Softball Bears Split Pair of Games in Tournament



Missouri State defeated Saint Louis 13-7 and lost to host Southeast Missouri State 3-1 in the weather-shortened All-Missouri Breast Cancer Tournament, Sunday, at Cape Girardeau, Mo. The softball Bears are now 8-3 overall.

Missouri State scored six runs in the third and five in the fifth en route to the 13-7 margin against the Billikens. SLU scored a pair of runs in the first against MSU sophomore starting pitcher Lauren McGinley. Her second inning RBI single though scored junior Jessie Smith to cut the Billiken lead in half.

Smith was one of six Bears with at least two hits against SLU. Seniors Melissa Porche and Michelle Armentrout and freshmen Christa Gammon, Tyler Porter and Ashley Knehans were the others. Armentrout scored three runs, with Smith, Porche, Gammon and Porter all scoring a pair of runs.

Senior Melissa Porche enjoyed another huge game against the Billikens, her second in less than 24 hours. Porche struck out a career-high 19 batters in the Bears’ 1-0 nine-inning win over SLU, Saturday, at MSU Softball Field. Her day two performance featured a five RBI effort while striking out six SLU batters in 4.1 innings of relief work to improve to 4-1 on the season. Her two-run single and Armentrout’s two-run double were the key hits in the Bears’ six-run third.

SLU took advantage of two MSU errors in the bottom of the third and answered with five runs, prompting Porche’s insertion as pitcher. The Bears then scored five runs in the fourth, with Porche’s three-run homer to left-center proving to be the game winner.

Armentrout stole home for the Bears’ final run in the sixth. She reached base with her second double of the game and along with Smith finished with two RBIs.

Armentrout’s lead-off, second inning homerun to leftfield accounted for lone MSU run in a 3-1 loss to Southeast Missouri State in the second game. SEMO scored one run in the third and two more in the fifth to account for the final margin. A bases-loaded Porche strikeout of a SEMO batter ended the inning. Porche (4-2) struck out six SEMO batters in 5.0 innings of work, allowing six hits and three earned runs in the loss.

The Bears out-hit Southeast Missouri 10-8, with Armentrout, Smith and freshman Jenna Schwark all with two apiece. Redhawks starter Elaine Fisher pitched herself out of a bases-loaded jam in the final inning for her fourth win of the season. With two outs, Gammon walked, Knehans was hit by a pitch and Porche walked to load the bases. Armentrout lined out to rightfield to end the game.

Missouri State will compete in face Troy University (2:30 p.m.) and Toledo (4:30 p.m.) Friday (March 7) in the Buzz Classic at Atlanta, Ga. The Bears will play Radford (1:00 p.m.) and North Carolina-Greensboro (4:30 p.m.) Saturday (March 8).



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