Northern Iowa pounded out 10 hits, including home runs from Ashley Lepley and Kelly Papesh, as the Panthers defeated the Missouri State softball team, 6-1, Friday on a cold afternoon at the Missouri State Softball Field. Melissa Porche took the loss on the mound for the Bears, but allowed only one earned run, as MSU committed a season-high four errors in the contest. Missouri State dropped to 16-21 overall and 5-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while UNI improved to 14-18 and 2-5.
Northern Iowa plated two runs in the second inning, with both coming on sacrifice flies. The Panthers added two more in the fourth inning, as a Missouri State error extended the inning for UNI’s Lepley, who used a strong wind to launch a two-run home run to right center field and put the Panthers up 4-0. UNI added a run in the sixth on a run-scoring double by Lepley, following a one-out triple by Megan Machovec. Papesh completed the UNI scoring with a solo homer in the seventh.
A home run by sophomore Elysha Swider in the bottom of the seventh accounted for the only Bears’ run of the day. Missouri State had seven hits in the contest, but missed scoring opportunities as MSU had runners thrown out at third and home. The Bears had a hit in every inning but the fifth, including doubles by Jessie Smith, Laci Ballard, and Jana Shewmaker in the first, second, and fourth innings, respectively. Porche added singles in the third and sixth for MSU.
Porche (12-13) allowed four runs, with only one earned, on five hits in four innings of work. Freshman Megan Ramsey allowed two runs on five hits in three innings of relief for the Bears. UNI starter Jen Larsen (8-8) allowed one run on seven hits in a complete game effort.
The teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader, but the second game was postponed due to the cold weather. There will now be a doubleheader Saturday with game one beginning at 12:00 noon at the Missouri State Softball Field.