In a mid-week road series against Western Michigan, Ball State softball fell 2-1, the Cardinals have now lost three Mid-American Conference (MAC) series in a row.
“They need to trust their abilities,” head coach Lacy Schurr said. “We're a really talented team. I think we get ourselves in trouble when we start letting doubt creep in. We still got a lot of work to do, and it's still kind of keeping our feet underneath us and not thinking too far ahead of ourselves.”
In the series opener, Ball State was run-ruled 10-2. The contest started with the Cardinals (18-21, 8-9 MAC) scoring the first two runs after a single by redshirt sophomore Mackayla Timmons and a squeeze bunt by senior Jazmyne Armendariz.
But that was the last time the Cardinals hit the scoreboard with the Broncos (13-17, 7-4 MAC) going on to score ten unanswered runs and take the victory.
“I think they had a good game plan against us,” Schurr said. “We struggled to make adjustments throughout the game. But you know, a tribute to them for having a game plan against us. You know, from the offensive side and pitching side.”
Ball State finished the game with four hits including a double by redshirt freshman McKenna Mulholland.
The Cardinals rounded out the series by splitting Wednesday’s doubleheader. In game one, Ball State improved on offense with eight hits, which was two more than Western Michigan but still fell 4-1.
With the series already decided, Ball State looked to avoid the sweep and they did just that. The Cardinals came out with their bats on fire after recording eleven hits, ensuring they would leave Kalamazoo, Michigan, with an 11-2 win.
“It [the win] was huge, especially putting up that many runs,” fifth-year Amaia Daniel said. “It's definitely a huge momentum booster going into this upcoming weekend.”
The Cardinals had most of their runs sprinkled throughout the game. But the bottom of the sixth inning was a big moment for Ball State.
First, senior Haley Wynn belted a solo home run, which gives her eight on the season. Then Daniel drew a walk and gave the Cardinals another chance to run up the score. Timmons was up to bat and did not disappoint. She launched a two-run home run that put the Cardinals up by ten. She also has eight for the year.
“I think it's just a breath of fresh air,” Schurr said. “Just a reminder that, hey, we're still very capable of hitting the ball well. So I think it was just a good kind of exclamation point.”
One Cardinal that stood out in the win was Armendariz. With two hits, she knocked in four RBIs, her new career high.
“It feels good,” Armendariz said. "To be able to compete in the box when my team needs me two, it’s awesome.”
Even though the Cardinals are down to their final four MAC series of the season, Schurr is still taking it one game at a time.
We’re trying to stay focused on us and what we need to do,” she said. “You know, we're gonna have an eye towards that in terms of how things can shake out. But, you know, if we take care of our things, everything else will take care of itself.”
The Cardinals currently sit in seventh place in the MAC. They will attempt to improve on that when they play Buffalo (10-25, 4-7 MAC) in Muncie this weekend. The series starts on Saturday, April 15, with a doubleheader. The first game is set to start at 1 p.m.