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Updated 12:10 a.m., BGSU softball swept by Ball State (3-29-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Friday, 29 March 2013 18:49
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BG's Erika Stratton (left) steals third near Ball State's Audrey Bickel (right). (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Bowling Green’s softball team didn’t have enough offense Friday.
The Falcons were limited to two runs and nine hits during a 4-1, 3-1 doubleheader loss to Ball State at Meserve Field. PHOTO GALLERY
Ball State improved to 16-10 overall and 2-0 in the MAC. BG is 12-10, 0-2.
The doubleheader matched the teams picked to win their respective divisions in the MAC. BG is the coaches pick  to win the East. Ball State, the MAC’s defending regular-season champion, is favored to win the West and the conference tournament.
Jessica Craft’s two-run pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning snapped a 1-1 tie in Game 2, giving Ball State the sweep.
BG’s Jamie Kertes took a four-hit shutout into the seventh before the Cardinals rallied.
In Game 1, Nicole Steinbach pitched a one-hitter and struck out six to lead Ball State to a 4-1 win.
The Cardinals scored twice in both the sixth and seventh before BG averted a shutout with an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh.
“In the big picture, if we take this process to the rest of our games, we’re going to be in a really good spot,” BG coach Shannon Salsburg said. “It was an important lesson that every inning in the conference matters. If that’s the lesson we learned today, that’s fine.”
The Cardinals returned seven position starters and one pitcher from last season when they finished 40-15 overall and 17-3 in the MAC. BG graduated just two starters and returned both of its pitchers. It was 36-22, 15-7 last season.
“That’s a great start (to the MAC season) against a great team,” Cardinal coach Craig Nicholson said.
Kertes had retired 11 of the last 12 hitters going into the seventh.
Amanda Carpenter led off the inning with a bloop double down the left-field line that BG’s Marissa Shook just missed making a spectacular diving catch on.
Audrey Bickel followed with a single to right to score Carpenter for a 1-1 tie.
Kertes was replaced by Paris Imholz, who retired the next hitter on a ground ball to first, sending Bickel to third. Bickel had moved to second on a wild pitch. Craft then delivered, belting her homer to left.
The sophomore shortstop is  hitting .357 (5-for-14) with two homers and eight RBI.
Kertes pitched well and easily could have earned a split had BG extended its 1-0 lead.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the third when Lexie Valone beat out an infield single into the hole at short. She took second on Hannah Fulk’s walk and scored on Paige Berger’s single to center.
BG failed to score after putting runners on first and second  with one out in the fifth, and on  second base with none out in the sixth. The Falcons stranded three other runners in scoring position.
“We needed to finish that game, that would have been big for us,” Salsburg said. “We have to hit people in. Against a team like that, you have to keep scoring and increasing your lead. We just couldn’t push somebody across.”
The Falcons were 9-of-51 with 13 strikeouts in the doubleheader. BG is hitting just .208 and has scored two or fewer runs 14 times, including 11 games with zero or one run.
“Our process is getting better offensively,” Salsburg said. “We just have to make it happen. When we do, it’s going to turn in our favor.”
Kertes and Imholz pitched well enough to keep BG in both games against Ball State, which leads the MAC with a .319 batting average.
“The pitching was pretty good overall, that’s a strong hitting team,”  Salsburg said. “You know they’re going to hit. It’s not a matter of holding them without hits. A team like Ball State, a split would have been an awesome day. That second game is the one I’m hung up on a little.”
BG had just one fielding error and the outfield of Shook, Katie Yoho  in center and Valone in right had a terrific day. They combined for five catches and three assists, including a number of outstanding catches.
The Falcons will attempt to rebound today when they host Miami (6-18, 2-0) in a doubleheader at 2 p.m.
The teams originally were scheduled to play single games Saturday and Sunday, but the threat of rain on Sunday caused the teams to move Sunday’s game to Saturday.



FIRST GAME
BALL STATE 4, BGSU 1
BALL STATE                BGSU
ab    r    h    bi        ab    r    h    bi
Cox 2b    4    0    0    0    Fulk ss    3    0    0    0
Stdmn rf    4    0    1    1    McCllnd 2b    3    0    0    0
Craft pr    0    1    0    0    Berger 1b    3    1    0    0
Gilbert lf    4    1    3    0    Yoho cf    3    0    0    0
Rager 1b    4    0    3    1    Dick dp    3    0    0    0
Cortez pr    0    0    0    0    Shook lf    3    0    0    0
Crpntr cf    4    1    1    1    Stratton c    2    0    1    0
Bickel 3b    3    0    2    1    Grdno 3b    2    0    0    0
Dbkski pr    0    0    0    0    Valone rf    1    0    0    0
Rbrtsn c    3    0    0    0    Fink ph    1    0    0    0
Reyna ss    2    0    0    0                    
Evans ph    1    1    0    0        
Cihlar dp    3    0    0    0        
Totals    32    4    10    4    Totals    24    1    1    0

Ball State    000    002    2—4    10    3
BGSU    000    000    1—1    1    2
E— Cox (7), Reyna 2 (8), Giordano (5), Imholz (1). DP—Ball State. LOB—Ball State 7, BGSU 2. 2B—Carpenter (11), Bickel (3). 3B—Stratton (1). SB—Evans (8), Cihlar (9)
IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
Ball State
Steinbach W,6-7    7    1    1    0    0    6
BGSU
Imholz L,9-3    6 2-3    8    4    2    0    5
Kertes    1-3    2    0    0    0    1
WP—Steinbach (11).

SECOND GAME
BALL STATE 3, BGSU 1
BALL STATE                BGSU
ab    r    h    bi        ab    r    h    bi
Cox 2b    4    0    1    0    Fulk ss    3    0    1    0
Stdmn dp    3    0    1    0    Berger 1b    4    0    2    1
Evans pr    0    0    0    0    Yoho cf    3    0    0    0
Gilbert lf    3    0    0    0    Dick c    3    0    2    0
Rager 1b    3    0    1    0    Gregg pr    0    0    0    0
Crpntr cf    2    1    1    0    Cox pr    0    0    0    0
Bickel 3b    2    0    1    1    Shook lf    3    0    1    0
Cortez pr    0    1    0    0    Stratton dp    3    0    0    0
Rbrtsn c    3    0    1    0    McCllnd 2b    1    0    0    0
Reyna ss    2    0    0    0    Scott ph    1    0    0    0    
Craft ph    1    1    1    2    Grdno 3b    3    0    1    0
Cihlark rf    3    0    0    0    Valone rf    2    1    1    0
Fink ph    1    0    0    0
Totals    26    3    7    3    Totals    27    1    8    1

Ball State    000    000    3—3    7    1
BGSU    001    000    0—1    8    0
E—Reyna (9). DP—Ball State. LOB—Ball State 4, BGSU 7. 2B—Carpenter (12), Robertson (6). HR— Craft (2). SB—Cox (3), Shook (1). CS—Berger (1). S—McCelland (3).
IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
Ball State
Schifferdecker    4 1-3    7    1    1    1    2
Sanders W,3-3    2 2-3    1    0    0    0    5
BGSU
Kertes L,3-6    6    6    2    2    2    2
Imholz    1    1    1    1    0    1
Imholz pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.
WP—Imholz (2).
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 March 2013 08:08
 

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