Softball Celebrates Senior Day with Stroll-Off Win Over Toledo

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05/04/2021 | 13 o’clock

MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State Junior Class wanted to make sure Sunday would be a memorable day for the nine seniors the softball program will honor after completing the game for Seniors Day.

Little did they know they would do it both in-game and after-game. Junior designated player Amaia Daniel combined the game with a one-time solo scoreboard bomb on the softball field at the First Merchants Ballpark Complex at the end of the seventh to send the competition to additional innings.

Then to Senior Center Fielder Kennedy Wynn opened the eighth with a single and moved up to third place after a hit from sophomore shortstop Haley WynnIt was a junior outfielder Believe Hensley’s Turn.

Hensley would start the Seniors Day celebration in appropriate style, with a walkable RBI field on the left giving the Cardinals (27-16, 21-6 Mid-American Conference) a 5-4 (8) win over visiting Toledo bestowed.

“For our seniors, this game was everything to them,” said the senior coach for the first year Top wood said after the competition. “They represented their team, their program on Seniors’ Day and got through for us in the clutch. They really wanted it, stuck to the process and won.”

It was the team’s 13th win in a league game this season and the second win in a row against the Rockets (22-19, 12-13 MAC), which helped the BSU to save a series split.

“We played from behind all year,” added Wood. “Nobody’s ever really looked at it. We got the job done when we had to.”

Perhaps the biggest contribution, however, came from one of the nine seniors Ball State celebrated on Sunday. After each team scored three runs in the first inning, the game remained a tie until Toledo’s Jenna Kroll scored a leadoff home run in the fourth.

After a lineout, the Rockets followed in three straight steps to load the bases. Provide Senior Relief Pitcher Alyssa Rothwell who took a big step forward and beat the last two batters of the inning to make it a one-run game.

It was another clutch performance for the senior named “The Closer” who ranks second in NCAA Division I history with 30 saves. Rothwell wasn’t finished there, however, as she dominated the Toledo Offensive for the rest of the day, eventually ending the competition with eight strikes over their 4.2 innings.

“Alyssa came into play in what is probably the greatest pressure she has faced all year,” Wood said of her senior. “With so much driving, it was a lot of fun to see how she dominated the circle.”

The day began threateningly again, with Toledo scoring three runs in the first inning.

Ball State, however, was able to counter with three runs of their own in the lower part of the inning to even out the score. It started with a leadoff single from H. Wynn, followed by Freshman Shortstop Kayla Lissy MAC leading seventh triple of the season to race in the first run.

Hensley then made a mistake, which also enabled Lissy to score. Two batters later, Daniel followed with her first clutch on bat of the game and smashed an RBI double on the left field line.

Older pitcher Darcie Huber started the game for Ball State, holding Toledo with four hits and four runs over the first 3.1 innings. She also knocked out a pair of batteries.

The Ball State softball team is expected to get back into action on Tuesday when Northern Illinois comes to Muncie for a double header at 1:00 p.m. to close the Cardinals’ current home stand in 12 games.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting health counseling department, there will be no general public participation in Ball State’s softball home games this season.

However, Tuesday’s double header will be streamed live on ESPN + and live stats can be found on the Softball schedule page from BallStateSports.com.