Softball splits with Wichita State



The Missouri State softball team split two games at Wichita State on Wednesday, falling in the opener, 5-1, before taking the second game, 4-2. Junior Melissa Porche started both games and was the pitcher of record in both contests, as the Bears moved to 12-16 overall and 1-4 in the MVC, while Wichita State is now 16-18 and 4-1.

The Bears grabbed a 1-0 first-inning lead in game one, as Porche singled, advanced to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch. Wichita State responded in the bottom of the frame with back-to-back homers by Britnee Barnett and Cynthia Verhulst to put the Shockers up 2-1. The Shockers added two more in the third on a two-run single by Stephanie De La Riva, and another in the fourth, to extend their lead to 5-1. Starting pitcher Margo Pruis held the Bears scoreless the final six innings, allowing no hits after the second inning, when MSU’s Brooke Kempker and Lauren McGinley both singled.

Pruis (9-7) struck out six in the complete game effort. Porche (7-9) allowed six hits and four earned runs in four innings of work for Missouri State. Freshman Megan Ramsey pitched two hitless innings in relief for the Bears.

Missouri State again jumped on top early in game two, as leadoff hitter Katie Martin walked, stole second, advanced to third on an error, and scored on Michelle Armentrout’s single. After Wichita State took a 2-1 lead with runs in the second and third innings, the Bears regained the lead with a three-run fourth. Elysha Swider led off the inning with a double and Jen Carr followed with a single. After a strikeout, Jodie Shead laced an RBI single up the middle to score Swider and tie the game at 2-2. Pinch runner Courtney Owens then scored when a stolen base by Shead forced a Wichita State error. Shead scored on an infield single by Porche to give the Bears a 4-2 lead.

Porche worked around Wichita State singles in the bottom of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to end her four-game losing streak. The Bears’ hurler improved to 8-9 on the season, as she struck out six in the complete game effort. The Shockers’ Ashly Bright took the loss, dropping to 4-7.

Both teams managed seven hits in the nightcap, as the Bears got hits from seven different players. Armentrout, McGinley, and Jessie Smith each added singles for Missouri State. The Bears were also aggressive on the bases, stealing five bags in the game. Martin, Porche, Shead, Owens, and Carrie Roberson each swiped bases in the game.

The Bears will travel to Bradley for a three-game series Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 12 noon and a single game Sunday at the same time.



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