Softball splits twinbill with North Dakota State
The Missouri State softball team split two games against North Dakota State Tuesday at the Missouri State Softball Field, losing game one, 3-1, and winning the nightcap, 5-1. North Dakota State scored two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to erase a 1-0 Bears’ lead in game one, and freshman hurler Megan Ramsey threw a complete game three-hitter for the Bears in game two. Missouri State is now 11-12 on the season, and North Dakota State moves to 15-8.
Sophomore Jessie Smith gave the Bears an early lead with one swing of the bat in game one, as the shortstop blasted a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the first to put MSU ahead 1-0. Starting pitcher Melissa Porche was able to hold the NDSU batters in check until the fifth inning, when the Bison scored two runs on four consecutive hits to take a 2-1 lead. Two doubles in the sixth inning led to another NDSU run to stretch the lead to 3-1. The Bears had a hit in each of the final two innings, but were unable to close the deficit.
North Dakota State outhit the Bears, 9-5, in the game. Porche, sophomore Brooke Kempker, and juniors Michelle Armentrout and Jana Shewmaker added singles for Missouri State in the loss. Porche (7-6) suffered the defeat, allowing three runs on nine hits in seven innings, while striking out four. Allison Bakke (10-3) pitched a complete game five-hitter for NDSU.
Missouri State again jumped to an early lead in game two, as sophomore Elysha Swider doubled to score junior Lacie Ballard in the second inning to put the Bears up 1-0. MSU tacked on a run in the fifth, as the Bears notched three consecutive singles capped by Kempker’s RBI single to increase the lead to 2-0. The Bears blew the game open in the sixth, as Swider reached on an error with two outs to start the rally. Freshmen Lauren McGinley and Dusti Foster recorded back-to-back singles, as Swider scored on Foster’s hit. Katie Martin then stepped in and ripped a two-run double off the left field wall to extend the lead to 5-0.
A NDSU solo homer in the top of the seventh spoiled Ramsey’s shutout, but the freshman was very impressive for the second consecutive outing for the Bears, allowing only three hits in the complete game effort. Ramsey struck out four and walked one, as she evened her record at 4-4 on the season.
Martin was outstanding in both facets of the game, as the senior centerfielder made three outstanding plays in the field, including a diving catch to end the game, and led the Bears with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Foster also recorded a two-hit game for Missouri State, as the Bears outhit NDSU 8-3.
The Bears will open Missouri Valley Conference play at home this weekend, March 17 and 18, with a three-game series against Creighton. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game Sunday, with both days beginning at 12 noon at the MSU Softball Field.