Softball Bears Fall at No. 21 Oklahoma State, 10-2
STILLWATER, Okla. - After falling behind early, No. 21 Oklahoma State scored 10 unanswered runs against Missouri State to coast to an 10-2 victory Tuesday evening at Cowgirl Stadium. OSU scored six times in the bottom of the second to take control of the game, as three different Cowgirls collected three hits on the day to send the Bears to their seventh loss this season versus a ranked opponent.
Chelsea Garcia drove in four runs and went 3-for-4 with a home run to pace the OSU attack, which pounded out 13 hits against Missouri State pitching. Ari Morrison and Tamara Brown each totaled three hits on the day as well, and Amber Boyd went deep for a two-run shot that kicked-off the Cowgirls' second-inning scoring barrage.
Brown got the ball rolling in the second with a one-out double, and Brown followed with a blast that cleared the wall in left for her fourth home run of the season that knotted the score at 2-2.
After Bears starting pitcher Natalie Rose retired Sammy Jo Diffendaffer on a pop-up for the second out of the inning, Amy Graham drew a walk and Mariah Gearhart singled to set up what would prove to be the game-clinching rally.
The Cowgirls (30-9) also benefitted from some Missouri State charity, as the Bears committed a season-high three errors-all in the decisive second inning-for the second straight game. OSU scored twice in the inning as a direct result of MSU miscues in the field, and Morrison and Garcia each delivered run-scoring singles to hand the home team a 6-2 lead.
Three OSU pitchers combined to keep the Bears in check, as Morgan Hawkins (6-0) picked up the victory after allowing just one earned run on four hits while fanning four batters in three innings of work. Simone Freeman and Kat Espinosa then combined to hold MSU hitless over the final three innings to close out the contest.
After failing to score in eight innings against Oklahoma State pitching in a 1-0 setback in the two clubs' first meeting of the year in Springfield, the Bears struck early Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead. Madison Hargrove drove in the first run of the game with a one-out, RBI-double to right-center, and Ciara Flau scored on a passed ball to give MSU the early advantage.
But the combination of OSU's hitting and MSU's fielding woes turned the tide, ultimately sending the Bears (13-15) to their fourth consecutive defeat.
Oklahoma State tacked on two runs in the fourth when Garcia went deep to left off Rose for her ninth round-tripper of the year. The Cowgirls ended it two innings later on back-to-back RBI-doubles by Garcia and Brown.
Rose (8-12) dropped her third straight decision after allowing eight runs (six earned) on nine hits over four innings.
The Bears will attempt to snap the skid Wednesday (April 6) with another non-conference road tilt against Arkansas. Game time is set for 5 p.m., at Bogle Park in Fayetteville.