Missouri State finished out the 2019 campaign this weekend with a three-game set at Indiana State from May 3-4.
On Friday, the Bears collected 10 hits and received a quality pitching effort from sophomore Steffany Dickerson in a one-sided, 7-1, victory in game one of Friday’s doubleheader against the Sycamores.
Indiana State held off a late surge by Missouri State to win game two, 2-1.
“I thought we really attacked the ball in the first game and put pressure on them for seven innings,” head coach Holly Hesse said. “We barreled up some balls in game two, but just hit them right at them. Eventually they put up a couple of runs, and we really didn’t threaten until the last inning, but I was proud of the way we went down with a fight.”
In game one, sophomore Daphne Plummer went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Dickerson went six strong innings in the circle to lead the Bears to the convincing win.
Missouri State expanded an early 3-1 advantage by manufacturing four runs on five hits in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.
Freshman Alex Boze and junior Darby Joerling started the outburst with base hits before senior Kyana Mason sacrificed them into scoring position. Freshman Payton Minnis then blasted a two-run single to left to put the Bears ahead 5-1.
In game two, Missouri State had the Sycamores on the ropes late. Down by two in the final inning, the Bears loaded the bases, scratching across a run but Indiana State retired the final two hitters of the day to squeak past with the 2-1 win.
Missouri State left seven runners on base and tallied only five hits in the final game of the doubleheader. Junior Erin Griesbauer took the hard-luck loss, throwing 4.1 innings and giving up one earned run.
To finish out the season, sophomore Madison Hunsaker lifted the Bears past the Sycamores 4-1 in a extra-inning victory on Saturday.
Hunsaker recorded a two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth which broke up a 1-1 tie. It came on the heels of an Indiana State error that put Mason aboard with one out. Missouri State would tack on two more runs thanks to a two-run double by freshman Rachel Weber.
In the circle, Dickerson was once again lights out for the Bears. The right-hander allowed one run over nine innings, walking two and striking out three to pick up her 20th victory.
“This was a heck of an effort by Steffany,” Hesse said. “I thought she was phenomenal. Our defense was perfect today, and they came up with big play after big play with the game in the balance. We bent but never broke, and that’s the kind of fight it’s going to take heading into next week’s conference tournament.”
The victory lifted Missouri State to back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since the program made three-straight NCAA tournaments from 1996-1998.
The Bears will draw the No. 5 seed as they open play in the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Championship in Peoria, Illinois, on May 9.
Missouri State will play the winner of No. 8 Evansville-No. 9 Indiana State game, who face off in the opening round on May 8.