April 26, 2012
Upset bid falls short as ‘Cats stave off elimination vs. Gorillas
Box Scores attached
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Saving their best for last the Northwest Missouri State softball team needed two outstanding performances Thursday night staving off elimination by knocking off Pittsburg State 11-5 after a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to No. 21 Missouri Western in the first round of the MIAA Softball Championships.
The Bearcats moved to 20-30 on the year as they advance to take on Central Missouri Friday morning at 11 a.m. in an elimination game. The Jennies beat Washburn before falling to top seed Emporia State.
The Bearcats battled pitch for pitch with the Griffons in the tournament opener as starter Jenna Creger scattered seven hits picking up the tough loss. Creger also struck out three, but it was the seventh and final hit for Missouri Western that helped the No. 2 seed avoiding the early round upset.
On the other side, Griffon starter Annalee Rubio was also equally impressive holding the Bearcats to only two hits. The second came on a lead-off double from Kristine Labertew in the top of the seventh, however she would be erased on a line out double play setting up a walk-off blast in the bottom of the inning for the Griffons.
Trying to fight off elimination the Bearcats turned to Abbie Vitosh who got plenty of help from the Bearcats’ bats.
Northwest scored seven runs in the first inning capped off by a Rachael Schmitz grand slam, her fifth home run of the year.
The Gorillas would battle back with a two-run homer in the top of the second, but Vitosh recorded six strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work for the win. The freshman hurler allowed only five hits for her fifth win of the season.
After two more runs from Pittsburg State in the fifth the Bearcats would add four more runs on four hits and a PSU error to extend their lead to 11-4.
PSU picked up a run in the seventh, but Paige Blythe worked a ground ball for the final out and holding for the win.
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