Drew McDonnell, Staff Writer

The Miami University softball team faced a rough weekend at home after losing its double header against Mid-American Conference (MAC) opponent Ball State University.

The conference games added to the intensity of the match-up.

“They’re definitely a little more stressful,” junior Jessica Simpson said. “There is more riding on them.”

Things were looking up for the RedHawks during their first game on Saturday as they held a 3-1 lead at the top of the seventh inning. Junior Jordan McElroy struck first during the first inning with a hit to right center followed by a walk by senior Meghan Mawn. Freshman Kayla Ledbetter sent McElroy home with a ground out and freshman Allie Larrabee hit a single to send home Mawn.

Still leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third, McElroy led off the frame with a walk. Mawn singled and Ledbetter walked to load the bases with no outs.

A fielder’s choice on Larrabee retired Mawn at home plate. The next pitch advanced all the runners and scored Mawn. After senior Jenna McGivney walked, Simpson hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Ledbetter and make it 3-0.

Ball State did not strike until the sixth inning when the Cardinals used a walk, a double and a groundout to earn their first run. Things remained in Ball State’s favor for the remainder of the game as two errors and a grand slam brought the Cardinals into the lead 5-3 during the seventh. Miami was unable to recover from the damage.

The Red and White faced defeat again on day two against the Cardinals in a game that turned into a pitcher’s battle. Simpson held strong against Ball State for the first five innings until the Cardinals hit a solo home run, scoring the only run of the game.

After Ball State’s Amanda Montalto hit the solo shot, neither team was able to put up any more runs up on the board, bringing the final score to 1-0 and giving the Cardinals the win.

The team plans to learn from their games from Ball State in order to move forward.

“We’ve been working on taking one game at a time and playing our game,” Larrabee said. “Every game is important because we can learn something about ourselves from every team we play.”

The ‘Hawks fell to 16-15 overall and 2-4 in the Mid-American-Conference. The Cardinals improve to 24-14 overall and 5-1 in the MAC.

Miami will continue their season 5 p.m. Wednesday April 13 as they head to Dayton, Ohio, to take on Wright State University.