March 5, 2006
Northwest Loses Two at MWSU Crossover
ST JOSEPH, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State softball dropped two games against Southwest Minnesota State, 6-5 in eight innings, and Nebraska-Omaha, 7-5, this afternoon at the Missouri Western Crossover Tournament. The event was originally scheduled for two days but, with rain falling Saturday, was condensed to just today.
In the first game against SW Minnesota State, Northwest came back from an early 1-0 hole to take a brief 3-1 lead on two singles and an SMSU error in the bottom of the second inning. Thanks to a grand slam from SMSU's Amanda Burkhart in the top of the third, the Mustangs regained the lead, 5-3.
Northwest escaped out of a jam defensively in the fifth. With runners on second and third with one out, sophomore Kelly Morris relieved freshman Cola Krueger on the mound. Morris caught a line drive and threw to second base for the double play to escape further damage.
The Bearcats trailed by two runs until the home-half of the seventh when junior Lindsay Stephenson and senior Ashley Pride knocked back-to-back solo homeruns. With her roundtripper, Pride tied the school's career record of 24.
With the international runner-rule in effect in the eighth frame, the winning run for SMSU was a run-scoring double from Erin Dickhausen. The Bearcats came up empty in the bottom of the inning. Morris was hit with the loss, her first of the year in three appearances, as she allowed one run on two hits in 3.2 innings of relief. Three Bearcats gathered two hits apiece.
In the game against Nebraska-Omaha, both teams were held scoreless until Lauren McArthur blasted a three-run homer to left center in the bottom of the third inning to give UNO a 3-0 lead. Junior Linellis Santiago, who finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs, cut the deficit to two on her first career roundtripper in the top of the fifth.
The Mavericks opened up a five-run advantage, 7-2, with five straight hits in the sixth before Northwest made things interesting in the seventh. Four singles and two walks pushed across three Bearcat runners and forced out starting pitcher Cayte Bittman. However, hurler Cheris Kuster put down the next batter and UNO held on for the non-conference victory.
Bittman earned the win striking out nine and allowing seven hits.
Northwest takes on Northern (S.D.) State on Tuesday in the Bearcat home opener. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.
NOTES: Northwest faced SW Minnesota State for the first time … Senior Ashley Pride tied Angie McCoy's (2001-04) career homerun record … Stephenson extended her hitting streak to five games - the longest among active players … Northwest has hit 10 homeruns through the first seven games.
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