Softball Bears Drop Pair of Games to Open 2010 Season



DE LAND, Fla. -- Marshall pounded out 10 hits and cruised to an 8-5 victory over the Missouri State softball team Saturday evening at the Stetson Lead-Off Classic. The Bears, who also dropped a 1-0 decision to Michigan State in their season opener earlier in the day, fell to 0-2 on the new season, while Marshall improved to 3-0.

The Thundering Herd took advantage of a pair of MSU errors to stage a two-out rally in the third that broke open a one-run game. After Marcena Bertoldo doubled with one out, Melanie Stoehr reached base via a fielding error on first-baseman Ashley Knehans that allowed Bertoldo to come home and give MU a 2-0 lead. Rebecca Gamby followed with a single to center and took second base on the return throw, moving Stoehr over to third. Finally, Brianna Hope reached on a throwing error by MSU starting pitcher Lauren Supak that allowed both Gamby and Stoehr to score for a four-run Thundering Herd advantage.

Marshall piled on three more runs the following inning when Alianna Telles belted a home run off Supak with two runners on base to give MU a commanding 7-0 lead.

Missouri State squandered a pair of early scoring opportunities, loading the bases with just one out in both the third and fourth innings, but failing to score off of MU starter Caitlyn Jackson (1-0) in either frame. The Bears finally broke into the scoring column in the sixth on Delayna Gary's two-run single. MSU added another run on a Marshall fielding error to cut its deficit to four runs.

MU tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, then hung on as the Bears mounted a late two-run rally. Stevie Pierce led off the MSU seventh with a double to right, and Jenna Schwark followed with a bunt single that was misplayed by Bertoldo at second. Pinch runner Tyler Porter came all the way around on the play to make it a four run game again. Next, Alaina Burkhart drew a walk, and Raeven Replogle drove in Schwark with a single through the left side to bring the tying run to the plate.

But Marshall pitcher Rachel Rillo would coax a 3-6 double-play from Gary to end the MSU threat and close out the win for the Thundering Herd.

Supak (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Despite outhitting Michigan State by a 6-5 count and getting a complete-game effort from senior right-hander Lauren McGinley, the fell to the Spartans by a 1-0 score in their first game of the day. Shelby Wise and Kelly Confer combined to hold the Bears scoreless, working out of key jams in the fourth, fifth and six innings to help the Spartans even their season record at 1-1.

After being held hitless through the first three innings, the Bears' bats came out of hibernation in the fourth, as Schwark's one-out single started a stretch that saw MSU post six hits in three innings. The Bears could not, however, find a way to push across the tying run after Michigan State tallied the game's only run in the top of the fourth on Brett Williams's one-out single to left.

McGinley (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing only five hits and a walk while fanning four Spartans in seven innings of work.  

The Bears (0-2) will wrap up their opening weekend of play Sunday (Feb. 14) when they square off against tourney host Stetson in a 9 a.m. (CST) contest. 



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