» THIS WEEK IN BALL STATE SOFTBALL: The Ball State softball team kicks off the biggest 10-day streak of the season on Friday, when it opens a three-game home series against Bowling Green at the First Merchants Ballpark softball field…Teams are expected to play a single match Friday at 3 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday from 1 p.m.
» WHERE WE ARE : Ball State enters the week ranked fourth in the Mid-American Conference standings with its 12-8 league record … That’s a key spot, as only the top four teams will qualify for the 2022 MAC Tournament hosted by the 1 seed…Miami currently leads the league at 17-3, while Central Michigan (13-7) and Ohio (14-8) are both one game ahead of the Cardinals…A half game behind BSU in the standings is this weekend’s opponent Bowling Green at 11-8 … Akron is also within striking distance, 1.5 behind Ball State with a 12-11 league record.
» THE NEXT 10 DAYS: The next 10 days will be pivotal for the Cardinals, as they take on the two teams directly behind them in the standings, as well as the league leader, looking to secure a spot in the MAC tournament… After hosting BGSU this weekend end, the Cardinals travel to Miami for a midweek series before closing out the regular season at home against Akron.
» FRIDAY SENIOR: Ball State’s softball team will honor its outgoing seniors Friday after the series opener against Bowling Green.
» DAY AT THE BALLOON PARK: On Saturday, Ball State Athletics will host the first Merchants Ballpark Fan Day… This is the fourth annual community rally in support of Ball State baseball and softball who are both chasing the MAC title… The Usual thrilling trip to the ballpark will be infused with more fun thanks to First Merchants Bank, as the following offers and promotions will be in play:
– The first 300 spectators to arrive will receive a packed lunch: hot dog, fries and a Pepsi drink
– The first 200 viewers from each venue will receive an event t-shirt (one t-shirt per fan)
– There will be draws for prize packs during each round
» HOW TO FOLLOW: This weekend’s series against Bowling Green will be streamed live on BallStateSports.com…In addition, live stats will be provided courtesy of Ball State Athletics…Fans can also get updates regular updates by following the team on Twitter – @BallStateSB.. Links can be found on the softball schedules page on BallStateSports.com.
BALL STATE NEWS AND NOTES:
» PERFECTION: Freshman Pitcher Angelina Russo pitched Ball State’s first perfect game on record in the last drink of the April 20 doubleheader against Western Michigan… Helping lead the Cardinals to a 5-0 victory, Russo retired all 21 batters that she faced in the 7.0 innings game… She hit on 10 total batters, including eight of WMU’s top nine… She also helped herself on defense by registering a pair of assists, including fielding soft ground for 20 of 21.
» CLOSE TO PERFECTION: Ball State pitchers had already flirted with perfect games by Angelina Russo gem, falling to perfection four times, most recently in a no-hitter by Aeshia Miles (3.0 innings) and Alyssa Rothwell (2.0 innings) in a 15-0 (5) win over St. Bonaventure on March 17, 2018…BSU was also both a shy mistake and a shy hitter of perfection.
» WHAT ABOUT NO HITTING: In addition to being the first perfect game recorded in the history of the program, by Angelina Russo The effort marked just the 17th time BSU pitchers have allowed no hits in a game dating back to the 1980 season.
» WHITES ARE GOOD TOO: In addition to by Angelina Russo perfect game, each of Ball State’s last three wins have come by shutout… Junior Deborah Jones started the April 20 doubleheader against Western Michigan with a 5-0 shutout victory, allowing just three hits and a pair of walks to go along with six strikeouts … Jones added a second shutout last Sunday against Buffalo, limiting the Bulls to two hits and one walk, while striking out nine … BSU pitchers had four complete shutouts on the season, with Jones adding a third in the 11-0 victory (5 ) against Northern Illinois on April 6.
» 200K CAREER: With his fourth of six strikeouts in the April 20 win over WMU, Deborah Jones also became the 15th pitcher in program history to record 200 career strikeouts… Jones enters the Bowling Green series ranked 15th on BSU’s all-time list with 214 strikeouts, while her 5 .81 strikeouts per seven innings ranks sixth.
» BEHIND THE PLATE: A constant in Ball State’s four shutout wins this season, including the first perfect game in program history, has been senior receiver Delaine Johnson … She caught all four games, leading the team with 29 strikeouts to go along with a pair of assists … Johnson also lent a helping hand to the offense, which beat opponents 25-0 in all four games, tying for team honors with five RBIs and the addition of a double and a home run.
» VIDEO GAME NUMBERS: Senior Outfielder Faith Hensley picked up where it left off last season, leading Ball State’s offense with a .422 batting average this season…Brand currently ranks second in the MAC and 30th among all players in the division I of the NCAA…She reached base safely in 41 of the 43 games she played, including via hit in 34 games…Hensley leads the team and ranks first in the MAC in walks ( 31) and on-base percentage (.552), while ranking second in the league in RBI (37), runs scored (45), homers (17), hits (54), triples (3), percentage of slugging (.898).
» ON BALL STATE CAREERS: A 2021 Great Lakes Region NFCA First Team Selection, Faith Hensley enters the Bowling Green series ranked first in program history with a career .504 on-base percentage… She’s also second on BSU’s all-time rankings in batting average (.395) and in slugging percentage (.747)… Plus 304 career batting, Hensley had 120 hits, including 25 home runs, 22 doubles and five triples… She also walked 57 and was hit by a throw 11 times.
» HENSLEY SHIPYARD: Faith Hensley 25 career home runs are currently tied for eighth on BSU’s career charts with his 17 in 2022 ranking fourth in a season in program history… The only player with more single-season home runs in a Ball State uniform is a two-time All-American and a 2021 Olympic medalist Jennifer Gilbert (23 in 2013, 19 in 2014 and 18 in 2012).
» GO INTO THE COURT – PART 2: The Ball State sluggers have hit 51 total home runs this season, with 11 different players entering the action… The newest addition to the Ball State Softball #BombSquad arrived on April 23 in Buffalo in its first year Emma Richard blasted her first career home run in the opener of a doubleheader against Buffalo … She wasted no time picking up her second hit, adding another in the nightcap against the Bulls.
» ON THE BASIC PATHS: Second-year outfielder Remington Ross enters the Bowling Green series ranked third in the league with 19 stolen bases… Started the season with a perfect 13-for-13 before being narrowly ejected attempting to steal third against Kent State (April 1)… Since Then, Ross went 6-for-6, pushing it to 19-for-20 on the year… Ross has also shown his speed at the plate with eight bunt singles so far this year.
» HEATED MATHWS: Second year Kaitlyn Mathews has been on fire lately, leading the Cardinals in the last 10 games with a .393 batting average … She has 11 hits in the period, including her first two career homers, and ranks second of the team with seven RBIs.
» TURNING TWO: On the defensive front, the Cardinals enter the week tied for ninth nationally with 22 double plays turned this season … Ball State’s average of 0.50 double plays per game is 11th among 293 Division I ranked programs of the NCAA.