Bears Drop 2-1 Decision to SIU-Edwardsville at Centenary Tournament



SHREVEPORT, La. -- The Missouri State softball team wrapped up play at its first tournament of the 2009 season Sunday (Feb. 8) with a 2-1 setback to SIU-Edwardsville at Centenary Softball Complex. Despite another solid pitching effort from freshman Natalie Rose, the Bears could not overcome a pair of second-inning SIU-E runs and ended their run at the Centenary Tournament with a 2-3 mark.


SIU-E starter Erika Taylor turned in a dominant performance, holding the Bears to just three hits while striking out eight batters in a complete-game effort. Taylor, who improved to 3-0 on the season, sat down the last 10 MSU hitters of the game in order for the 4-1 Cougars.


The Cougars took advantage of a walk, a hit-batsman and an MSU error in the second to plate their only two runs of the contest. With one out, Lindsey Liermann coaxed a walk from Bear starting pitcher Lauren Supak to set up the decisive rally. After Supak got Chaleen Rumpf to fly out, Liermann swiped second. The next batter, Courtney Mall, was hit by a pitch, and Kasey Schlafke followed with a single to center that brought home Liermann with the first run of the game.


Rose then relieved Supak and was charged with an error that allowed Mall to come all the way around with what would prove to be the game-winning run.


From that point on, Rose sparkled for the Bears, retiring the next eight batters in a row. She would give up just a two-out single in the fifth and fan six Cougars in her 4 1/3 innings of work.


The Bears got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth when Jana Shewmaker laced a triple to right field and scored on an errant throw by Rumpf.


But that would be all the offense Missouri State would muster against Taylor, who struck out four of the last 10 batters of the ballgame.


Jessie Smith capped a weekend that saw her go 7-for-13 (.538) in MSU’s five games by recording hits in two of her three at-bats Sunday, and Shewmaker finished the tourney with three extra-base hits to lead the Bears offense. Rose also turned in a strong debut weekend as a Bear, posting 18 strikeouts over 12 scoreless innings to start her MSU career, highlighted by her two-hit shutout of Bryant Saturday.


After a week off, the Bears will be back in action Feb. 20-22, at the Sleep Inn Classic in Denton, Texas. MSU will face off against Iowa State at 10 a.m., followed by a 3 p.m. match-up with host North Texas on the first day of the tournament.



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