Missouri State softball splits two in St. Louis
The Missouri State softball team split two games Sunday at the SLU Cancer Center Classic at Billiken Sports Center in St. Louis, defeating Southeast Missouri State, 10-4, and falling to Saint Louis, 3-2. The Bears scored all 10 of their runs in the first two innings against SEMO to cruise to the victory in game one and saw Saint Louis erase a 2-0 lead with a three-run fifth inning to defeat the Bears in the nightcap. Missouri State is now 8-11 on the season.
The Bears took little time jumping to an early lead against SEMO, as MSU scored six runs in the first inning, all with two outs. Junior Jana Shewmaker’s double scored sophomore Jessie Smith, who singled, and junior Lacie Ballard, who walked, to put the Bears up 2-0. Starting pitcher Melissa Porche then blasted a two-run homer to left-center field to score Shewmaker. After sophomore Brooke Kempker singled, catcher Jen Carr launched another two-run homer, this time to center field, to put Missouri State ahead 6-0.
The power showcase continued in the second inning, as senior Katie Martin hit the team’s third home run of the game with an opposite field blast to extend the Bears’ lead to 7-0. After two walks and a wild pitch to score another run, Shewmaker joined the home run derby with a two-run shot to left-center field, stretching the MSU lead to 10-0. The home run was the Bears’ fourth in two innings, as Shewmaker picked up her third and fourth RBIs of the game.
Missouri State piled up 10 hits in the game, as Shewmaker, Carr, Smith, and Kempker each had two-hit games for the Bears. Eight of the nine MSU starters scored a run in the game.
Porche earned the victory on the mound for the Bears, picking up her seventh complete game of the season to improve to 6-5. She allowed four runs on five hits, while striking out five.
In the tournament finale, Missouri State jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second inning as freshman Lauren McGinley singled to score Porche, who reached on an error. The Bears added a run in the third, as Martin hit her second solo homer of the day to put MSU on top 2-0. The host Billikens answered in the fifth inning, as SLU loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. Rachel Heet then cleared the bases with a three-run triple to give the Billikens a 3-2 lead.
Missouri State had opportunities to tie the game in both the sixth and seventh innings. Porche doubled with one out in the sixth, but advanced no farther. In the seventh, Martin and Smith each singled, and advanced to second and third with two outs, but Ballard grounded out to end the game.
Freshman Megan Ramsey (2-4) took the loss on the mound, allowing three runs on six hits in 4.1 innings. Porche relieved Ramsey with the bases loaded in the fifth and allowed the triple to Heet, the only hit she allowed in 2.2 innings.
Saint Louis defeated Missouri-Kansas City, 6-0, and UMKC defeated SEMO, 6-0, in the other games of the day. Proceeds and donations from Sunday’s games benefitted Saint Louis University’s Cancer Research Center.
Missouri State will return home to face Missouri-Kansas City in doubleheader action on Wednesday, March 7. Game one will begin at 3 p.m. at the Missouri State Softball Field.