April 24, 2009
Miscues Costly in Losses to Central Missouri
WARRENSBURG, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State had one of the nation's top pitchers on the ropes, but its mistakes in the field fueled Central Missouri's comeback and the Jennies' doubleheader sweep Friday at Jennies Field. Scores went 5-4 and 8-4.
The wins clinched Central Missouri's first MIAA championship since 2002. The losses deal a blow to the Bearcats' chances of advancing to the postseason. Northwest trails Fort Hays State by three games in the loss column heading into its final conference doubleheader against Southwest Baptist Saturday. Fort Hays State has four MIAA games remaining.
Northwest took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning of game one against Jennies pitcher Megan Leonard, the nation's leader in earned run average. Leonard recently tied an NCAA Division II record with 82 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. She had surrendered eight earned runs all season, but allowed four to the Bearcats Friday.
A two-out error in the bottom of the fourth inning allowed Central Missouri to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. The Jennies took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Tracey Anderson.
Northwest designated player Sarah Saladino single and came around to score on an RBI double by Jenna Smith in the top of the sixth to knot the game at four. With was 2-for-3 against Leonard and drove in two runs.
Jessie Shelmen led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and scored the game-winning run when Northwest misplayed a bunt by Anderson. It was the third error charged to the Bearcats in game one and the third unearned run scored by the Jennies.
Bearcat third baseman Amber Corkins had four hits Friday, including a three-run homer in the seventh inning of game two. It was the fourth shot from Corkins this season, but came too little, too late as the Jennies had established an 8-1 lead.
Northwest committed three more errors in game two which led to four unearned runs. Krista Cummings smacked a three-run homer in the bottom of the first to erase an early Northwest lead. Jennifer Bohle and Amanda Teshack each had two hits in the nightcap for the Bearcats.
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