Softball Bears Split Games in Florida Atlantic Tournament



Missouri State split a pair of games in the Florida Atlantic "Strike Out" Cancer Tournament to open the 2008 season Friday morning in Boca Raton, Fla.. The Bears lost 1-0 to Long Island University in the season opener, but rebounded with a 1-0 victory over Miami (Ohio).

Junior Elysha Swider scored the Bears’ lone run in the second inning against Miami. Swider, who went 2-for-3 at the plate, led-off the frame with a triple down the rightfield line and later scored on an illegal pitch.

Sophomore pitcher Lauren McGinley (1-0) earned the win, giving up four hits before leaving the game with two outs in the fifth. Senior pitcher Melissa Porche struckout five of the seven batters she faced to pick up the save.

Porche pitched brilliantly in the tournament opener. She struckout 10 Long Island batters, allowing just four hits, in tossing a complete game. Long Island scored the game’s lone run on a passed ball with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Senior Jessie DePippo’s one-out double to right-center field to gave the Blackbirds a runner in scoring position in the seventh. Sophomore Chelsea Martinson followed with an infield single to shortstop that looped over Porche’s head. Sophomore Mariesha Marker grounded out to advance the runners and with a 1-2 count on junior Renae Beauchman, Porche threw a pitch in the dirt that went to the backstop and allowed DePippo to come around for the winning run.

A pair of Missouri State freshmen made impressive debuts in the opener, with Tyler Porter and Ashley Knehans each going 2-for-3 at the plate. The Bears threatened in the fifth and sixth innings against Long Island, leaving baserunners on second and third in each frame. MSU stranded a baserunner on second base in the first and seventh innings, also.

Missouri State will face Kent State at 3 p.m. and host Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 16) in tournament action. The Bears will conclude the tournament with a yet to be determined opponent Sunday (Feb. 17).



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