Updated Sat, Apr 13, 2013 11:31 pm
The Ball State Cardinals opened their series with an Ohio University softball team that has had its fair share of struggles as of late by posting a 9-7 victory over their hosts.
Bobcat hitters would knock four out of the park, two of which came from pinch-hitters Kaylin Clarke and DJ Engelman.
Engelman came in to hit for Amanda Dalton in the bottom of the sixth with Caitlin Colvin and Raven King on base and would rock a Nicole Steinbach pitch over the left-field wall to give the Bobcats new life, making the score 9-5.
Heading into the ninth, with the same score and looking for a spark, coach Jodi Hermanek would pinch-hit Clarke for Tessa Bailey, and she would come through with a solo bomb to center field, making the score 9-6 and re-energizing her team and the crowd at the Ohio Softball Complex.
After a Lauren Gellerman ground out, Chelsea Hortman, came up in the three hole as Hermanek has recently switched things around looking for the right fit in the lineup. Hortman would keep things exciting by blasting an opposite field homer and making the score 9-7.
With a raucous crowd and an energized dugout, Adrienne Gebele came to the plate and beat out an infield single. Alexia Cortez came on to pinch-run for Gebele, who had also hit a solo shot earlier in the day off the top of the net in center.
With momentum on the Bobcats side and Caitlin Colvin coming to the plate with 15 home runs on the season, things looked bright for the Bobcats. However Colvin would proceed to ground into a hard-hit 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Ball State scored their first five runs off of Lauren McClary, who has had control issues with 10 walks allowed in her last three games. She has allowed 14 earned runs in eight and two thirds innings pitched over the course of those three starts, all of which have been losses. McClary’s ERA has also jumped to 4.10.
She would pitch three innings in Saturday’s contest against the MAC leading Cardinals, giving up four hits, five earned runs, and would walk five batters. She would be yanked from the game after the third inning.
Savannah Jo Dorsey came on in relief of McClary in the fourth inning and initially looked solid as she set down the first five Cardinals hitters she faced before allowing a two-out double off the top of the fence to that made the score 6-2 at that time in the fifth inning.
A three-run sixth inning, courtesy of a Jennifer Gilbert home run to right would put Ball State at what would be a seven run advantage at the time, and would ultimately be enough for the Cardinals to prevail.
The Bobcats would fall just short and now own a 19-19 record overall after losing six straight games, and have a 4-7 record in the MAC. The victory would move the MAC leading Ball State Cardinals to 27-11 and 11-0 in the MAC on the season. They will face each other again Sunday afternoon with first pitch set for 1p.m.