Bears Split on Day One of North Texas Sleep Inn Classic
DENTON, Texas -- The Missouri State softball team fell behind early and never recovered in a 6-1 loss to Iowa State, but bounced back to earn a 2-1 victory in eight innings against North Texas on the opening day of the Sleep Inn Classic at Lovelace Stadium. Ashley Knehans’ RBI-single scored Tyler Porter with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to send the Bears their third victory of the season.
Knehans’ hit made a winner out of starting pitcher Lauren McGinley (2-1), who turned in a complete-game effort against the Mean Green in which she allowed just one run on five hits. Porter, meanwhile, was the star at the plate for the Bears, going 2-for-4 and scoring both MSU runs.
In game two, the Bears jumped on top of
McGinley was solid for the Bears throughout the contest, working five scoreless innings before allowing a Mean Green run in the top of the sixth.
In the day’s first contest, Iowa State grabbed the lead with a three-run second inning, then put the game away on the strength of Jacquelyn Beatty’s three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth.
ISU’s Carleigh Berry struck the biggest blow of the contest, delivering a two-out, two-run single off Missouri State starting pitcher Natalie Rose in the second inning. The Cyclones took advantage of a touch of wildness from Rose, who hit two batters in the inning and walked in the first run of the game with one out in the frame. The freshman pitcher was one out away from working out of the jam with only one run scored before Berry’s single plated Heidi Kidwell and Anna Bortz to stake ISU to a 3-0 lead.
MSU got on the board in the top of the fourth courtesy of ISU’s only error of the game. Gammon led-off the inning and was hit by a Zabriskie offering. The sophomore advanced to second on a Jenna Schwark sacrifice, and went to third on an infield single by Smith. Zabriskie retired Knehans on a pop-up to shortstop, but an error by ISU catcher Alex Johnson allowed Gammon to come around with the Bears’ lone tally.
The Cyclones tacked on three big runs on Beatty’s blast with one out in the sixth.
Elysha Swider went 2-for-3 with a fifth-inning double to lead the Bears in game one.
The Bears (3-4) will be back in action Saturday (Feb. 21) at 10 a.m. against