The Northwest Missouri State softball team battled through Sunday to knock off Ouachita Baptist, 5-2 before withstanding a late rally from Oklahoma Panhandle State for a 9-6 win to close out the 7-State Softball Classic.
The Bearcats stand at 7-0 on the season giving them their best start in program history. Before Sunday the Bearcats 5-0 start equaled the best start under Head Coach Ryan Anderson when his 2007 squad won their first five games in his first season at the helm.
Game one saw the Bearcats get another solid pitching performance, as Abbie Vitosh earned the win going 5.1 innings and scattering five hits. Vitosh improved to 2-0 on the season as she was charged with one earned run while striking out seven.
Northwest got on the board in the third inning when Candace Miller singled to left field scoring Rachael Schmitz. Miller finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Ouachita Baptist would tie the game in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI single, however the Bearcats would explode in the bottom half to break the game open.
Kristine Labertew belted her first home run of the season, scoring Stephanie Price who was hit by a pitch.
After two walks, a single and an error Northwest would extend its lead to 5-1 on an infield single by Miller.
Morgan Brunmeier entered in relief to pitching the final 1.2 innings for the save.
The finale saw the Bearcats hold off a feverish rally from Oklahoma Panhandle in the late innings for a 9-6 victory.
The Northwest offense gave the Bearcat pitching staff the run support it needed early with a five run second inning. The Bearcats scored five runs on six hits with a home run from Kylie Cantrell and RBI singles from Miller and Labertew.
Kristen Uthe added a RBI double to cap the inning as Northwest left the bases loaded.
After OPSU added a run in the top of the fourth, Northwest answered with three more runs on three hits.
Labertew picked up her second RBI on a single and Cantrell was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded also giving her two RBIs in the win.
Northwest also had a season high three errors but managed to overcome the miscues after a four run inning from the Aggies pulled the Bearcat lead to 8-5.
Both teams would trade runs in the sixth as Brunmeier again entered in relief to shut the door on the Aggies. Paige Blythe earned the win for the Bearcats going 4.1 innings before Brunmeier finished the final 2.2 innings and picked up her second save.
Miller finished 3-for-4 with an RBI in the night cap as four more Bearcats added multiple hits. Uthe also joined Labertew and Cantrell with two RBIs.
Page 2 of 3 - Northwest returns to the diamond next weekend as they travel north for the NSIC/MIAA Crossover Tournament.
Jenna Creger pitched her second shutout in two days as the Northwest Missouri State offense erupted to roll past Southern Arkansas 8-0 in the 7-State Softball Classic Saturday.
Creger only allowed two hits and struck out 10 batters to help keep the Lady Muleriders' bats at bay.
Northwest got on the board in the top of the second inning when Kristine Labertew belted a one out double to right field. Labertew would score just one batter later when Madison Jones singled to left and an error by the SAU left fielder allowed Labertew to cross home standing up.
Although the one run was all the Bearcats would need behind Creger, Northwest exploded in the final inning for seven more runs. Back-to-back singles to lead off the seventh would bring Anastaszia Roseberry off the bench as she belted a three-run homer to right.
The Bearcats were not done as Kristen Uthe went deep for a three-run home run over the left field fence scoring Candace Miller and Jordan Ereth. Northwest continued to bat around in the inning when Jones double to left giving the Bearcats an 8-0 lead.
The Bearcats first game of the day was cancelled as the field was deemed unplayable.
The Northwest Missouri State softball team dominated Concordia-St. Paul for a 7-0 victory in game one and outlasted Illinois-Springfield 6-5 in extra innings Friday on day one of the 7-State Classic.
Game one was a complete effort from Jenna Creger, as the senior held the Golden Bears to just three hits for the complete game shutout. Creger struck out seven and only walked one batter.
The Bearcat offense saw three multi-hit games including a 4-for-4 effort from Kristen Uthe. Uthe doubled, scored a run and drove in a run to help pace the Bearcat offense.
Stephanie Price accounted for over half the Bearcat offense in game one as she finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Price put Northwest on the board in the top of the third inning with a RBI single that scored Uthe before Kylie Cantrell hustled for a two RBI double giving the Bearcats an early 3-0 lead.
Northwest extended its lead in the fourth when Price blasted a no-doubt three-run homer to left field. The home run followed a RBI double from Uthe giving the Bearcats a 7-0 lead.
From there Creger would cruise as she retired 13 of the final 15 batters to close out the win.
Game two had more excitement.
The Bearcats built a 2-0 lead when Candace Miller singled to right field scoring Rachael Schmitz and Jordan Gadbois. Gadbois was hit by a pitch while Schmitz place a bunt single down the first base line to start the third inning.
Page 3 of 3 - UIS would add a single run in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at 3-3 before a scoreless seventh inning sent the game to extras.
Both teams scored a run in the eighth before Northwest got two wild pitches to help score two runs in the ninth inning. Jordan Ereth doubled to lead-off the inning, pushing the runner at second to third, before the wild pitches scored both runners giving Northwest a 6-4 lead.
Reliever Paige Blythe was able to dance around a walk and a RBI single to start the final inning. Holding onto the one-run lead Blythe forced back-to-back groundouts to end the game.
Ereth finished 3-for-4 in the second game with two runs scored while Uthe and Cantrell added the final two RBIs to join Miller.