The Missouri State softball team continued its recent trend of doubleheader splits, as the Bears defeated Indiana State, 6-4, in game one of a twinbill Saturday, but fell, 11-0, in five innings in the nightcap at Price Field in Terre Haute, Ind. It marked the third consecutive weekend split for the Bears, as they move to 19-23 overall and 8-9 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Sycamores are now 18-21 and 4-12.
The Bears struck early in game one, as senior Katie Martin singled with one out in the top of the first and junior Michelle Armentrout followed with a two-out, two-run home run. The homer was Armentrout’s third of the season. Missouri State added a run in the third, as sophomore Jessie Smith led off the inning with a triple and scored on a double by Martin. The Bears tacked on another run in the fourth, as sophomore Brooke Kempker singled to lead off the frame and eventually crossed the plate on a Lacie Ballard sacrifice fly to push the lead to 4-0.
Missouri State added what proved to be two crucial insurance runs in the top of the seventh, as Armentrout again came up with a clutch two-out hit; a two-run double to score Melissa Porche and pinch runner Carrie Roberson. Armentrout’s third and fourth RBIs of the game pushed the Bears lead to 6-0. However, in the bottom of the seventh, Indiana State sent eight batters to the plate and tallied four runs on four hits. After a pinch hit two-run single by INSU’s Kelsey Anderson, a Missouri State error allowed another Sycamore to score, making it 6-3. Meredith Simpson then added an RBI double to bring home another unearned run and drew the Sycamores within 6-4. But, Missouri State starting pitcher Porche buckled down and induced a game-ending groundout to preserve the victory.
Indiana State outhit the Bears, 8-7, but Missouri State’s four extra base hits proved to be the difference as five of the six runs came across on those plays. Armentrout was 2-for-3 with a season-high four runs batted in, and Martin added her team-best 13th multi-hit game with a 2-for-3 performance. Sophomore Elysha Swider also added a hit for the Bears. Each of the first four batters in the lineup scored a run for Missouri State.
Porche evened her record at 14-14 with the victory, allowing two earned runs on eight hits in the complete game performance. The junior struck out four in the contest. Darcy Wood (10-17) suffered the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits in a complete game effort.
Game two was all Sycamores from the start, as the home team tallied seven first inning runs and never looked back. INSU was aided by two Missouri State errors in the opening frame, as Bears starter Lauren McGinley lasted only 0.1 innings. Simpson and Stephanie Spychaj each homered in the contest for the Sycamores, as the pair drove in five runs. Leadoff hitter Jackie Chomicki was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
McGinley (0-2) suffered the defeat, as she allowed five earned runs on only one hit. The freshman got into trouble by walking three and hitting another INSU batter. Fellow freshman Megan Ramsey came in and allowed five runs on six hits in 3.2 innings of relief. Meagan McCurdy (8-3) picked up the victory for the Sycamores, allowing only singles to MSU’s Martin and Armentrout, in the five-inning complete game shutout.
The teams will play the rubber match of the three-game series Sunday at 12 noon. With a win, Missouri State head coach Holly Hesse would earn her 500th career victory at the school.