A no-hitter headlined an action-packed week on the diamond for the Missouri State softball team.
The Bears started off the week at Valparaiso for a two-game set on April 1 before returning to Killian Stadium to host No. 14 Arkansas on April 3. They finished off the busy week on the road at Bradley on April 6-7.
Sophomore Steffany Dickerson threw her first career no-hitter and helped lead Missouri State to a 6-0 victory over the Crusaders in game one.
“Steff was outstanding in game one,” head coach Holly Hesse said in a press release. “She had good command, and our defense really played well behind her. I’m so happy for her to get a no-hitter on the road in difficult, cold and windy conditions.”
In a complete game effort, Dickerson struck out seven and walked two in the program’s 17th all-time no-hitter and club’s second this season.
The Bears out-hit Valparaiso in both games, but fell 5-2 in the second game with five unearned runs in the fifth by the home side.
“In game two, they capitalized on a mistake and got a big inning out of it,” Hesse said in the press release. “We allowed just two hits all day, but their grand slam was certainly a big one.”
On Wednesday, Missouri State out-hit nationally ranked Arkansas, but the Razorbacks took advantage of two unearned runs in the second inning and held on for a 2-1 victory.
Dickerson took a hard-luck loss in the circle for the Bears, tossing five innings and striking out three. Freshman Bailey Greenlee followed, retiring all six Arkansas hitters she faced.
“It starts in the circle where our pitching was outstanding for seven innings,” Hesse said in a press release. “I was really proud of the way our team battled and hung in there and gave ourselves a chance to win. We didn’t pull it off, but our effort was amazing.”
On Saturday, Missouri State received exceptional pitching and clutch hitting to claim a pair of one-run victories over Bradley — 4-3 and 3-2.
The Bears overcame a 3-0 deficit in the series opener thanks to a bases-clearing triple by sophomore Daphne Plummer in the fifth and another complete-game effort from Dickerson.
Missouri State then jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game two and held off the Braves late behind a quality performance from junior Erin Griesbauer.
“I can’t say enough about our pitchers, and Daphne was amazing,” Hesse said in a press release. “We really battled a very good team for 14 innings, and I am so proud of our entire team for making so many big plays.”
After the Bears clinched the weekend series with its doubleheader sweep, Missouri State dropped a 2-0 decision to Bradley on Sunday.
The Bears are 22-14 overall on the season, 8-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference, which ranks fifth in conference play.
Missouri State returns home for a pair of mid-week games, starting on Tuesday, April 9, against Southern Illinois.