March 22, 2017
Lee’s Two Home Runs Power Softball Past Butler, 10-2 (6 inn.)
Sophomore designated player Madison Lee blasted two home runs and drove in five of Ball State’s 10 runs Wednesday.
MUNCIE, Ind. – Sophomore designated player Madison Lee (Cerritos, Calif./Cerritos) proved there is no place like home by blasting her first two home runs of the season to lead the Ball State softball team to a dominating 10-2 (6 inn.) win over in-state rival Butler Wednesday afternoon at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex.
Overall, Lee drove in five of Ball State’s 10 runs to help the Cardinals (15-16) pick up its fourth consecutive victory and its second win over 2016 NCAA Regional participant Butler (11-16) in a span of five days.
Ball State wasted little time in its first home game of the season, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning courtesy of the long ball. Junior second baseman Maddy Labrador (Lexington, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist) was the first Cardinal to reach base, capitalizing on an error by the Butler shortstop. Senior center fielder Rachel Houck (Greenfield, Ind./Louisville) made the Bulldogs pay for the miscue, depositing a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left-center field to give Ball State a 2-0 lead with her Mid-American Conference leading ninth home run of the year.
Two batters later, Lee blasted her first long ball of the season over the fence in left-center field to give the hosts a 3-0 lead and provide what proved to be the game-winning run.
Ball State extended its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second, as Labrador came around to score from third on a two-out wild pitch. Labrador reached base on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on a two-out double from Houck before scoring for the second time in the game.
Butler scored its first run in the top of the third, courtesy of a one-out RBI double from Sarah Dixon. Dixon would reach third moments later on a passed ball, but sophomore pitcher Aeshia Miles (Lawrenceville, Ga./Collins Hill) buckled down and induced a lineout and groundout to end the inning.
Miles earned her third win of the season in the contest, allowing just one hit and one run over 3.0 innings of work. She also struck out a batter.
The Cardinals then countered the Butler run in the bottom of the third, as a junior first baseman Danae King (Glendale, Ariz./Phoneix College) singled up the middle with two outs. Freshman left fielder Haley Dominique (Oregon, Ohio/Clay) scored on the play after doubling down the left field line two batters earlier.
Leading 5-0, Lee would play home run hero once again for the Cardinals in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run blast off the top of the scoreboard in left field. Labrador and Houck both scored on the homer after reaching base via a walk and error, respectively.
The Bulldogs scored their final run in the top of the fifth, as a pair of Ball State errors allowed Jenna Foreman to reach base and eventually score. Butler would go on to load the bases with two outs, but freshman reliever Alyssa Rothwell (Ashville, Ohio/Teays Valley) got out of the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.
Rothwell entered the game in relief in the top of the fourth inning and retired the side with a pair of strikeouts. She also stopped a Butler rally attempt in the top of the sixth inning to strand a pair of runners. In pitching the final 3.0 innings for the Cardinals, Rothwell picked up her first career save by allowing just two hits and one unearned run. She also struck out a game-high four batters.
The Cardinals went on to score two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to complete the 10-2 run rule of the Bulldogs. Labrador opened the inning with a walk, while back-to-back singles from Houck and freshman third baseman Janae Hogg (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) loaded the bases. Lee followed with a bases loaded walk for her fifth RBI of the game, while Butler’s third error of the game two batters later allowed Houck to cross the plate for the game-ending run.
Next up, the Ball State softball team will turn its attention to MAC play, as the team travels to Buffalo for a three-game league series. Due to unplayable field conditions at the Bulls’ Nan Harvey Field and the current weather forecast, the teams will play a doubleheader Friday (1 p.m.) and a single game Saturday (9 a.m.) at D’Youville College’s Dobson Field.
For the most up-to-date news on Ball State softball, follow the team on Twitter: @BallStateSB, @CoachCBartlett & @BallStateSports / Instagram: ballstatesb / Facebook: BallStateSoftball.