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Miami swept by Ball State, have now lost nine of last 11 games

By Jordan Rinard
On April 28, 2014

The Miami University softball team failed to stop the bleeding against Mid-American Conference West Division leader Ball State University this weekend as it lost 2-1 Saturday and 9-1 in five innings Sunday. The RedHawks (18-25, 6-10 MAC) have now lost nine of their last eleven games.

In the first game against Ball State (29-16, 9-3 MAC) Saturday, Miami struck first in the top of the third inning as junior outfielder Taylor Shuey connected on a RBI-single. However, the Cardinals retaliated in the bottom of the sixth with two runs of their own. The offense for the 'Hawks struggled on the day as they only generated four hits, but senior pitcher Paige Myers put together a solid start on the mound with two earned runs and three strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings of work.

Ball State hit three home runs in the Sunday afternoon contest, including a grand slam in the third and a three-run homer in the fourth to set up a run-rule situation.

The RedHawks got their lone run in the fourth with a RBI from junior outfielder Bree Lipscomb while the pitching staff struggled mightily giving up nine earned runs.

"Ball State is a great team," head coach Clarisa Crowell said. "On Saturday, our pitching contained their high-powered offense and that was the game that we needed to win. They have great 3-4-5 hitters, including [senior outfielder] Jenny Gilbert who is one of the best players in the conference if not the country. On Sunday, we were not able to hold them down and we didn't play well. They're a team that's competing for a MAC Championship right now. Paige Myers pitched great in the first game, held them down."

Miami now has to regroup in order to take on Butler University (23-25, 9-8 Big East) in a road doubleheader starting 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The Bulldogs, winners of six of their last seven games and currently in a three-way tie for second in the Big East standings, have a potent offense led by junior pitcher/outfielder Cassie Rupel. Rupel has a .344 batting average, .410 slugging percentage and .403 on-base percentage.

Sophomore pitcher/outfielder Kristin Gutierrez has been solid on the mound with 18 complete games and 138 strikeouts.

The team has an excellent defense with the best fielding percentage in the Big East at .971.

"We played a good team," Myers said. "We need to build off of each other and play together and we'll be fine this weekend. We need to play with a lot of energy, especially against Butler."

Following the games against Butler, the RedHawks return to Oxford to close out the regular season as they host MAC West bottom-feeder Eastern Michigan University in a Friday doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m., and the second-place team in the West Division, Central Michigan University, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Senior day festivities will take place prior to Sunday's game.


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