EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Ball State put an end to SIUE's nine-game softball winning streak Saturday.
The Cardinals defeated the Cougars 6-1 during the second day of the SIUE Tournament that ends Sunday. A five-run fifth inning enabled Ball State to build a 6-0 lead, take control of things and improve to 12-16. SIUE dropped to 20-5 in falling for the first time since Feb. 26.
"We played poorly. That's the bottom line," SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery. "We couldn't do anything right and they got some seeing-eye hits. I'm not very happy how we played."
SIUE trailed Ball State 1-0 going into the fifth before the Cardinals used five hits and two walks to score five times.
SIUE pitchr Haley Chambers-Book allowed eight hits and six earned runs while striking out five in five innings. She absorbed the defeat and had her four-game winning string snapped. Chambers-Bock, honored before the game as SIUE's career strikeout leader, saw her record drop to 10-4.
Reliever Emily Ingles pitched two scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out three.
However, SIUE's attack mostly stalled. The Cougars managed only five hits.
"We just couldn't seem to get a rhythm going," Montgomery said. "They hit some balls that found the holes, but we have to hit better than we did. We didn't have enough quality at-bats."
Tess Eby supplied SIUE with a couple of high-performance at-bats. She blasted a home run to left field in the fifth and singled in the second for a 2-for-3 outing. It was Eby's first home run of the season.
"She had a nice day and can swing the bat like that," Montgomery said. "It was nice to see her get a home run."
Winning pitcher Alyssa Rothwell, now 2-1, yielded five hits and fanned three in six innings. Ball State reliever Carolyn Wilmes pitched a hitless seventh.
Janae Hogg, Maddy Labrador and Helen Dominique all collected three hits for the Cardinals.
"We need to play with more passion and intensity," said Montgomery, looking ahead to Sunday's noon game against Northern Kentucky. "The players need to wake up. We played a lot better in Florida then we have in our first two games at home."
Three games are scheduled Sunday, including Toledo against Butler at 10 a.m. and Northern Kentucky versus Ball State at 2.