Cowgirls Get Clutch Hit, Strong Pitching to Edge Bears, 2-1
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Oklahoma State relied on the one-two punch of Sarah Odom and Mariah Gearhart to pull out a 2-1 decision over the Missouri State Bears Tuesday (March 17) afternoon at Killian Softball Stadium. Gearhart’s two-run single in the second inning was all the offense Odom would need, as the Cowgirls’ left-hander held MSU to just one run in 6 2/3 innings of work to improve to 9-1 on the season.
Odom held the Bears to just four singles and registered four strikeouts on the day. Gearhart was equally impressive at the plate, going 3-for-4 with the key hit of the day, as well as a triple and her 21st stolen base of the year to help the Cowgirls improve to 22-6 overall with their 17th win in their last 19 outings.
Megan Castle singled to lead-off the top half of the second, and Samantha Heinlein sacrificed her to second before Heather Kim coaxed a walk from MSU starter Lauren Supak. Chelsea Garcia followed with a liner that glanced off the glove of third baseman Jenna Schwark for an infield single. Supak recovered to strike-out Kelsey Anchors, but Gearhart lined a solid single to center to bring home Castle and Kim, giving OSU a 2-0 advantage.
Missouri State cut the Cowgirls’ lead in half in the bottom of the fourth, as Jana Shewmaker’s second single of the game--a two-out looper down the right-field line--brought home Jessie Smith from second with the Bears’ first run of the day.
But Odom would retire the next nine batters she faced before pinch hitter Taylor Farley singled to center with two out in the bottom of the seventh. OSU ace Anna Whiddon relieved Odom and got Delayna Gary to wave at a 2-2 offering to end the game and record her first save of the season.
Supak (1-4) suffered the defeat for MSU, despite turning in a solid effort in which she allowed just two runs on five Oklahoma State hits in 6 1/3 innings. Shewmaker led the way for the Bears, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The loss for Missouri State was its fourth in a row, its longest losing streak since posting a four-game skid to close the 2008 regular season last May.
The Bears (9-11, 0-3 MVC) will take on another Big 12 foe Thursday (March 19), when they welcome the Iowa State Cyclones to Killian Softball Stadium for a 4 p.m., match-up.