March 9, 2007
#22 Bearcats Move to 5-0 With a Pair of Wins at Missouri Southern TournamentJOPLIN, Mo. -(W 9-8 (8) ) (W 7-2) No. 22 Northwest Missouri State softball improved to a spotless 5-0 on the young season with two wins on the opening day of the Terri Zenner Memorial Tournament, hosted by Missouri Southern today. The first victory was an eight inning, 9-8 affair over Missouri-St. Louis followed by a 7-2 decision against Augustana (S.D.). The perfect 5-0 start is the first such occurrence in the 33-year history of the program (since 1975).
Against UMSL, sophomore outfielder Megan Simpson and senior outfielder Linellis Santiago-Bernier led the club with 3-for-4 efforts at the plate. Northwest took a 3-1 lead in the second inning after the first career home run by freshman infielder Erin Leslie, a three-run shot. UMSL tied the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the fourth inning using four unearned runs in the frame. The Bearcats sent the game into extra innings as Simpson drove home pinch-runner Lindsey Roorda from second-base with a double in the top of the seventh.
Using international tie-breaker rules, Santiago drove in her second runner of the game slapping a single down the right-field line in the top of the eighth. Junior pitcher Kelly Morris closed the door on UMSL (6-7) in the bottom of the inning to pick up the win and improve to 2-0 on the year. She pitched 2 2/3 innings of shut-out ball and allowed just two hits. Emily Wagoner was hit with the complete-game loss for UMSL allowing 14 hits and eight earned runs.
Leslie and Santiago-Bernier were major parts of the offensive attack for the Bearcats in the Game 2 win over Augustana. Northwest never trailed after grabbing a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Two doubles, courtesy of juniors Crystal Gustin and Cortney Channell, plated two runners in the frame. Simpson put the game out of reach for the Bearcats with her second homer of the year, a two-runner in the sixth, and the Bearcats were headed to their second straight win in the series versus AC.
Morris completed her second game of the year scattering eight hits to go along with eight strike outs. Leslie and Santiago-Bernier each had two hits. Jessica Cooper was credited with the loss for the Vikings giving up seven runs, five earned, and fanning four batters.
Due to wet weather conditions, match-ups on day two of the tournament have been shuffled. Northwest will take on Southern Arkansas at 9 a.m. and wrap up the two-day event with Oklahoma City, ranked No. 5 in NAIA, at 1 p.m.
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