Softball sweeps Missouri State, wins fourth straight

Grant Cohen

Wichita State was going to be tested in Springfield, Missouri, facing a Missouri State team which had taken two out of three games from Missouri Valley Conference leader Drake last weekend. The Shockers passed with flying colors Wednesday, dominating the Bears for a 17-6 win in Game 1 and 3-2 win in Game 2 to claim the sweep and win their fourth straight game. 

A pair of home runs by sophomore Mackenzie Wright and junior Paige Luellen put the Shockers up 3-0 in the top of the first inning. Missouri State hit a bottom of the first inning single that brought in two Bears runs, cutting Wichita State’s lead to one. 

Senior Cacy Williams singled to right center field to bring in another Shocker run in the top of the second inning. The Bears responded by tying the game off a groundout to second base and scoring off a Wichita State error to tie the game 4-4 after the second inning. 

Wichita State quickly regained the lead off an 8-0 scoring run, due to home runs from Luellen, junior Macklin Hitz and freshman Mauriana Jamele. A pair of RBI singles and a sacrifice fly gave the Shockers a 12-4 lead through the middle of the fifth inning, but a two-run home run by Missouri State continued the game through seven innings. 

A bases loaded grand slam by Hitz and a throwing error by Missouri State in the top of the seventh inning scored the final five runs for the Shockers, as they got the win 17-6 in Game 1. 

Junior Jenni Brooks got her 13th win of the season, putting her overall record at 13-6. Brooks pitched four innings, striking out one batter while sophomore Kelsey Sterneker pitched the final three innings and managed to get her third save of the season. Sterneker struck out three Missouri State batters while only giving up three hits in the Shockers’ game one victory. 

Just like in Game 1, the Shockers jumped out to an early lead in Game 2. Senior Liz Broyles hit an RBI single in the top of the second inning that gave the Shockers a 1-0 lead. Missouri State answered back with a two out double to tie up the score, followed by an RBI single to give the Bears the lead 2-1 after the third inning. 

Williams’s home runs in the top of the fourth and sixth inning scored the final two runs for WSU, giving them the win and the sweep 3-2. 

Junior Katie Malone pitched a complete game, striking out two batters and forcing Missouri State to hit .250 percent in the Shockers’ win. The victory gave Malone her ninth win of the season, putting her overall record at 9-6. 

Wichita State (25-8, 11-5) moved up in a tie for second in the Missouri Valley Conference on Wednesday, right next to Northern Iowa and putting them one game behind conference leader Drake. The Shockers travel to Des Moines, Iowa, to take on Drake, starting with a doubleheader noon on Saturday and a single game on Sunday.