Cards host No. 11 Iowa

When coach Beth Maddox crafted her team’s 2011 regular season non-conference schedule, she went the ultimate route. Duals with bigger, stronger, faster and better teams were thrown into the mix.

With such a young team, which includes 10 freshmen, the out of conference schedule has been brutal. With the final non-conference game of the season coming today against No. 11 Iowa, the Cardinals are winless in eight chances against non-conference opponents. Four of their losses have come against nationally ranked teams, including No. 20 Northwestern (3-1 on Sep. 13), No. 17 Ohio State (5-0 on Sep. 27), No. 15 Boston University (8-0 on Sep. 16) and No. 7 Michigan (5-0 on Sep. 17).

With today’s game against the Iowa, the Cardinals attempt to be the first Mid-American Conference team to defeat the Hawkeyes this season. Also, the Cardinals are vying for the first non-conference win and first win over a Big Ten opponent this season.

*Notes

  • No. 11 Iowa: 4-0 versus the MAC this season
  • Ball State is 0-5 against the Big Ten Conference this season

Malinoski’s late first half goal evens the game 1-1

MUNCIE, Ind.—David versus Goliath. Big sister bullying the little sister. Super heavyweight demolishing the light heavyweight. All of the above can be linked to Ball State’s game with Mid-American Conference rival Ohio on Senior Day.

After all, Ohio notched at least a share of the MAC regular season championship with its 1-0 win over Miami on Saturday, while the Cardinals took care of business against Kent State thanks to Devanny Kuhn’s game-winning goal in overtime.

The Cardinals are fighting for their tournament lives, while Bobcats are shooting for a perfect conference record. The home team hasn’t stopped fighting.

Down 1-0, freshman Laura Malinoski swarmed the front of the Ohio goal, snagging a rebound and firing the ball into the back of the cage, tying the game at 1-1 as the first half came to a close.

Kuhn scores game-winning goal in OT to give Cardinals 4-3 victory

Darting down the left side of the offensive zone, weaving her way passed multiple Kent State defenders, Devanny Kuhn powered a shot into the back of the goal and the rest was history.

The other 18 players donning the Cardinal red and white rushed the field after their senior co-captain’s game-winning goal in overtime.

“Sanne [Hermans] made a great reception and passed it to me on the outside,” Kuhn said. “I used my speed to cut off the defender. I found space, looked up, found where the goalie was and ripped a shot as hard as I could.”

Kuhn has a nag for stepping up her game in overtime and coach Beth Maddox had a good feeling Kuhn was going to decide the outcome.

“Dev loves over time,” Maddox said. “She loves taking the ball, going to the left and finishing [the play]. That’s what she does. I knew she would shine in over time more so than in [regulation].”

With the game knotted at 3-3, Kuhn, who was constantly troubling the Kent State defenders, said she was destined to score once overtime began.

“You just got to be confident when you get the ball and just go with it,” Kuhn said. “Find where the open shot is and take it.”

The Cardinals (4-12) received a tremendous amount of production from senior co-captain Gretchen Lulow and freshman Sanne Hermans.

Lulow scored the game’s first goal after securing the ball in front of goalkeeper Jahna Jordan, tapping it in for a 1-0 lead. The fourth-year player added her second score of the afternoon on a penalty corner kick. Hermans received the insert, shot the ball and Lulow redirected it for the score, evening the game at 2-2.

“We had a lot of people that were drawing corners today,” Lulow said. “I just happened to be in the open spot in the circle. Sanne made some really good passes. I happened to be the one that was open.”

Following the game, Maddox applauded Lulow’s ability to simplify the game, maintaining focus and aiding her teammates.

“She’s a very skilled and smart player,” Maddox said. “She executed her skills, changed the point of attack, fought hard and was very disciplined today.”

Hermans engineered the Cardinals offense, while recording three assists and a shot on goal. Her greatest tool is her vision, which worked to perfection against the Golden Flashes.

“She sees the field in such a wonderful way,” Maddox said. “We’ve lacked [good] vision before and that’s part of the reason I was drawn to her.”

The Cardinals, who last defeated the Golden Flashes in 2007, split the season series and notched their fourth victory in the Mid-American Conference this season. Next up is a 1 p.m. contest versus the conference-leading Ohio Bobcats this afternoon. The Bobcats are a perfect 7-0 in the MAC this season.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” Maddox said. “We haven’t shown anybody our best yet. Hopefully that’ll come when it really matters.”

Rangers rally with a two-run ninth, knotting the series 1-1

With a chance to take a commanding two games to none lead in the 2011 Fall Classic, the Cardinals coughed up a one-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, allowing the visiting Rangers to even the series 1-1.

