Bears Top Evansville as Supak Posts Second Straight Shutout
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Junior pitcher Lauren Supak turned in her second consecutive shutout to lead the Missouri State softball to a 1-0 win over Evansville Saturday afternoon at Killian Softball Stadium. Ashley Knehans broke up a scoreless tie with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Supak stretched her scoreless innings streak to 16 1/3 innings to help the Bears come away victorious in the opening game of their Missouri Valley Conference series with the Purple Aces.
Supak, who blanked Wichita State 4-0 on Wednesday, held Evansville to just four hits in a complete-game effort to improve to 4-6 on the season. The right-hander lowered her MVC earned run average to 1.06 and has allowed just three earned runs in her last 34 2/3 innings in conference play.
Evansville freshman Kylie Wagner matched Supak pitch-for-pitch through the first five innings, holding the Bears to just four hits.
But freshman Delayna Gary led off the decisive sixth with a pinch-hit single to center field for the Bears. Jessie Smith sacrificed pinch runner Ashley Arbon over to second, and Knehans followed with a soft liner to shallow right-center that just eluded UE second baseman Kristen Shirk to bring home the only run of the contest.
The game-winning run for MSU capped a stretch in which the Bears failed to score in 25 of their last 26 innings dating back to an April 8 loss to UMKC.
Game two of Saturday’s doubleheader was halted in the bottom of the fourth inning with the score knotted at 1-1. UE led 1-0 in the top of the third inning when rain forced an hour and nine-minute delay. Play resumed for roughly 30 minutes, with the Bears pushing across a run in the bottom of the third and threatening to score again in the fourth, moving two runners into scoring position with one out, before a second storm brought an end to play.
The Bears (17-18, 7-7 MVC) and Purple Aces (10-27, 2-14 MVC) will resume the second game at Killian Sunday at Noon, then play the third and final game of their series immediately following its completion.