April 4, 2006
Bearcats Take Down Lincoln Twice
MARYVILLE, Mo. - (5-1 W) (8-2 W) On a day that saw two teams combine for eight home runs, Northwest Missouri State softball (23-7) took down Lincoln (Mo.) twice this afternoon, 5-1 and 8-2, at Bearcat Field. Northwest punched out seven round trippers, including three from senior Ashley Pride, as Northwest ran its winning streak to seven games. Pride's final blast handed her the single-season record of 11 - she owned the old record of 10 (along with Angie McCoy in 2002) set in 2005.
Northwest picked up all the scoring it would need for Game 1 in the third inning. Senior Katy John knocked her fourth career homer, a solo blast, before Pride walloped a two-run drive. Sophomore Crystal Gustin joined the home run party with a two-run shot of her own in the fourth inning to make the Bearcat lead jump to 5-0.
Sophomore pitcher Kelly Morris, who moved to 7-4 on the year, took a perfect game into the fifth frame but Lincoln's (5-17) Abby Stuenkel singled sharply to center field. Lesley Osborne hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh to break up Morris' bid for her fifth shut out of 2006.
Morris went the distance on the hill allowing just three hits and striking out 12 Blue Tigers. The strike out total was a career-high for Morris and fell one shy of the single game (7-inning) Northwest record - 13 K's was done twice before with the last being in 2002 against Lincoln.
Six Bearcats posted hits in the win against losing pitcher Tracy Reyland.
Lincoln responded to the Game 1 loss with two quick runs in the night cap. Osborne nailed her second homer of the day with a two-run shot in the first inning to give her club a 2-0 lead. But, Pride tied the score up at 2-2 in the bottom of the inning with her second round tripper. She later added another two-run homer, which gave her six RBIs on the day, in the third inning and Northwest was well on its way to the 8-2 win.
Junior Sarah Johnson added a solo home run in the third, her third of the year, while junior Lindsay Stephenson put a two-run drive over in right-center field in the sixth.
Johnson, Pride and Stephenson each collected two hits in Game 2.
Junior Talina Canon earned the win going 5.0 innings, scattering five hits, walking one and striking out six. She gave way to freshman Cola Krueger in the sixth frame. In posting her second save this year, Krueger shut down the LU bats, finishing with three strike outs and two walks.
The Bearcats stay home to welcome Central Missouri State on Friday with first pitch at 2:30 p.m. Then Saturday, Northwest hosts Southwest Baptist at 2 p.m.
NOTES: Northwest added to its school record for homers in a season as it stands with 38 - the tally broke the 29 homers set in 2002 ... Ashley Pride tied the single-game record, which she has done now three times, with her two homers in Game 2 ... The Bearcats own a 18-1 record in their last 19 games ... Northwest improved to a perfect 30-0 all-time against Lincoln - this season marks the first for Lincoln as a representative in Division II ... Northwest has scored more than double the runs compared to the opponent in 2006 - 151 to 73.
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