Bears Complete Fall Campaign with Split at Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. -- The Missouri State softball team split its final two contests of the fall season Saturday (Oct. 10), earning a 7-3 win over Connors State before dropping the nightcap against Tulsa by a 7-3 score. Ashley Knehans went 4-for-6 with a pair of runs scored two RBIs to lead the Bears, who completed the fall campaign with a 7-1 record.
Missouri State scored four times in the top of the first inning against Connors State to take control of the game, getting a two-run double from Taylor Farley following Knehans' RBI-single.
The Bears tacked on two more runs in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Tyler Porter got things started with a one-out single before Christa Gammon's inside-the-park home run pushed the MSU advantage to 6-0.
Connors State plated three runs in the fifth, but that was all it would get. Senior right-hander Lauren McGinley (3-0) worked 4 2/3 innings, striking out six batters and allowing just two earned runs on four hits to keep her perfect fall record intact.
For the game, three Bears posted multi-hit efforts, as Knehans and Alaina Burkhart each went 2-for-3, while Porter posted hits in both of her at-bats.
Against Tulsa, the Bears' defense accounted for three errors in a five-run third inning that ultimately doomed MSU's chances of posting a perfect fall record. Natalie Rose permitted just two earned runs on six hits in her four innings of work, but it wasn't enough for the Bears to overcome the Golden Hurricane. MSU pushed single tallies across the plate in the fourth and sixth innings, but TU answered with runs in the fourth and fifth innings to account for the five-run margin.
For the fall season, McGinley posted the Bears' top numbers from the circle, turning in a final ERA of 1.19 to match her perfect 3-0 record. Rose and Lauren Supak were also solid for head coach Holly Hesse, going 2-1 and 2-0, respectively. Rose's 18 strikeouts were tops among the three, while her 1.33 ERA was second. As a team MSU posted a 1.62 ERA, allowing only 13 earned runs in eight games. The Bears' pitching staff limited its opponents to just 37 hits in 56 total innings and a .186 batting average.
On the offensive side, the Bears batted .329 as a team and outscored their opponents 50-19. Knehans was MSU's top hitter, going 13-for-25 (.520) with seven runs scored, two homers and seven runs batted in while slugging .880. Gammon hit .385 with five RBIs and five stolen bases, while Burkhart recorded 10 hits in 24 at-bats in her first action in a Missouri State uniform. Jenna Schwark also posted a strong fall, batting .364 with two steals, a home run and six RBIs.