Oklahoma State sweeps Softball Bears in home opener
The Missouri State softball team lost two hard-fought games to Oklahoma State Wednesday in the Bears’ home opener at the MSU Softball Field, dropping games of 1-0 and 4-2. Oklahoma State used four wind-aided solo home runs to account for four its five runs on the day, as the Cowgirls improved to 10-8 on the season. Missouri State fell to 7-10.
Game one was a pitchers duel between Missouri State’s Melissa Porche and OSU’s Jessica Hoppock. The Cowgirls scored their only run of the game on a solo homer by first baseman Kim Kaye in the top of the fourth inning. Hoppock (9-4) held the Bears to a lone hit in the game, an infield single by Bears’ sophomore Jessie Smith in the fourth inning. Porche took the loss despite a strong performance, falling to 5-5 on the season, as she allowed four hits and four walks, while striking out four in seven innings.
Oklahoma State again used a strong wind blowing out to left field to take an early lead on Missouri State in the second game of the day. Courtney Totte hit a solo homer in the first, and Krystle Sanchez and Emily Blackburn launched back-to-back home runs in the second, all to left field, as the Cowgirls took a 3-0 lead. The Bears responded in the bottom of the second, as junior catcher Lacie Ballard singled to lead off the inning, sophomore Brooke Kempker was hit by a pitch, and junior Jana Shewmaker singled up the middle to load the bases. Freshman Dusti Foster scored Ballard on a sacrifice fly to center field and Kempker scored on a groundout by freshman Lauren McGinley to make it 3-2 after the second.
OSU added a run in the sixth on back-to-back hits as Kaye scored on a double by Sanchez. The Bears could pull no closer, as MSU failed to capitalize on leadoff double by freshman Jodie Shead in the fifth and base runners in the sixth and seventh. Freshman Megan Ramsey (2-3) suffered the loss on the mound for the Bears, allowing four runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings. Porche came in with two outs in the sixth and ended the inning with a strikeout and worked a perfect seventh. OSU’s Anna Whiddon was the winner in relief, allowing no runs and two hits in four innings of work to improve to 1-1. Ballard and Shewmaker each had two-hit games for the Bears, as the two combined for four of the five MSU hits in the game.
Missouri State will travel to St. Louis to play in the SLU Cancer Center Classic this weekend, March 3 and 4, hosted by Saint Louis University at Billiken Sports Complex. The Bears will face Southeast Missouri State and Saint Louis Saturday at 2 and 4 p.m., respectively. On Sunday, MSU will face Missouri-Kansas City at 10 a.m. and then will be seeded for bracket play, beginning at 2 or 4 p.m.