After their doubleheader was pushed back from Saturday to Sunday due to weather concerns, Ball State Softball (13-21, 6-5 MAC) wrapped up a three-game series against Mid-American Conference (MAC) rival Ohio (15-18, 9-5 MAC) April 11 with a walk-off home run from sophomore infielder Kayla Lissy in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We were just trying to get something going in the bottom of the seventh,” head coach Lacy Schurr said. “We weren’t trying for anything different than what we had been trying to do all game but it was really nice to see her [Lissy] come through.”
The home run capped off a four-run comeback and a 5-4 victory from the Cardinals, who jumped back into the game following a two-RIB double from Lissy in the third inning allowing senior outfielder Faith Hensley and senior utility player Amaia Daniel to make it across home plate.
Ball State tied the game in the fourth inning after a two-RBI home run from Hensley and neither side would score a run until Lissy’s walk-off in the seventh.
Sunday the Cardinals opened against the Bobcats at 1 p.m. and got out to a solid start behind junior pitcher Deborah Jones’ six strikeouts through the first four innings. However, in the fourth inning, Ohio scored five runs on the bounce while Ball State stayed stagnant.
The Cardinals got on the board in the fifth inning after an RBI double from junior infielder Haley Wynn sent Hensley home. Wynn would receive the same treatment after an RBI single from senior catcher Delanie Johnson.
Ball State held the Bobcats scoreless from the fifth inning through the eighth inning and scored three runs in the sixth inning after a two-RBI triple from Hensley and an RBI single for redshirt freshman utility player McKayla Timmons.
With both teams going scoreless in the seventh, the game was sent to extra innings where Ohio scored two runs to take the first game, 7-5.
Game two saw the Bobcats carry their momentum over from the first game as they quickly took a three-run lead through the bottom of the third.
Hensley and Timmons each had an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning to bring Ball State back within a run with only three innings left.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Ohio opened the fifth inning with three more runs to go up by four but in the bottom of the fifth, Hensley had an RBI double to put the Cardinals down two runs instead of three.
Ball State held the Bobcats runless in the sixth inning and in the top of the seventh. The Cardinals got one score off a Hensley home run, her 14th this season, but would not be able to complete the comeback in game two and fell 6-4.
“We stayed focused on the controllables and I saw much better approaches in the box and we’ll continue to try and grow in those categories. [Today] was a really gritty win,” Schurr said.
Contact Corbin Hubert with comments at email@example.com or on Twitter @corbin_hubert_