@BallStateSB Opens Home Season vs Butler

BY ERINN CASEY | Ball State Sports Link
After 30 consecutive road games to open the 2017 season —  is the third-longest in program history —  Ball State softball opens its home season Wednesday vs. Butler.

The Cardinals played a program-record 32 straight road games to open last season, while starting the 2012 campaign with 31 straight road games.  This season, Ball State improved to 14-16 overall, after winning all three games last weekend at the SIUE Tournament in Edwardsville, Ill.

“We played to our ability level in all three facets of the game,” Ball State head coach Megan Ciolli-Bartlett said. “We got some great performances on the mound from [Carolyn] Wilmes, [Alyssa] Rothwell, and [Aeshia] Miles, which was exciting.”

Senior pitcher Carolyn Wilmes holds a 14.2 inning shutout streak.

The pitchers allowed only two runs across the three games played against SIUE, Butler and Northern Kentucky.  The result was a warmly welcomed change in comparison to some of the games played earlier in the season.

With three new pitchers on staff in Rothwell, Miles and Darcie Huber, it took some time to learn their strengths and weaknesses versus hitters.

“It was, I think for us, creating better matchups and learning our personnel a little bit,” Ciolli-Bartlett said. “Now that the schedule realistically got more manageable, the pitchers are just better able to attack and go at people.”

With Sunday’s win over Northern Kentucky, Wilmes holds a 14.2 inning shutout streak. The 3-0 shutout was Wilmes’s second career complete game shutout.

Freshman Janae Hogg leads the Cardinals with a .374 batting average.

The bats have exploded for the team on the offensive side as the batters are settling into the lineup and are more comfortable with their roles. Coach Ciolli-Bartlett describes their lineup as dangerous all the way through.

Freshman third baseman Janae Hogg has shined as the No. 3 hitter in the lineup and leads the team with a .374 batting average. Over the weekend, she boosted the team with three hits and two RBI.

Ball State snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 19-4 all-time versus Butler with a 7-1 victory over the Bulldogs last Saturday at the SIUE Tournament.

The Cardinals will need strong pitching and clutch hitting to win another contest and own this season’s series against the Bulldogs. If they can jump ahead on offense early, as they did in Saturday’s win over Butler, the Ball State pitchers can take control of the game.

First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. Tune in to ballstatesports.com to hear Mick Tidrow’s call of the game.

First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. Tune in to ballstatesports.com to hear Mick Tidrow’s call of the game.

Author: Sports Link Staff

Sports Link showcases Cardinal student-athletes’ accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and within the surrounding community. Follow @bsusportslink on all social media platforms.

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