Softball Bears Dominate Bulldogs, Earn Two Run-Rule Victories

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri State softball improved to 11-15 (2-2 MVC) on the season following two run-rule victories over Drake (6-15, 0-2 MVC) here Friday afternoon.
Offensively, the Bears were led by McKenzie Vaughan and Olivia Krehbiel, who combined for seven hits across the day. Vaughan went 3-for-4 (.750) at the plate with three home runs, seven RBI, two walks and three runs scored. Meanwhile, Krehbiel knocked four hits (4-for-5), including a triple, scored five runs and collected a walk and RBI. As a team, Missouri State collected 21 runs on 21 hits across both games.
In the circle, the Bears received outstanding performances from both Gracie Johnston and Vaughan as both pitcher’s gave up just one combined earned run on the day. Johnston tossed a one-hitter while striking out five Bulldogs in the first game of the doubleheader, before Vaughan allowed just one earned run on five hits while striking out six Drake hitters in game two.
Game 1 (5 Inn.): Missouri State 11, Drake 0
Missouri State’s bats got off to a hot start and stayed that wat throughout the after in the Bears’ home opener.
MSU scored the first run of the day in the bottom of the first, courtesy of a leadoff Abby Ford walk and singles from Olivia Krehbiel and Alex Boze to get the Bears on the board.
After allowing a single Drake baserunner in the first three innings in a 1-0 ballgame, the Bears exploded offensively in the third and fourth innings.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Krehbiel drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, which Weakly followed up with a single to right field to collect an RBI. Alex Boze then sent a single up the middle in the next at-bat to set up Vaughan with runners on first and second. Vaughan delivered her first homer of the day, a three-run shot to center field to extend the MSU lead to 5-0.
Ellie McCoy kept the rally going with a single to shortstop, before scoring in the next at-bat via a Drake error. With two outs on the board for MSU, the Bears weren’t finished as Kenzie Derryberry sent a single to shortstop to score Annie Mueller, making it a 7-0 Missouri State advantage after three innings.
Drake drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth, but that was all for the Bulldogs as Johnston and Co. secured a strikeout and two ground outs to end the frame.
Missouri State didn’t let up as Krehbiel led off the home half of the fourth with a triple to right field, marking her third three-bagger of the season. In the next at-bat, Weakly scored Krehbiel with an RBI single up the middle. With one out on the board following a pop up, Vaughan drew a walk and McCoy singled to second base to set up an Annie Mueller sacrifice fly to score MSU’s ninth run of the game.
From there, a Kelsie Lewis walk loaded the bases for the Bears as Derryberry then delivered a two-RBI single to center field to give MSU an 11-0 advantage heading to the fifth inning with a run-rule opportunity.
 MSU retired the Bulldogs in order in the top of the fifth to earn their first Missouri Valley Conference win of the season with an 11-0 victory in five innings.
Johnston allowed just one hit while striking out five Bulldogs, while the Bears offense collected 12 hits. McCoy led the team in hits, going 3-for-3 at the plate, while Vaughan collected three RBI and five Bears recorded multiple hits.
Game 2 (5 Inn.): Missouri State 10, Drake 1
MSU kept the momentum rolling straight into game two of the doubleheader. Drake was the first to threaten in the game following a leadoff double to begin the second inning, but Vaughan dug deep and got out of the jam by forcing a ground out and striking out the final two batter to keep the game scoreless.
Vaughan helped her own cause by launching a homer to left field to lead off the home half of the second, once again putting the Bears in front early.
The Bulldogs answered in the top of the third with a single run, following a double and a single before scoring on a wild pitch. With the game tied at 1-1 and a runner on second, Vaughan secured the first out of the inning with a strikeout. However, Drake hit a single and stole a base to put runners on second and third with one out. Again, the Bears limited the damage, forcing a line out and strikeout to end the inning and the Bulldog threat.
Missouri State put up a three-spot in the third inning to take the lead over Drake. Krehbiel got things rolling for the Bears with a one-out single, before stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Weakly then drew a walk and pinch-runner Kat Taylor immediately swiped second. After a line out put the second out on the board, Vaughan sent a rocket over the wall in center field for her second three-run bomb of the day and third overall to put the Bears in front, 4-0, with three innings in the books.   
Drake managed to put a few runners on base in the fourth via a single, a fielder’s choice and a walk, but left two stranded to end the inning.
The Bears delivered the final blow in the bottom of the fourth with six runs on six hits and a Drake error. Derryberry singled to begin the inning, followed immediately by a Ford triple and Krehbiel single that scored two runs. Up 6-1 with two outs, McCoy sent an RBI single to center field before stealing second base in the next at-bat, which ultimately scored pinch-runner Chloe Merced as the catcher committed an error on the throw.
Now up 8-1 with two outs, Annie Mueller sent a two-RBI moon shot over the fence in left field, her first homer of the season, to put MSU in front, 10-1, heading to the fifth inning with another shot at a run-rule victory.
Vaughan got the first batter to strike out swinging before walking a Bulldog. However, the next batter hit a grounder to Vaughan, who got the lead runner out at second and interference was called on the play, forcing the final out of the inning and securing the 10-1 run-rule victory for MSU as the Bears.
Missouri State will close out the series against Drake on Sunday, March 19. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT and the game will stream on ESPN+.

This article is provided by Missouri State
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :

Jock MVP Club

Signup form

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.