From Staff reports
JOPLIN, Mo. — The Northeastern State baseball team opened the first round of the 2013 MIAA Baseball Championship with a 4-2 win over Missouri Southern Saturday evening at Joe Becker Stadium.
The RiverHawks (28-21) and Lions (29-19) are now set for a doubleheader Sunday that is scheduled to begin at noon. NSU has to win one of those two contests to take the best-of-three-game series and advance to the MIAA Championship finals May 9-11 at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.
NSU sophomore Kyle Shambaugh (4-2) threw a gem Saturday, allowing just two runs on five hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out four and did not concede a walk in the winning effort. Senior Trevor Walch sat down the last four batters to earn his MIAA-leading 10th save of the season. He is also now tied for ninth in the NCAA in saves this year.
Missouri Southern opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Nick Doughty led off the frame with a solo home run.
NSU then took the lead in the top of the fifth, when three seniors combined to plate two runs. Chad Davidson reached on an error and Greg Jackson singled, and they were both brought home on a double from Trent Wilkins.
NSU junior Cody Robinson hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to score a crucial insurance run in Wilkins. Dallas Burke scored in the bottom of the eighth to bring the score to 3-2, but sophomore Preston Cash added a fourth run for NSU in the top of the ninth and Walch shut the door on the Lions in the final frame.
Northeastern State outhit MSSU 7-6, led by two from both Wilkins and Cash. Wilkins drove home two and four different RiverHawks scored.
Brett Abell (4-3) threw 8 1/3 innings for the Lions, and he allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits. He struck out six and walked just one in the losing effort. David Reese recorded the final two outs for the home side.
NSU softball wins then has season end at MIAA Championship
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Northeastern State softball team saw its season come to a close Saturday evening at the 2013 MIAA Softball Championship at the Blue Valley Recreation Complex.
The RiverHawks (27-24), seeded No. 5 in the tournament, ended the season of No. 8 Northwest Missouri State (27-19) with a 9-2 win in the first round of the loser’s bracket, but No. 3 Missouri Western State (38-15) defeated NSU 7-4 in the next round.
Northeastern State was making its first trip to a postseason tournament since 2007, when the school was a member of the Lone Star Conference.
NSU 9, Northwest Missouri State 2
Northeastern State eliminated the Bearcats from competition, but it took production late in the contest to take down the eighth-seeded Bearcats.
NWMSU scored first in the bottom of the third, when Rachael Schmitz was driven home by a bases loaded hit by pitch. Stephanie Price popped up to junior second baseman Megan Robison on the next at-bat to end the threat.
The RiverHawks took over the rest of the game, scoring nine runs over the course of the next two frames to cruise to victory.
Senior Cayce Coleman (9-7) tossed a complete game to pick up the victory in the circle. She only allowed two runs (one earned) despite giving up eight hits in 7 innings.
Every NSU batter had at least one hit, with Coleman driving home two and scoring once to help her cause. Senior Lisa Ripperger and junior Allyson Pogue both went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Senior Laquieta Drew and freshman Saharra Henson also scored twice.
Jordan Ereth and Madison Jones both had two hits to pace the Bearcats. Northeastern State outhit NWMSU 15-8.
Jenna Creger (13-11) threw the first four innings in the circle, but she allowed six runs on eight hits and was relieved by Abbie Vitosh. Vitosh gave up three runs on seven hits over the final three frames.
Missouri Western 7, NSU 4
The two squads battled to a scoreless draw in a rapid first three innings, but the game slowed to a snail’s pace in the final four frames as the bats heated up.
Missouri Western scored four runs in the top of the fourth, and Northeastern State countered with three in the bottom of the frame. The Griffons added two insurance tallies in the fifth and a final marker in the seventh. NSU could only respond with a lone run in the bottom of the seventh in the losing effort.
MWSU outhit NSU 12-7. Pogue led the RiverHawks with two hits. Henson posted two RBI, and NSU’s four runs came from four different batters. One of those came from Robison, who hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.
Freshman Kayce Wooldridge (10-13) threw the first four innings and allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits before being relieved by Coleman. The senior tossed the final three frames and gave up two runs on six hits.
Janie Smith (17-6) conceded four runs on seven hits in a complete-game effort for the Griffons. Kendall Sorenson led MWSU with a 3-for-4 day at the plate. She also drove home three and scored once.