Missouri State Softball Finishes Sweep of Big Ten Foe Minnesota, 2-1
The Missouri State softball team (9-9) continued its dominance of Big Ten opponents with a 2-1 victory over visiting Minnesota (16-12) at Killian Stadium on Thursday afternoon. The Bears improved to 4-1 against Big Ten opponents, the most wins against a single BCS conference in a season since going 6-0 versus the SEC in 1997.
Senior Tyler Porter scored both runs for Missouri State in another 2-1 win over the Golden Gophers. She has scored seven runs on the season, tied for the team lead. For the game, Porter was 1-for-1 with a walk, to bat 1.000 for the series against Minnesota.
Freshman hurler Savannah Wiggins got the start for the Bears and shut down the Minnesota offense over four shutout innings. Wiggins did not allow the Golden Gophers to get a runner past second base while giving up just two hits. The Bears improved to 5-0 in games that Wiggins has started this season.
After Jourdan Esquenazi allowed a run over an inning plus, Bears standout pitcher Natalie Rose came on and squelched the Minnesota rally in the sixth. Rose would close out the game and record her third save of the season.
Sophomore Kirstin Cutter went 2-for-3 for the Bears including the game-winning RBI. Her performance improves her team-leading batting average to .375.
The Bears began the scoring in the third inning. Porter and Ashley Brentz each walked to lead off the inning. After a Cutter flyout, senior Jenna Schwark singled up the middle, plating Porter for a 1-0 MSU lead.
Missouri State would rally again in the fifth. Porter again sparked the offense. She singled with one out and advanced to second on a groundout. With two down, Cutter singled, scoring Porter from second to double the Bears lead.
Minnesota would get a run back in the sixth. The Gophers led off the inning with back-to-back singles off of Esquenazi. Rose came on and fanned the first batter she faced. But one batter later, Minnesota's Sara DuPaul blooped a single to left to cut the Bears lead to 2-1.
Rose would allow a one-out single in the seventh, but left her stranded at second base to close out the Bears' second-straight 2-1 win over the Gophers.
Missouri State hosts UNI for a three-game weekend series at Killian Stadium to open conference play. The Bears and Panthers will play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday with games beginning at 12:00 p.m. each day. Last season, MSU and UNI split the four games they played.