Cutter, Rose Pick up First-Team All-MVC Honors at Wednesday's Awards Banquet
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A pair of Missouri State Bears earned all-conference recognition at Wednesday's Missouri Valley Conference awards banquet at University Plaza, as sophomore shortstop Kirstin Cutter and junior pitcher Natalie Rose were named First-Team All-MVC after leading MSU to a fifth-place Valley finish and a 25-23 regular-season record.
The Bears' selections to the league's first team marks are the first such honors for both Cutter and Rose, and mark the second consecutive year Missouri State has placed two players on the conference's top postseason squad.
Rose turned in a sparkling junior campaign in which she led the MVC with five saves, 237.1 innings-pitched and 229 strikeouts during the regular season. The right-hander posted the 13th no-hitter in Missouri State history last Saturday (May 7) against Evansville, marking just the second no-hitter this year in MVC play and the first to go the full seven innings in the Valley this season. She went 10-9 with a 1.81 ERA in league play, completing 12 of her 18 starts and recording 118 strikeouts while walking just 19 over 127.2 innings of work.
Rose, whose strikeout total this year is the fourth-highest in school hisory, brings an 18-19 overall record into this week's State Farm MVC Championship and needs to make just one more start to tie the MSU single-season record. Additionally, the Henryetta, Okla., fanned a career-high 14 hitters while tossing 11 innings against Drake on April 30. With one full year of eligibility remaining, Rose is already fifth on the Bears' career strikeout list with 428 punchouts.
Cutter set the table for the Bears' offense all season long, leading the club in batting average, hits, runs scored and stolen bases. Her 14 steals rank sixth in the conference entering postseason play, while her .324 batting mark is 13th in the league. She registered a career-long five-game hitting streak, April 22-May 5, and is the only Bear to make every start at her position this season, including the last 26 as MSU's lead-off hitter.
With 11 multi-hit performances on the season, Cutter led Missouri State in that category as well. She twice recorded career-high three-hit games and notched another personal best with three runs scored on March 26 in a 6-1 win at Indiana State.
The fifth-seeded Bears (25-23, 13-11 MVC) will open the MVC tourney against No. 8 Bradley Thursday (May 12) at 11 a.m. Missouri State and Killian Stadium will serve as host to the Championship, which will continue through Saturday's title game at noon.