March 30, 2009
Krueger Fires Two-Hit Shutout
JOPLIN, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State senior pitcher Cola Krueger struck out a season-high nine batters and allowed just two hits in blanking Missouri Southern, 5-0, Monday in the first of two games with the Lions to begin MIAA play. Missouri Southern took the nightcap 8-4.
It was the first shutout thrown by Krueger this season and the 15th of her Bearcat career, moving her one behind Shelly MacDonald for the second-most in program history.
Krueger (5-9) got 14 hits in support, including three-hit efforts from teammates Megan Simpson and Kristen Hessel, who each drove in a run and scored. Jenna Smith laced two singles and Amber Corkins hit safely in her first two at bats Monday to aid the effort.
Krueger struck out the side in the first inning after a lead-off walk and an error placed runners on second and third. She retired 12 of 13 batters at one point, none of whom were able to send a ball out of the infield, and didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning. The Lions' other hit, a second single, came in the seventh.
Krueger has pitched 11 consecutive innings without allowing a run spanning her last three appearances. She's allowed three hits in that span and lowered her ERA to a team-best 3.66.
Northwest carried its momentum into game two and jumped out to a 3-0 lead with the help of a two-run double by Sarah Saladino in inning one and an RBI single by Casey Carper in inning two. The Lions responded with three runs in the bottom of the second and took its first lead of the day on an RBI single by Natalie Nelson in the third.
Bearcat shortstop Jennifer Bohle, who went 3-for-3 in game two and tallied four hits on the day, singled to lead off the Northwest fourth. She promptly stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored to tie the game at 4-4 on a base hit to right by Erin Leslie.
Missouri Southern placed runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. A poor throw to first on a ground ball that could've ended the inning gave the Lions the lead. They'd tack on two more runs and led 7-4 at the end of four.
Northwest pounded out 23 hits on the day, but just two came in their final three at bats. Tara Kuykendall pitched a complete game for the Lions to earn the win in game two.
All nine Northwest starters recorded a hit Monday and eight had two hits or more. Seven Bearcats drove in a run and seven players crossed home at least once during the twin bill.
Next Up: Northwest continues MIAA play Tuesday with a noon doubleheader against Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kan.
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