- Exercise Science
In addition to playing softball at both the intercollegiate and international levels, Jennifer Gilbert maintains a 2.966 grade-point average on Ball State University’s 4.0 grading scale. An exercise science major, with a minor in business, Gilbert is on track to graduate in December of 2014.
Originally recruited to be a pitcher and a slapper for the Cardinals, Gilbert was asked to switch to the outfield and bat solely from the left side a few weeks into fall practice her freshman year. Through her hard work and intense training, Gilbert developed into the first All-American in program history by the end of her junior campaign, as a slugger playing left field. Regularly one of the first players to practice and games, Gilbert continues to focus on improving her game every day. She gives her full effort and attention to each drill or task on hand, and sets a great example for the players around her. Gilbert is also humble and appreciative of everything which comes her way. She does not take her success for granted; instead she works even harder to improve and help those around her get better. Her sole focus is helping the team achieve its goals of winning the MAC Tournament and reaching the NCAA Regionals. She is also one of the funnier players on the squad, knowing when to bring just a little bit of humor into tense situations to help calm everyone’s nerves. She is a joy to work with, and is always willing to go the extra mile to help out.
Jennifer Gilbert completed her fifth year as a member of the Canadian National Team program, and her second as a member of the Canadian Women’s Senior National Team, this winter. She has played a large role in helping the push to get softball back into the Olympics with both members of Team Canada and Team USA. She participated in discussions with International Softball Federation President Don Porter about how athletes can promote softball. She served as one of Softball Canada’s representatives in the Google Hangout with WSN 24/7 hosted by Taylor Hoagland to promote the cause. During the 2013 Canada Cup, she did several interviews about bringing softball back to the Olympics and how athletes and fans can help. She worked with Team Canada through a social media campaign to help send out info about the program and Olympics. She has also worked numerous camps for Team Canada to promote youth and girls involvement in sports. At Ball State, Gilbert is one of the spokeswomen for the Cardinal Commitment Campaign to help the University raise money for improved athletics facilities. She has been featured in video interviews, printed articles and other promotional material about the cause, speaking about the importance of improved facilities for the student-athlete experience and success of Ball State’s 19 athletic teams. She volunteers at the local YMCA to help promote physical activity in kids. She has also volunteered at Blood-N-Fire Muncie, which runs a monthly food pantry for local residents.
The first All-American in program history, Gilbert is the two-time reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year. She helped guide the Cardinals to back-to-back MAC regular season titles (2012 and 2013), and a 48-14 league mark over her career.
In 2014, the Cardinals enter the start of Mid-American Conference play (March 28 at Buffalo) with an 18-11 overall record, including a 3-0 victory over then-No. 3 Arizona State in which Gilbert drove in two of Ball State’s three runs.
In BSU’s first 29 games of the 2014 season, Gilbert is batting .348 and leads the league with 10 home runs, 35 RBI and 30 runs scored.
A 10-time career MAC West Division Player of the Week, including twice so far this season, Gilbert is the league’s all-time career leader in RBI (220), runs scored (191) and home runs (66), while ranking second in career doubles (56).
With her 66th career home run versus North Dakota State (March 22), Gilbert became the NCAA’s career home run leader among Canadian-born players, passing her Canadian National Team teammate Jen Yee who racked up 65 career home runs while playing for Niagara (2006-07) and Georgia Tech (2009-10).
Gilbert entered the week of March 24 as the nation’s active career leader in RBI, runs scored and doubles, while her home run total was second among all active NCAA Division I players.
A member of the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List, Gilbert finished the 2013 season ranked 11th nationally with a MAC single season record .451 batting average, while her school record .936 slugging percentage ranked fifth nationally.
She holds nearly all of Ball State’s single season offensive records and is at or near the top in every career category.
This past summer, Gilbert completed her second tour as a member of the Canadian Women’s Senior National Team. She played in four international competitions, posting a .338 batting average with 27 hits over 29 games. She racked up 25 RBI and 20 runs scored, while smashing three doubles, three triples and three home runs. She helped Team Canada close the summer with a silver medal showing at the VII Women’s Pan American Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, posting a 9-3 record over the nine-day event.