Impressive pitching performances from both sides led to the Northwest Missouri State softball team splitting a doubleheader with Missouri Southern Saturday in Joplin.
The Bearcats lost game one 1-0 but earned the split with a dramatic 2-1 win in game two.
Northwest (18-8, 6-4) finished their four-game weekend road swing through Southern and Pittsburg State 3-1, winning all three games by two runs or less.
The Bearcats managed only two hits in the first game with Missouri Southern. Jenna Creger stepped up and threw a gem but her counterpart, Sarah Williamson, matched her pitch for pitch and inning for inning.
Creger tossed the complete-game, giving up only two hits and walking one. The senior picked up one strike out as her defense played well behind her gathering the other 17 outs.
The Lions scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly. Williamson went on to collect the complete game shutout victory.
Game two was more of the same as the pitchers took control early and the game remained scoreless through the first three innings.
The Bearcats scored first in the top half of the fourth inning as Stephanie Price was plated on a bunt by Kristine Labertew. Missouri Southern answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, knotting the game up 1-1.
Abbie Vitosh was the starter for Northwest and was replaced by Morgan Brunmeier in the fifth inning.
Brunmeier was able to shut the Lion offense down the next three innings allowing only three runners to reach base.
The Bearcats scored what would eventually be the winning run in the sixth inning when Labertew scored from third on a wild pitch to go up 2-1.
Northwest cut down the tying run in the bottom of the seventh on a play at the plate to end the game.
The victory went to Brunmeier who is now 2-0 on the season.
Northwest will be back on the road March 6 to take on Fort Hays State for a double-header starting at noon.
Northwest started off the weekend by sweeping Pittsburg State with a 3-2 come-from-behind win in game one and a 4-2 win in game two.
The Bearcats scored five of their seven runs on the day in their last at-bat, including all three in game one to overcome a 2-0 deficit.
Jenna Creger took to the circle in game one giving up only two runs, both unearned, as she got the complete game victory. Creger collected six strikeouts over seven innings of work lowering her season ERA to 1.26.
Page 2 of 2 - Pittsburg State scored first getting two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Gorillas starter, Kyndel Shelburn, held the Bearcat offense silent for the first six innings of the game.
The seventh inning was a different story. Stephanie Price reached on error followed by Kristen Uthe who hit a game-tying two-run home run to left field. Later in the inning, Rachael Schmitz singled in Kristine Labertew for the go-ahead run.
Creger finished the game off striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh to complete the comeback and secure the 3-2 victory.
The Bearcats struck first in game two scoring two runs in the top of the third inning. Price doubled up the middle scoring Jordan Ereth who had walked to leadoff the inning. Candace Miller scored from third base on a sacrifice fly from Uthe making the score 2-0.
Pittsburg State tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning after a double to center field.
Kylie Cantrell led off the seventh inning with a single down the left field line. Rachael Schmitz was hit by a pitch putting runners on first and second as Kailee Sherer pinch ran for Cantrell.
Candace Miller, who went 4-4 in the game, singled in Sherer to go up 3-2. Hailee Hendricks knocked in Schmitz with an RBI single up the middle to make it 4-2.
Abbie Vitosh collected her sixth win of the season as she went the distance for the complete game giving up only four hits and striking out seven in the 4-2 victory.