AKRON, Ohio – The eighth seeded Miami University softball team kept top seed Ball State’s high-powered offense in check for the majority of the contest, but a four-run sixth inning led to a 7-4 Cardinal win in the opener of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Wednesday. The RedHawks fall to 22-27, while Ball State improves to 33-17.
Miami will now play fourth seed Kent State in an elimination game on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Miami loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first, but was unable to plate a run. In the bottom half of the inning, the Cardinals used three infield hits and a single through the left side to score two runs. A RedHawk error allowed BSU to score another run in the bottom of the second to take a 3-0 lead.
It remained a three run Ball State lead until the top of the fifth. Junior outfielder Tiyona Marshall led off with a bunt single. Sophomore outfielder Taylor Shuey singled up the middle to move Marshall up to second. A walk to senior second baseman Kristy Arbour loaded the bases with no one out. After the Cardinals recorded an out at home, sophomore designated player Jenna Modic doubled down the left field line to score Shuey and Arbour and cut the Ball State lead to 3-2.
The Cardinal offense finally got on track with four runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth to push their lead to five at 7-2.
Miami did not give up in the top of the seventh inning. Arbour reached via an error. Senior catcher Kayla Ledbetter singled through the left side to move Arbour up to second. Ledbetter was then replaced by a pinch-runner, senior Brandi Hernandez. After an out was recorded, junior outfielder Bree Lipscomb singled to right field to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by senior first baseman Allie Larrabee brought home Arbour and made it 7-3. One batter later, a single through the right side by junior third baseman Remy Edwards scored Hernandez and pulled the ‘Hawks to within three at 7-4. Unfortunately the comeback was not to be, as Ball State was able to get a groundout to end the inning.
Modic finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBI. Ledbetter was 2-for-4, while Shuey was 1-for-3 with one run scored.