Jaime Garcia turned in his best outing of the postseason by tossing seven shutout innings while allowing just three singles, walking one and fanning seven. Garcia retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced before surrendering a walk to Ian Kinsler in the fourth inning.

The dominant performance went to waste, as veteran left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes was charged with a blown save after Jason Motte allowed two hits and two runs, one of which was earned.

Colby Lewis had the Cardinals off guard all night. Lewis weaved his way in and out of trouble in his 6 2/3 innings of work. With two outs in the home half of the third, shortstop Rafeal Furcal roped a double to right field, but center fielder John Jay was unable to drive Furcal in, who was stranded at second.

The Cardinals knocked Lewis out of the game in the seventh after a pair of singles from third baseman David Freese and second baseman Nick Punto. Manager Tony La Russa called back Garcia in favor of pinch-hitter Allen Craig. Rangers skipper Ron Washington countered by bringing in hard-throwing righty Alexi Ogando. But Craig, as he did in Game 1, got the best of Ogando by lining an RBI single to right-center field, scoring Freese to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.

With three outs standing between the Cardinals and a two-game lead in the series, the Rangers offense suddenly awoke. Kinsler led off the top of the ninth with a single to center field, and stole second, narrowly beating Yadier Molina’s throw. With a runner in scoring position and nobody out, the Rangers were destined to score. Shortstop Elvis Andrus singled off of Motte, advancing Kinsler to third base. Motte was then relieved by Rhodes, who allowed left fielder Josh Hamilton to tie the game with an RBI SAC fly. The Rangers weren’t finished there. Another pitching change by La Russa brought righty Lance Lynn into the game fresh off of the 60-day disabled list. First baseman Michael Young produced the winning run with an RBI SAC fly to center, scoring Andrus from third.

After walking Molina to open the bottom of the ninth, closer Neftali Feliz retired the next three Cardinals hitters to secure the win, sending the series to Arlington.

Notes:

  • Garcia was the first Mexican-born starter in the World Series since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.
  • For the second time this postseason, Garcia tossed seven innings.
  • This World Series features two teams who hit into the most double plays during the regular season. …The Cardinals were first and the Rangers were second.
  • Albert Pujols has yet to record a hit…He’s gone a combined zero-for-six, with a run scored and a walk.

Craig’s pinch-hit RBI single lifts Cards past Rangers

With the temperatures in the forties, the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers kicked off what could be one of the most exiting World Series’ in recent memory.

The best of seven series began in St. Louis and the home team didn’t disappoint. Calling upon their ace, Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals received a great six-inning, 87-pitch performance from the 36-year-old right-hander.

The Cardinals signature starter turned Tuesday night’s opener into a masterpiece. Finding himself behind in the count on numerous occasions, Carpenter weaved his way out of trouble, exiting for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning with a 2-2 game.

Manager Tony La Russa inserted Allen Craig into the game to face one of Texas’ most dominant relievers, Alexi Ogando. Craig fell behind on two fastballs before connecting on another that just got under the outstretched glove of right fielder Nelson Cruz, scoring third baseman David Freese and giving the home team a 3-2 lead.

With three innings to work with, La Russa leaned on his bullpen, which has been virtually unhittable this postseason. The combination of right-handers Fernando Salas, Octavio Dotel, Jason Motte and left-handers Arthur Rhodes and Marc Rzepczynski, worked the final nine outs, preserving the important initial win of the series.

 

Cards off to strong start

After suffering a frustrating 1-0 loss to Big Ten opponent Michigan State Saturday, Ball State took the field for the second time in as many days against Missouri State, of the Mid-American Conference.

Second-year coach Beth Maddox was looking for her team to get off to a strong start against the Bears after struggling to finish against the Spartans.

“The goal for [today] is going to be to step up and attack together and make sure that there’s always support around the ball,” Maddox said.

Her team answered in impressive fashion within the opening minutes of the game. Senior captain Gretchen Lulow netted her second goal of the season off of a penalty corner kick to give the Cardinals a 1-0 advantage.

The Bears evened the game at 1-1 when backfielder Reiann Stoute came out of a scramble in front of the Ball State goal. Stoute tapped the ball in for her second score of the season.

Less than five minutes later, freshman insert Laura Malinoski found the back of the net off of the Cardinals’ fifth consecutive penalty corner kick, giving the home team a 2-1 lead. The score was Malinoski’s second in her last three games and the third of her career.

The Cardinals lead the Bears 2-1 at the half.

*Cardinal-Blings…

-Lulow came out of the game with appeared to be an “ankle injury.” Her return is questionable. In addition to her goal, Lulow recorded an assist on Malinoski’s goal.

-Freshman midfielder Sanne Hermans recorded six shots, including five shots on goal and two assists for the Cardinals in the first half against the Bears.