May 1, 2008
Bearcats Advance to Winner's Bracket Final
SHAWNEE, Kan.-Northwest Missouri State didn't allow a run and got timely hits from Erin Leslie and Tiffany Carter to advance to the championship game of the winner's bracket at the MIAA Softball Tournament Thursday. The Bearcats face top-seeded and 12th-ranked Emporia State (38-15) Friday at 2 p.m. The two teams split their doubleheader during the regular season.
The third-seeded Bearcats (31-18) beat Truman, the sixth seed, 1-0 in the first round and shut out seventh-seeded Missouri Western 3-0 in the second. Northwest has won nine of its last 10 games and is a season-best 13 games over .500.
Pitchers Cola Krueger and Kelly Morris combined to shut down the opposition on a day where both earned their 40th career victory - good for third all-time in Northwest history.
Krueger (13-7), a junior, allowed seven hits in her complete-game effort against Truman and retired the final two batters against Western to pick up her second save of the season.
Morris (17-9), a senior, allowed seven hits and struck out three in her start against the Griffons. Morris' 17 wins this season tie Jacqui Handlos (2003) for the second-most in program history.
Leslie's RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the second inning scored Janelle Krohn for the only run of game one. Carter's three-run home run with two outs in the third inning was the difference in game two.
Carter's seventh home run of the season also broke Northwest's single-season record for runs batted in. Carter has driven in 49 runs this season, one more than Ashley Pride drove in during the 2005 campaign. A junior, Carter is in her first season with the Bearcats after spending last season at Johnson County Community College.
Krueger has allowed one earned run in her last five starts, all complete-game efforts and all Northwest wins (0.20 ERA).
Both pitchers got help from their defense.
The Bearcats turned two double plays against Truman, including one following a line shot to Krohn at first base with the bases loaded in the fifth. Third baseman Cortney Channell caught a line drive with runners on first and third with two outs in the sixth. Right fielder Megan Simpson gunned down Stephanie Martin at third base back in the second.
Center fielder Casey Carper was the defensive star late against the Griffons. With two outs and the bases loaded for Western in the bottom of the sixth, Carper made a running catch over her right shoulder to rob Keri Franks of a sure double. With two on in the seventh, she ran down Shannon Pivovar's home run bid and made the catch at the warning track for the game's final out.
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