May 3, 2005
Bearcats Advance to MIAA Tournament With Split Over WashburnMARYVILLE, Mo . - Advancing to the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Tournament for the ninth straight time, the Northwest Missouri State softball team did so in dramatic fashion with a 7-6 win in eight innings in Game 2 this afternoon against Washburn. After falling 6-2 in Game 1, Northwest came back three different times in the nightcap to steal the win and earn the No. 8 seed in the Tournament.
Northwest, who will play No. 1 seed Emporia State at 12 p.m. on Friday in Shawnee, Kan., stands at 33-25 on the season and 7-11 in the MIAA. WU ends its season at 30-26 and 5-13 in the league. After taking the first game, Washburn had a chance to enter the Tournament as the No. 8 seed, but it needed to sweep the twinbill.
In Game 1, after the Lady Blues scored once in the first inning, the Bearcats countered with single runs in the third and fifth innings to take a 2-1 lead. However, a big sixth frame, which included four straight singles with two outs, gave WU a 5-2 advantage. The guests added a run in the top of the seventh to cap the scoring.
Senior Kelly Hainline dropped to 5-7 on the hill as she went 5.2 innings. She gave up five earned runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout. Junior Katy John, who went 2-for-4, added to her individual record of runs scored (38) with one in the contest. Junior Ashley Pride also reached base with a single and a double.
WU held a 9-7 hits advantage as Ashley Webb went 3-for-4 with two homers and three runs scored.
In a wild Game 2 which saw five lead changes, the Bearcats seemed to take control early by plating three in the third inning. The big blow was a two-RBI single by freshman Janelle Krohn with the bases loaded. Washburn came through again in the sixth with three runs to tie the count up at 3-3. A run-producing single by freshman Crystal Gustin scored Krohn in the sixth to put the hosts back up 4-3.
But, the Lady Blues fired back by scoring twice with two outs in the top of the seventh off a two-RBI Kala Huske triple down the right field line. With the score in favor of WU 5-4, Northwest sent the game to extra innings off a RBI-double by sophomore Jaclyn Brown. WU's Brooke DeVader hit her team's third roundtripper of the day, a solo shot to left center, to open up the eighth. At that point, Washburn led 6-5.
Thanks to Pride, the Bearcats were able to extend their season for another day. Down 6-5 and with runners on first and second and two outs, Pride hit a sharp single to right field. The fielder could not pick up the ball as freshman Lauren Lakebrink scored from second followed by sophomore Linellis Santiago.
Six 'Cats tallied two hits apiece as both teams pounded out 13 hits. Santiago went 2-for-3 and scored three times.
Lakebrink earned the win to improve to 4-5 on the season as she came in relief of senior Shelly MacDonald in the sixth inning. Lakebrink went 2.1 as she struck out one and allowed three earned runs on four hits.
The win moves Northwest closer to the team record for victories in a season held by the 1986 club (34).
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