Softball opens MAC play, swept by Ball State, split series with Miami

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Running around third base, Hannah Fulk looks to score a run in a game this past season.

Sports Editor and Sports Editor

The Falcon softball team opened Mid-American Conference play this past weekend going 1-3 against Ball State and Miami.

BG finally opened up its first home games as the originally-scheduled doubleheader two weeks ago with Wright State was cancelled.

Ball State, which defeated the Falcons in all three games the two teams played this past season, looked to have BG’s number this season as well.

Going into the game, BG was tied for first in the MAC with Ohio, and Ball State was sitting in second.

The Cardinals swept the Falcons in two games 4-1 and 3-1.

The Falcons managed only one hit in game one, which came from junior Erika Stratton. Pitcher Paris Imholz allowed two runs in 6.2 innings of play, which came in the sixth inning.

In the sixth, Ball State scored two runs before adding two more in the seventh inning. BG would add one run in the bottom of the seventh.

The one Falcon run came off an error to put Paige Berger on base. A ground-out allowed her to move to second before a wild pitch moved her to third. Adrienne Dick grounded out and Berger was able to score the Falcons’ only run.

In game two, the Falcons got on board first, but were unable to hold off the hot Cardinal offense, which managed to tack on three runs in the later innings.

“A team like Ball State, if you look at it honestly, a split would have been an awesome day,” Coach Shannon Salsburg said. “So that second game is the one I’m hung-up on a little bit, we just needed to finish that game. It would have been big for us.”

Ball State moves to the top of the MAC West finishing its weekend winning four MAC games.

“We made some plays defensively,” Salsburg said. “But with a team like that you need to keep scoring.”

BG would continue it’s MAC losing streak in game one with Miami on Saturday.

Miami who entered the game as the worst team in the MAC managed to defeat BG, 3-2.

The RedHawks scored early with one run on three hits in the first inning. Miami would continue to shutout the Falcons through the seventh inning while adding two more runs of its own.

BG attempted a last inning comeback just to come up one run short. Katie Yoho and Dick earned the two runs off of a Marisa Shook single to left field.

Imholz was credited with the loss moving her record to 9-4 this season.

The Falcons managed to gather a game two win in order to salvage some of the weekend, 5-1.

The bats finally seemed alive for BG as Dick went 2-for-3 at the plate earning three RBIs. Erika Stratton also went 2-for-3 and Shook hit a double. Pitcher Jamie Kertes earned the complete game win moving her to a 4-6 record of the year.

“We just wanted to come back as ‘us’ in the second game,” Kertes said. “Our big thing, is that we need to believe in ourselves and we needed to fight back, and that is exactly what we did.”

With the win, the Falcons managed to escape sitting at the bottom of the MAC— a far cry from entering the weekend leading the conference.

“Hands down, those are two of the better teams in the MAC, I’m happy with the split, I think we could have won two, but I’ll take the split.”

Since MAC play has started, the ranking is now based on conference play, and the Falcons are perched at 1-3 in conference. Miami, who entered the weekend in last, now are tied for first with Kent State at 3-1 record.

BG will look to rebound against Detroit on Tuesday.