Bears Drop Final Non-Conference Game to No. 24 Tulsa
May 1, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - The Missouri State softball team (20-28, 11-11) dropped the final non-conference game of the season, 8-0 in five innings, at No. 24 Tulsa (38-13-1) on Wednesday afternoon.
"We hung right with this team for four innings," said head coach Holly Hesse. "We had some nice hits off of a tough pitcher. It was great to see Stevie (Pierce) play inspired today."
Chelsea Jones held the ranked Golden Hurricane in check through four innings. She got out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth and allowed just an unearned run over the first four innings of play.
Missouri State put together scoring threats in three innings against Tulsa pitcher Amy Creger. MSU got three hits off Creger, who threw a no-hitter in her last outing on Sunday.
The Bears looked to take the lead in the second. Mary Stephens drilled the ball to leftfield, caroming off the top of the wall back into play for a leadoff single. Stevie Pierce followed and drew a walk, her team-leading 18th of the season. The Bears, however, were unable to push across the go-ahead run.
Kerri Cunningham led off the third inning with a solid single over the shortstop. She stole second and advanced to third on a groundout, but was stranded to end the frame.
After Tulsa got an unearned run to take a 1-0 lead, the Bears looked for the equalizing run in the fourth. With one away, Pierce doubled to left-center, her team-best 10th double of the season. But a flyout and pop up ended the inning.
The Golden Hurricane broke the game open in the fifth. A one-out grand slam opened the door to a seven-run inning, ending the game.
Missouri State will travel to Peoria, Ill., to close out the regular season with a three-game series against the Braves this weekend. The Bears will then travel to the MVC Tournament in Omaha, Neb., from May 9-11. MSU has 68 wins in the Valley Tournament, the most all-time of any team in tournament history.