Missouri State Splits Twinbill Against Arkansas
Missouri State closed out the home portion of its 2008 schedule with a doubleheader split against Arkansas, Tuesday (April 29) at MSU Softball Field. The softball Bears are now 25-18 overall heading into their regular-season ending series at Creighton this weekend.
Missouri State capitalized on five Razorback errors to win the first game 5-2. MSU sophomore Lauren McGinley (7-4) worked 3 1/3 innings to start the game, before yielding to senior Melissa Porche, who struck out five Arkansas batters to match her single-season career-high with her 16th win of the season with 3 2/3 innings of one-hit relief.
After back-to-back first-inning doubles scored the Lady Razorbacks’ first run, senior Michelle Armentrout led-off the MSU second with a single to center and scored on freshman Ashley Knehans’ two-run home run to left to give the Bears a 2-1 lead. MSU took advantage of two Arkansas errors and scored three runs in the third on three hits. Junior Jessie Smith singled to right, scoring juniors Elysha Swider and Brooke Kempker. Smith later scored on an error by the Lady Razorback shortstop Dayna Huckabee on a hard grounder by Porche to give the Bears a 5-1 advantage.
Swider was 2-for-3 while Smith and Knehans each tallied a pair of RBIs to lead the MSU offense in game one.
Arkansas came out swinging in game two, as Kayla Johnson doubled home Jessica Bachkora, who led off the game with a single, to give Arkansas a 1-0 first-inning lead.
MSU threatened in its half of the first before freshman Jenna Schwark was doubled off of first on a hard liner to shortstop by freshman Christa Gammon. Consecutive singles by Smith, Armentrout and Porche loaded the bases, but Knehans grounded out to third to end the threat.
With two outs in the fourth, Arkansas strung together five consecutive hits to bat around and score five runs to extend its lead to 6-0. Johnson’s three-run double was the big hit of the inning, chasing Porche after just 3 2/3 innings.
Porche led off the MSU fourth with a double off of the top of the left field fence, and Kempker followed with a single to move the MSU senior to third. Swider’s sacrifice fly to deep left-center plated Porche with Bears’ lone run of the game, and the Razorbacks scored three more runs in the fifth on four consecutive hits to push their lead to 9-1.
Porche (16-13) allowed eight hits and six runs in the setback, while McGinley gave up three runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief work.
MSU will conclude the regular season with a three-game Missouri Valley Conference weekend series at Creighton. The Bears and the Bluejays will play a doubleheader Saturday (May 3) and a single game Sunday (May 4) with 12 p.m. start times each day.