Tulsa Withstands Bears? Comeback Bid to Earn 4-3 Victory
SPRINGFIELD -- Despite nearly battling all the way back from a four-run deficit and out-hitting Tulsa by a 9-6 count, the Missouri State softball team dropped a 4-3 decision to the visiting Golden Hurricane in non-conference action Wednesday evening at Killian Stadium. TU made a four-run, fourth inning stand, as senior pitcher Jackie Lawrence tossed a complete game to hand the Bears their third straight home defeat.
Lawrence struck-out four batters and, more importantly, stranded eight MSU baserunners on the night to complete her 13th start of the season and earn her 10th victory.
The Bears left two runners on base in three different innings, and had the tying run at second in the seventh after the first two batters reached base. MSU cut the deficit to one run on Caitlin Chapin’s sacrifice fly to left, but Lawrence closed out the victory for TU by getting Stevie Pierce to pop-up to second base for the final out.
The win for Tulsa (25-17) came after the Bears clawed their way back from a 4-0 hole. MSU starter Natalie Rose (4-9) limited the Golden Hurricane to just one hit through the first three innings, but TU broke the scoring seal with four runs on five hits in the top of the fourth. Lauren Lindsey led-off the frame with a single up the middle, and Vanessa Vice moved her into scoring position with a base hit to left for the first of four consecutive hits for the Golden Hurricane. Cassidy Bowen followed with a soft liner to right that settled in for a hit to plate Lindsey with the game’s first run. Next, Christian Timmons delivered a key blow, driving in two runs with a base hit to centerfield to make it a 3-0 contest, and Mickey LaValley capped the hit parade with an infield single. Rose retired Keri Leach on a fly ball for the second out, but MSU catcher Delayna Gary fired wide of third base on a pick-off attempt to allow Timmons to score the fourth TU run of the inning.
The Bears (14-25) sliced the lead in half on a Bubba Weiss two-run homer in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Stevie Pierce drew a walk to start the inning, before Weiss deposited Lawrence’s 1-0 offering over the wall in leftfield to pull MSU to within 4-2.
Lauren Supak came on in relief of Rose in the fifth and retired all nine hitters she faced to keep the Bears within striking distance. Combined, the two Missouri State pitchers held the Golden Hurricane to six hits while fanning four batters.
Three Bears posted multi-hit games to help MSU record its second straight nine-hit performance. Christa Gammon and Tyler Porter each had a pair of hits in four trips to the plate, and Jenna Schwark went 2-for-3 on the day.
The Bears return to conference play this weekend when they host the Illinois State Redbirds, beginning with a noon doubleheader on Saturday (April 24) at Killian.