Stories, courtesy of www.missouristatebears.com
The Missouri State softball team earned a double-header split with Illinois State Friday (March 21) afternoon in Missouri Valley Conference action at MSU Softball Field. The Bears (13-5 overall, 2-2 MVC) rallied from a two-run deficit to pick up a 3-2 win in the first game before the Redbirds (11-11 overall, 1-1 MVC) powered up for an 8-0 victory in the nightcap.
The Bears came back from a 2-0 hole in the first contest, plating the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth on freshman Tyler Porter’s infield single. After Jenna Schwark singled to start the inning, Brooke Kempker laid down a sacrifice bunt and Christa Gammon grounded back to the mound to advance the runner to third. Porter followed with a slow roller between the pitcher and second baseman and beat the throw to first to score Schwark with the go-ahead run.
Senior pitcher Melissa Porche registered yet another standout performance, turning in her seventh complete game in nine starts this season. In all, she struck out 14 Redbirds on the afternoon to improve to 7-3.
The Missouri State baseball team found itself in a 5-0 hole after three innings but rallied for a 9-8 victory over the Creighton Bluejays in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams Friday afternoon at Hammons Field.
With the score tied 7-7 in the bottom of the eighth, MSU’s Ryan Mantle led off with a single through the middle and moved to second on a Dallas Hord sacrifice bunt. Curt Courtwright followed that with a sharp single that bounced over the shortstop’s glove to score Mantle, and Ben Woodbury followed with a double to left that gave the Bears a 9-7 advantage.
Matt Frevert came out in the ninth for his second inning of work and walked the first two Bluejays he faced before striking out two. Michael Lam then cut the lead to one with an RBI single before 2007 MVC Player of the Year Darin Ruf went down on Frevert’s fourth strikeout. Frevert improved to 3-0 on the season, finishing with four strikeouts in 1.2 innings.
Buddy Baumann surrendered a leadoff single and retired the next two batters he faced in the top of the first before hitting two batters, walking two more and giving up a single as the Bluejays batted around for three runs to begin the game.
After Creighton scored two more in the third to take a 5-0 lead, Hord put the Bears on the board with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth. Courtwright drove in two more with a single, Aaron Conway singled to load the bases again and Woodbury outran an infield single for an RBI as the Bears closed within 5-4 after knocking seven hits in the inning.
Missouri State took its first lead of the game in the fifth when Hord drove the first pitch he saw from ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte (1-2) over the right field wall for a three-run homer and a 7-5 MSU lead.
CU answered in the sixth when Robbie Knight tripled home a run and scored on a ground out, but the Jays stranded runners on second and third when Sean Toler relieved Jon Barnes and got Vicente Cafaro to fly out on the first pitch to keep the game tied at 7-7.
The Bears improved to 13-4 overall with their fifth straight win, while Creighton saw its six-game win streak come to an end and fell to 13-5.
Hord finished with two hits and four RBIs, and Courtwright had two hits and three RBIs.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m.