3 Hoosier Heritage) trailed Leo (26-2, 6-1 Northeast Eight) 4-1 in the seventh inning. But after a walk by Freshman Emma Reynolds, Yorktown hoped for a comeback at Twin Lakes High School. 

The Cowan Blackhawks pose with the regional championship trophy May 30 at Cowan Junior/Senior High School. It is the program's third straight regional championship. Zach Carter, DN.

Cowan walks-off Tri for third straight regional championship

When the state tournament for high school sports rolls around in Indiana, communities come together to show their support. Win or lose, they are always there. But when they see their team play great defense, never give up, and hit a walk-off single on their home turf, it becomes something that they will never forget. That’s what the Cowan faithful saw today as the Blackhawks softball team defeated the Tri Titans 2-1 for their third straight regional championship.

Cowan senior pitcher Tatum Rickert winds up May 25 during the Sectional #55 championship game at Daleville Junior/Senior High School. Zach carter, DN.

Cowan defeats Wes-Del for third straight sectional championship

“Foul Ball, USA, hit the ball the other way, Aruba, uh uh, Jamaica, uh uh Hawaii, uh uh Aloha.” That was one of the chants that the Cowan softball team screamed from their dugout during the 1A Sectional #55 championship game. But when the seventh inning at Daleville Junior/Senior High School came to a close, those chants turned into cheers as the Blackhawks defeated Wes-Del 5-1 and became back-to-back-to-back sectional champions. 

Ball State redshirt freshman McKenna Mulholland awaits the pitch during the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament May 11 at Miami University. Zach Carter, DN

Cardinals fall to Miami in first game of MAC Tournament

The Cardinals believed that they needed to open the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament with energy and needed to “leave everything on the field.” For the first three innings, Ball State did that. In the top of the third, they scored four runs after multiple hits and walks. But after a three-run home run on a two-strike, two-out pitch, the No. 4 team in the tournament could not make up ground and fell in their first game to the No. 1 Miami Redhawks 8-4.

Redshirt sophomore McKayla Timmons scores after a homerun in a game against Miami on April 26 at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. Timmons scored two runs, one homerun, and had three RBI's. Katelyn Howell, DN

Cardinals are “glued together” on and off the field as they prepare for MAC tournament

One year after missing the Mid-American Conference (MAC) tournament by one spot, Ball State softball is heading to Miami University (Oxford, OH) for this year's edition of the conference tournament. It will also be head coach Lacy Schurr’s first time coaching in the tournament. The Cardinals finished the 2023 campaign with a 27-24 record. They went 17-12 in the MAC which set them up to clinch the fourth spot in the conference. Besides fifth-year Amaia Daniel and senior Jazmyne Armendariz, no other Cardinal on the roster has made the postseason. 

Senior infielder Haley Wynn prepares to bat in a game against Miami on April 26 at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. Wynn had three RBI's. Katelyn Howell, DN

Ball State defeats Akron, clinches MAC Tournament berth

In the middle of its season, Ball State softball was in a slump and sat in seventh place in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). To make the tournament, you have to be in the top four. Cardinal fans might have wondered, can this team pull themselves out of their funk? This weekend, that question was answered. After bouncing back and defeating Akron in their final regular season series, the Cardinals clinched a tournament berth.

Fifth-year utility player Amaia Daniels cries with teammates after celebrating her senior day after a game against Buffalo April 16 at First Merchant Ballpark Complex. Daniels is tied for fifth all time in Ball State's Softball record book for career double plays turned. Brayden Goins, DN

With Ball State Softball, Amaia Daniel found her 'second family'

When you ask Amaia Daniel about Ball State softball, she has three words: “A second family.” She won’t boast about her achievements with the Cardinals, even though she ranks in the top 20 of 17 different statistical categories in program history and in the top 10 of eight of those categories. She won’t talk about her love of the game; she will speak of her love for her teammates, her “second family.”  “There's people on this team who have known me for that long, and there's people who I deeply trust with many, many things, and I respect them deeply,” she said. “I could honestly call them family, and I could treat them like family.”

Redshirt sophomore McKayla Timmons scores after a homerun in a game against Miami on April 26 at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. Timmons scored two runs, one homerun, and had three RBI's. Katelyn Howell, DN

Ball State falls to Miami, remains in fourth place in MAC

After sweeping back-to-back Mid-American Conference (MAC) opponents, Ball State softball fell in a mid-week series against Miami. A big reason for that was the Redhawks' starting pitcher: Brianna Pratt. In the first game of the series, Miami’s ace was at her best. After she gave up five hits and had nine strikeouts, the Redhawks (29-17, 16-7 MAC) defeated the Cardinals 6-0. 

Loading Recent Classifieds...