Home runs by Katie Martin and Jessie Smith accounted for five of the Bears’ six runs as the Missouri State softball team won the rubber match of a three-game series over Evansville, 6-0, Sunday at the Missouri State Softball Field. Ace Melissa Porche picked up her fifth complete game shutout of the season, as the Bears improved to 15-20 overall and 4-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Evansville dropped to 20-12 and 4-7.
Porche got things started offensively for Missouri State in the first inning, as she drew a one-out walk, stole second and advanced to third on an Evansville throwing error, and then stole home on a double steal with Brooke Kempker.
Much like game two of the doubleheader yesterday, Missouri State broke the game open with three runs in the second inning. With one out in the frame, Lauren McGinley was hit by a pitch and Jodie Shead reached on an infield single to set the table for the Bears’ leading hitter Martin. The senior delivered with a three-run home run to straight-away center field to put MSU ahead 4-0. The homer, Martin’s fifth, tied the sophomore Smith for the team lead.
Smith regained the team lead in homers two innings later, as the shortstop launched a two-run shot to left-center field to give the Bears a 6-0 lead after the fourth. The home run was Smith’s sixth of the season and was her second two-run blast in as many games. Michelle Armentrout and Jana Shewmaker added hits for the Bears in the contest, as Missouri State matched Evansville with five on the day.
On the mound, Porche was aided by two double plays following Evansville hits, one in the fourth and another in the sixth. Porche gave up five hits on the day, but only one UE runner advanced beyond second base in the game. The junior struck out five in the complete game effort to improve her record to 11-12 on the season.
Missouri State will continue its nine-game home stand with a Wednesday matchup against MVC foe Wichita State, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Missouri State Softball Field.