Softball Bears Drop 3-1 Decision to SIU Edwardsville



EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville scored a pair of first-inning runs, then got a standout pitching performance from Erika Taylor to get past the Missouri State Bears, 3-1, Tuesday afternoon at Cougar Field. With the setback, the Bears fell to 2-10 on the season, while SIUE improved to 10-9.

Whitney Davis's two-run single in the first inning extended her hit streak to 11 games and, more importantly, gave Taylor all the run support she would need. Taylor (9-6) limited the Bears to one run on six hits while fanning six batters in her 13th complete game of the season.

Lauren McGinley (2-4) got the start for the Bears after working back-to-back complete-game victories over the weekend for MSU. The senior right-hander walked lead-off hitter Chaleen Rumpf to open the contest, then gave up a bunt single to Lindsey Barron before Lauren Zembruski move both baserunners over with a sacrifice bunt. Davis then delivered a two-run single through the right side to stake Taylor to an early 2-0 lead.

Aided by a pair of Missouri State errors, SIUE added another tally in the third. Zembruski walked before Davis recorded her second hit of the afternoon to set up the Cougars' rally. Another sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position before miscues by Kirstin Cutter and Jenna Schwark allowed Zembruski to come around for SIUE's third run of the afternoon.

The Bears got on the board the following inning, courtesy of a pair of firsts by MSU freshmen. Caitlin Chapin sparked a two-out rally by coaxing a walk from Taylor, then swiped second for her first steal as a Bear. That set up Madison Hargrove's run-scoring-single to center, which represented the Shawnee, Kan., product's first collegiate run batted-in.

But that would be all the offense Missouri State would get, as Taylor worked around two-out hits in the fifth and seventh innings to preserve her ninth victory of the season.

The Bears, who outhit the Cougars by a 6-5 count, were led by Christa Gammon's 2-for-4 effort. MSU also was helped by sophomore Natalie Rose's 4 2/3 innings of two-hit relief. The Oklahoma native struck out five batters and allowed just the third-inning, unearned run.

Missouri State (2-10) will be back in action Friday (March 12), when it begins play at the Kansas Invitational with a Noon contest against Valparaiso in Lawrence, Kan.



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