Ball State opened up Mid-American Conference (MAC) play by splitting an away series against Kent State.
“I tell you what, their ability to bounce back and handle tough situations has been really impressive this year,” head coach Lacy Schurr said. “You know, they always stick together. That's something that you know, this team prides itself on.”
In the first game, the Cardinals fell 4-3 after the Golden Flashes hit a walk-off double. As a team, the Cardinals (11-12, 1-1 MAC) only had five hits. But the second game was a much different story as they launched a season high of 16 hits to win 15-9.
“Just a little bit of a mindset,” Schurr said. “We need to be confident of ourselves and know that we're good athletes and trust that.” We've put in the work and our skill set is high. And you know, we just need to expect greatness out of ourselves and be the one that wants to make the big hit when we have runners in scoring position and not not look around and hope somebody else does it. They definitely came out like gangbusters.”
Schurr was not wrong. Ball State opened up the second game with three hits in the first inning. They were also able to knock three runs in. But Kent State (6-15, 1-1 MAC) responded and tied the game 3-3.
The game continued to be a back and forth contest until the top of the fifth inning. Senior Haley Wynn launched a three-run homerun to give the Cardinals a 10-5 lead. It was a big at bat for her as she was hitless in the first game.
“It’s just sticking with your plan, trusting and staying within your abilities,” Wynn said. “Like that's really big.
But she was not done yet. Kent State had once again fought their way back and only trailed by one in the seventh inning. That is when Wynn launched her a second home run, a solo shot, and gave the Cardinals the momentum they needed.
Another player that shined for Ball State was fifth year Amaia Daniel. She safely reached base in both games, furthering her streak to nine games. She credits the streak to her mindset.
“I feel like it's really easy to get caught up in the stats and get caught up in the numbers,” she said.” Just knowing that I'm playing for a bigger purpose and playing for the people next to me, it's what keeps me locked in.”
Daniel also scored four runs in the two games. That raised her career total to 110 and moved her to 11th in program history.
I think it's just a blessing being able to even score those runners and being in a position to score them,” Daniel said. “I mean, if it wasn't for my teammates being able to get on base, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to score them.”
Game three was supposed to be played on Saturday afternoon, but cold weather canceled the match. That means that their next game is their first home series of the season. They take on Central Michigan starting Friday at 3 p.m.
“Our girls really love playing at home because it's rare for us,” Schurr said. “And when you look at the season, you know, we only have 12 home games, so you know they get fired up… It's just nice to be sleeping in your own bed and wake up and know the routine.”