Northwest Missouri State outlasted 24 th ranked Central Missouri to advance in the consolation round of the NCAA Regional Tournament. The game was scoreless until the 11 th inning, when Erin Leslie rounded third to score on a UCM error, their only error of the game. Leslie drew a leadoff walk, and advanced to second on a bunt single by Casey Carper. It was Cortney Channell’s ground ball, an out later, that sent Leslie home to give the Bearcats the lead. Then it was up to senior Kelly Morris to hold Central as she pitched a career-high 11 th inning. Morris came through, and completed her 11 inning shutout, striking out a season-high 10 batters in the game.
The loss eliminated the Jennies from the Tournament, but they weren’t without opportunities to advance. The Jennies had runners in scoring position with less than two outs in innings 2, 3, 4, and 5. Morris’s pitching was supplemented by good defense from the rest of the Bearcats. Marisha Branson attempted to score from second base for the Jennies in the third on a base hit by Tarese Ely-Myers, but was gunned down by Carper in centerfield. Although the the Jennies out-batted Northwest, belting 10 hits to the Bearcats’ 6, the Bearcats were able to hold on defense when it counted.
The Bearcats now advance in the consolation round to play on Friday evening against the loser of top-seeded Emporia State and fourth-seeded Nebraska-Omaha at 8 p.m. Emporia State and Nebraska-Omaha play at 3 p.m.