Softball Bears Advance to Florida Atlantic Tournament Championship Game
Missouri State won a pair of games on the second day of the season-opening Florida Atlantic "Strike Out" Cancer Tournament Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla.. The Bears won a 3-2 afternoon decision over Kent State and later defeated host Florida Atlantic 3-2 . MSU is now 3-1 overall and will play Long Island for the tournament championship at 1 p.m. Sunday, February 17.
Freshman leadoff hitter Christa Gammon got things going for the Bears early against Kent State with a single to start the game. She stole second and was then advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by fellow freshman Tyler Porter. Two batters later senior Michelle Armentrout singled up the middle to score Gammon and give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
Kent State recorded five of its seven hits in the game and scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third against MSU sophomore starting pitcher Megan Ramsey.
Gammon’s second hit of the contest tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth and moments later she scored the eventual game-winner. Senior Lacie Ballard led-off the inning with a walk and was advanced to second base on a scarifice bunt by junior Jana Shewmaker. Gammon then doubled down the left field line to score Ballard, stole third and later scored on Porter’s single.
Sophomore pitcher Lauren McGinley (2-0) came on in relief in the fourth, yielding just one hit in two innings of work to earn her second win in as many games. Senior hurler Melissa Porche closed out the game with two innings of no-hit work, striking out out a pair of Kent State batters, to earn her second save.
Gammon triggered the MSU offense against Florida Atlantic, also. She reached base on a leadoff walk in the first and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Porter’s ground out to shortstop moved Gammon over to third. Junior Jessie Smith’s groundout to third, but with two outs Gammon scored on a wild pitch.
The Bears added a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of a pair of FAU errors. Armentrout reached base on an error to start the frame. Freshman Ashley Knehans then struck out, but Porche followed with a single. Senior Carrie Roberson, who pinch-ran for Armentrout, scored moments later on an error by the FAU shortstop following junior Elysha Swider’s single. Following a walk by junior Jen Carr, freshman Jenna Schwark’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Porche. Gammon then singled, but Swider was out at the plate to end the inning.
Porche (1-1) pitched her scond complete game in as many days and earned her first victory of the season. The senior battled out of a jam in the bottom of the fourth. FAU banged out three hits, scoring once, but stranded runners on first and second to end the inning. FAU left baserunners on second and third in the fifth inning and scored its second run of the game in the sixth on a pair of hits. Porche gave up nine hits, struckout eight FAU batters and went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored in the contest.
The tournament championship game will be a re-match of the Bears’ season-opening contest, in which Long Island scored the game’s lone run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh.