Feb. 27, 2009
Softball Makes First of Three Trips to PSU
MARYVILLE, Mo.-The third weekend of the Northwest Missouri State softball season takes the Bearcats to Pittsburg, Kan., for five games taking place Friday thru Sunday. Northwest takes on Newman and Central Missouri Friday, Missouri-St. Louis and Drury Saturday and Arkansas Tech Sunday. First pitch Friday is 5 p.m.
It's the first of three trips Northwest will make to Pittsburg State University this season. The Bearcats will play in a second tournament at PSU in two weeks and on March 28, will play an MIAA doubleheader against the Gorillas.
In addition to the five teams, Northwest will likely have to battle the elements this weekend. Temperatures aren't expected to reach 50 in the team's time in Pittsburg. Friday night's games could be played in the 30s and Saturday morning's forecast is calling for traces of snow.
Northwest is 3-7 overall but its lineup is expected to get a boost. Senior right fielder Megan Simpson, who has yet to play this year due to illness, practiced this week and should break the lineup this weekend. Simpson was an all-region pick two seasons ago. Her 23 career home runs are the fourth-most in program history.
Simpson's debut could come Friday against Newman, a team Northwest beat 3-2 to close out last weekend's Southeastern Oklahoma State Tournament. Junior first baseman Sarah Saladino was named to the SEOSU all-tournament team after hitting .381 with two home runs and six RBIs in six games.
Friday's nightcap is a rematch of an elimination game in last year's NCAA tournament. The Bearcats beat Central Missouri 1-0 in 11 innings, effectively ending the Jennies season. Central Missouri (6-4) is ranked 19th in the preseason NFCA poll.
Saturday's games are against two members from the Gulf Lakes Valley Conference. UMSL and Drury placed sixth and 12th, respectively, in the league last season.
Northwest concludes the tournament against Arkansas Tech (13-7), the reigning Gulf South West Division Champions. The Golden Suns won 41 games a year ago, but placed second in the GSC tournament and did not earn a bid to regionals.
Senior outfielder Casey Carper's .395 average leads Northwest. Junior second baseman Erin Leslie has scored 11 runs in 10 games and is batting .359.
Senior pitcher Cola Krueger has pitched in 105 games as a Bearcat - tied for the most in program history. Krueger (1-4) has appeared in eight of 10 games this season.
Friday's games will be played as scheduled. Saturday's games have been cancelled. Northwest will play UMSL at 1 p.m. Sunday followed by Drury at 3 p.m. Northwest will not play Arkansas Tech this weekend.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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