Softball Bears Defeat No. 11 Oklahoma 3-2
Missouri State scored three runs on four hits in the top of the fifth en route to a 3-2 victory over No. 11 ranked Oklahoma, Wednesday, at Norman, Okla. The softball Bears are now 12-4 overall, following their first victory over a nationally ranked opponent since a 4-3 victory over then No. 20 Southern Illinois last season.
Senior Melissa Porche limited Oklahoma (25-8) to four hits and one earned run in her sixth complete game of the season to improve to 6-3 overall.
Missouri State scored all three of its runs in the top half of the fifth. A lead-off walk to senior Michelle Armentrout was followed by a single by junior Jessie Smith. Armentrout was the Bears’ first out of the inning at third base when junior Elysha Swider reached on a fielder’s choice. Junior Jana Shewmaker’s RBI single on an 0-2 pitch scored Smith from second. Swider advanced to third and Shewmaker to second on the throw home. A pair of freshman then came through with clutch RBI hits for the Bears. Jenna Schwark singled to left, scoring Swider and moving Shewmaker to third and Ashley Knehans’ pinch-hit single to center scored Shewmaker with the game-winner moments later.
OU scored the game’s first run in the third. A lead-off walk and a throwing error by Porche, which allowed the next batter to reach base, gave the Sooners runners on second and third with no outs. Porche escaped the inning with minimal damage, however, as the Sooners managed just a lone run on a scarifice fly. The Sooners threatened again in the sixth, but with runners on second and third, Smith caught a pop-up at shortstop to end the scoring threat.
Missouri State faced a trio of OU pitchers in the contest, including Sooner ace D.J. Mathis (16-3). Starter Lauren Eckermann (7-3) and relief pitcher Jadyn Smith gave way to Mathis in the Bears’ sixth. With two on and nobody out a passed ball advanced freshman Tyler Porter to third and Porche to second. Smith slammed the door on the MSU threat with three consecutive to end the inning however.
MSU will host Illinois State in a doubleheader Friday (March 21) beginning at 1 p.m., followed by a single game Saturday (March 22) starting at 12:00 p.m. at MSU Softball Field in Missouri Valley Conference action. The Bears are 1-1 in MVC competition.