March 30, 2008
Bearcats Take Final Four at UNO Classic
OMAHA, Neb.-Northwest Missouri State's softball team rattled off four straight wins, including a 9-7 win against No. 23 Minnesota State, and finished 4-1 at Nebraska-Omaha's Softball Classic played Saturday and Sunday. The Bearcats (18-9) earned key wins against in-region opponents and improved to 10-2 in regional play.
Northwest, ranked fifth in the latest North Central region standings, dropped a 10-8 decision to the top-ranked team in the region, Southwest Minnesota State, in the opener Saturday.
The Bearcats rebounded with wins against South Dakota and the ninth-ranked team in the region, Minnesota State. Northwest beat Minnesota Duluth in its opening game Sunday and later improved to 3-0 on the year against Wayne State.
Northwest batted .349 as a team and averaged more than seven runs and 10 hits a game during the classic. The Bearcats had a season-high 17 hits in a 10-3 win against Minnesota Duluth.
Megan Simpson went 11-for-18 (.611) during the tournament with four doubles, a triple and two home runs. She drove in six runs in five games and scored 10 times. Simpson's batting .343 with five homers this season.
Simpson was 3-for-3 with a homer and two doubles in Northwest's win against Minnesota State. She hit a two-run shot as part of a six-run, seventh inning in a 6-2 win against Wayne State.
Kaila Ballard was 7-for-15 (.467) with a home run and a team-best eight RBIs for the classic. She had a two-run double in the Bearcat's 4-1 win against South Dakota and hit her first homer of the season as part of a 2-for-3 effort against Minnesota State. Ballard has driven in 22 runs in 25 games this season.
Pitcher Kelsey Resa provided some much-needed depth to a staff asked to pitch five games in three days. She earned her first collegiate victory by pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings against South Dakota and earned her first save against Minnesota State. Resa pitched in four games and logged 11 innings on the weekend.
Cola Krueger was 2-0 in three starts and four appearances for Northwest. Kelly Morris was the benefactor of seven unanswered Bearcat runs against Minnesota Duluth. Morris had 15 strikeouts in 11 innings of work for the classic.
Cortney Channell hit her team-leading sixth home run of the year against Duluth, where she was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Kristen Hessel also went deep against the Bulldogs, her second blast this season.
Up Next: Northwest returns to MIAA play Wednesday with a doubleheader at Truman. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.
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