May 1, 2004
Bearcats' Season Ends at MIAA Tournament
PSU 6 10 2
SHAWNEE, Kan. -- The Northwest Missouri State softball team saw its season come to a close Saturday at the MIAA Tournament, held at the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Girls Athletic Complex.
The Bearcats entered the tournament as the No. 7-seeded team and faced No. 2-seeded Missouri-Rolla in the opening round. Northwest faced UMR pitcher Christy Deken, who is a leading candidate for MIAA MVP honors. Bearcat starter Kelly Hainline (Jr., Topeka, Kan.) matched Deken almost pitch-for-pitch.
After a scoreless first inning, Missouri-Rolla cracked the scoreboard in the second. Abby Pittroff led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice. She then came around to score on a Sarah Butler double to left field. That was the only run Missouri-Rolla would need.
Deken held Northwest scoreless on just two hits. Northwest advanced a baserunner past first base only twice in the ballgame and UMR took the 1-0 win, knocking the Bearcats into the losers' bracket.
Northwest faced Pittsburg State in the losers' bracket. The Gorillas scored once off Northwest starter Shelly MacDonald in the top of the first. But the Bearcats answered with three in the bottom of the first. Megan Spring (Sr., Warsaw, Mo.) delivered a sacrifice fly to tie the game, scoring Lindsay Stephenson (So., Omaha, Neb.), who led off the inning with a single. Ashley Pride (So., Ravenwood, Mo.) came around to score on the same play when the right fielder threw the ball away, trying for a play at the plate. Northwest later loaded the bases and Linellis Santiago (Fr., Omaha, Neb.) drew a walk to drive home Kaytee Schulenberg (Fr., Independence, Mo.) and give the Bearcats a 3-1 lead.
Pittsburg State knocked MacDonald out of the game and tied the contetst at 3-3 in the fourth. Alisha O'Brien led off with a solo home run. A.J. Miller later added an RBI double to tie the game and bring Hainline into the game in relief.
Northwest quickly regained the lead, 4-3, in the fifth when Schulenberg homered to straightaway center. The Bearcats still had that lead heading into the seventh and final inning. Pittsburg State pushed three runs across, two of which were unearned, in the top of the seventh to go on top 6-4. The big blow was a two-out, two-run double from Rachel Cope to break a 4-4 tie.
Northwest was retired in order in the bottom of the seventh, ending the Bearcats' season. Northwest finished 20-33.
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