Softball keeps on winning in MAC

By Chris Willig

Sports Reporter

The softball team had a busy weekend, which consisted of three road games all at Ball State. The Falcons played a double-header on Saturday and finished the road trip with a day game on Sunday. The Falcons went into the Ball State road trip with momentum on their side. They had won their last six conference games, which included sweeps over Toledo, Miami and Ohio University.

Looking to extend their winning streak and continue moving up in the conference the Falcons took on conference opponent Ball State.

Liz Vrabel got the start for the series opener and took full advantage of her opportunity. Vrabel pitched a complete game shutout, which included five strikeouts and only allowed four hits. The Falcons, however, were also held to five hits in the first game. They were finally able to score a run in the sixth inning when they strung together a series of hits while taking advantage of fielding errors by Ball State.

Senior Libby Voshell scored the team’s only run that proved to be more than enough for the phenomenal pitching of Voshell, and the Falcons escaped with a 1-0 victory to start of the series.

The bats of both teams seemed to heat up in the second game of the doubleheader. The two teams combined for 13 runs off a 15 hits in a game that seemed to be the exact opposite of game one. McKenna Houle was the starting pitcher for the Falcons in game two, and she found herself in trouble early.

Houle gave up two runs in both the second and third inning, but was backed up by the offense of the Falcons.

Although Ball State had scored four runs in three innings, they found themselves up by only one run. The Falcons offense put together a three-run third inning to counteract the Cardinals scoring.

The big three-run inning for the Falcons was thanks, in large part, to Gina Rango’s three run home run over the left field wall. The home run, which scored Kandice Machaine and Voshell, was Rango’s fourth of the season.

The tide seem to change for the Falcons and the hits seem to come much easier, too. The Falcons pounced on Ball State’s pitching scoring six more runs, which included two in the fifth and four in the seventh.

The Falcons nine run total was too much for the Cardinals, and the Falcons won the game 9-4.

After taking both Saturday games the Falcons looked to complete the series sweep on Sunday, once again behind starting pitcher Vrabel.

It was the Falcons bats that came up big for the second game in a run. Machine had three hits, including a home run to help the Falcons score four runs in the first three innings, giving Vrabel more than enough support.

Vrabel once again went the distance, getting her fifth consecutive win and was named Mid-American Conference pitcher of the week yesterdayThis is the third time Vrabel has been given this honor in her career as a Falcon.

The Falcons have now won nine consecutive conference games, improving their record to 18-17-1 overall with a 9-5 record in the MAC. The Falcons l look to lengthen this streak and improve their record later on in the week when they play host to Akron Friday at 3:30 p.m.