Farley's Eighth-Inning Heroics Hand Bears 2-1 Win at Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Freshman Taylor Farley’s two-out, RBI-single in the top of the eighth inning lifted the Missouri State softball team to a 2-1 victory over Arkansas Wednesday evening at Bogle Park. The Bears (18-18) got another complete-game effort from junior pitcher Lauren Supak, who earned her third win in the last eight days to improve to 5-6 on the season.
Farley’s liner off UA starter Miranda Dixon got by Razorback first baseman Sandra Smith into right field to plate Jessie Smith, who delivered a lead-off single to center to start the decisive rally. After Ashley Knehans waved and missed at a third strike for the first out of the inning, Jana Shewmaker sacrificed Smith to second to set up Farley’s game-winning hit.
Arkansas threatened to even the score in the bottom half of the frame, but Supak retired Dixon on a hard liner to third to end the contest, stranding the tying run at second base. In all, Supak would work a career-high eight innings, giving up just one unearned run on six hits while striking out three Razorbacks. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native also extended a stretch in which she has not allowed an earned run to 24 1/3 innings.
Both teams benefitted from some shaky defense to put their first runs on the board. Arkansas struck first in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of two Missouri State errors on a one-out bunt single from Tori Mort that allowed Jessica Bachkora to come all the way around from first.
The unearned run for Arkansas ended Supak’s consecutive scoreless innings streak at 18 2/3. The Bears’ right-hander worked two shutouts last week and entered Wednesday’s contest having not allowed a run since the fourth inning of a 2-0 loss at Southern Illinois on April 11.
It was the Bears turn to capitalize on an Arkansas miscue in the fifth, scoring on a Jenna Schwark single to right after Ashley Arbon reached base via a two-out throwing error by UA third baseman Amie Hubbard.
The Bears threatened to push the go-ahead run across in the top of the seventh, putting runners on first and second with just one out. Pinch hitter Delayna Gary reached on an error by Dixon to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a Tyler Porter grounder to second. Arbon then drew a walk, but Dixon worked her way out of the jam by fanning Schwark and Brooke Kempker to end the inning.
Kempker and Smith each posted two hits on the night to lead the Bears’ offense, while Mort led the Razorbacks with a 3-for-4 performance.
Next up, the Bears travel to Stillwater, Okla., Thursday for a 5 p.m., match-up with Oklahoma State, before returning to Killian Softball Stadium Saturday to begin a three-game set with the Missouri Valley Conference-leading Creighton Bluejays.