Softball Bears Halt Skid with Doubleheader Sweep of Indiana State
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Missouri State softball team halted a five-game losing streak with a pair of victories over Indiana State Saturday (March 21) afternoon at Price Field. The Bears scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to overcome a two-run deficit in the first game of the doubleheader, then got a sparkling pitching performance from Lauren McGinley in game two to complete the sweeep.
Ashley Arbon’s two-out, two-run single drove in the tying and winning runs in MSU’s 4-3 come-from-behind victory in game one, and McGinley shut-out the Sycamores on three hits in the nightcap, a 4-0 win for the Bears.
The Bears’ first two wins of the Missouri Valley Conference season stopped their longest dry spell in nearly two seasons and hiked their overall mark to 11-12.
Indiana State, which entered the day on a four-game win streak, broke out on top early in game one, getting doubles from Meredith Simpson and Katie Armour to take a 1-0 first-inning lead.
Missouri State answered with a run in the top of the third inning to knot the score. With one out, Arbon singled and stole second base before Jenna Schwarks’s single through the left side moved her over to third. Christa Gammon then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to plate Arbon with the Bears’ first run of the day.
Indiana State quickly regained the lead, as Britt Boyer’s two-out single up the middle brought home Simpson, who reached base via an infield single leading off the bottom of the third.
The Sycamores tacked on an insurance run in the sixth and looked poised to post their fifth straight win with a 3-1 lead backed by the pitching of Darcy Wood. The senior right-hander struck-out nine Bears while giving up just three hits through the first six innings.
But ISU’s opportunity to pick up the victory faded with MSU’s seventh-inning rally that started with Kacy Kestner’s low throw on a routine grounder to third by Jen Carr. After a Jana Shewmaker base hit put runners on first and second with nobody out, Wood nearly worked her way out of the jam to close out the win. She fanned Taylor Farley, then caught a temporary reprieve when Brooke Kempker was called out for interference on a bunt attempt. Wood’s throw to first struck Kempker and caromed into foul territory, allowing both baserunners to score. But home plate umpire Terri Rosenwald ruled Kempker out for running out of the baseline and returned the runners to the basepaths.
It wouldn’t matter, however, as pinch hitter Ashley Knehans lined a single to right to drive in a run and cut the ISU lead to one, and Arbon followed with a single up the middle to give the Bears the lead for good.
Natalie Rose (4-4) earned the victory after working the last 1 1/3 innings in relief of Lauren Supak.
Carrying over the momentum gained from its late rally in game one, Missouri State did its damage early in the nightcap, plating two runs in the second on RBI-singles from Arbon and Raeven Replogle. The Bears would add single tallies in the third and sixth innings to give McGinley all the support she would need.
The junior righty posted four strikeouts in completing her third shutout of the 2009 season.
The Bears and Sycamores will meet for a single game Sunday at 11 a.m. (CDT) to wrap up the series.