March 18, 2006
Bearcats Start Spring Games With 2 Wins
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Northwest Missouri State (9-6) softball started the Rebel Spring Games on a successful note defeating Merrimack (Mass.) 5-1 before coming back to take down Wayne (Mich.) State 5-4 in the night cap. Junior Talina Canon pitched a gem against MC going the distance, allowing just six hits and striking out six. In the second game, senior Ashley Pride had the big hit, knocking a two-run double down the right field line in the top of the seventh and erased the 3-2 Northwest deficit.
The Bearcat offense jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Merrimack plating those in the third inning. Junior Linellis Santiago rapped a run-scoring triple to push the first score across the dish. Northwest added two more in the fourth thanks to freshman Megan Simpson's bomb over the right-field fence.
Merrimack scored once in the seventh to avoid the shutout.
Canon moved to 2-1 on the year lowering her earned-run-average to 3.20. Senior Katy John collected two hits to lead the Bearcat offense.
After falling down 3-0 after the first inning against Wayne State, the Bearcats chipped away beginning in the fourth frame. Simpson added her team-leading fifth home run, a solo shot in the fifth, to break the Wayne shutout. After a single run in the sixth cut the deficit in half at 3-2, the Northwest bats woke up for three hits and three runs in the top-half of the seventh to take a 5-3 lead.
The Warriors had the game-tying run at second base with two outs in the seventh, but sophomore Crystal Gustin made a diving stop on a grounder up the middle and Northwest won for the first time in three tries against Wayne.
Sophomore Lauren Lakebrink posted the win going 6.0 innings, all in relief. She allowed one earned run on just four hits and struck out six.
Wayne out-hit the Bearcats 7-5 and both teams had two errors.
Northwest continues action with two more games in the Rebel Spring Games, first against Caldwell (N.J.) at 1:20 p.m. CST and versus Rollins (Fla.) at 5 p.m. CST.
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