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Two dominating performances in the circle from Kaitlin Beason
and Holly Kelley
aided the Missouri State softball team (16-11, 4-2 MVC) in its series sweep over the Loyola Ramblers, Sunday afternoon at Killian Stadium.
"This weekend was huge for us," head coach Holly Hesse
said. "Any time you sweep it's a big weekend because it's not easy to sweep any team in this league. I thought that we were really solid in every aspect of the game, especially with our pitching. The fact that we had the lead almost every inning for 21 innings is a big lift for our offense."
Missouri State 4, Loyola 0
The Bears used the momentum of a four-run fifth inning to top Loyola, 4-0, in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader at Killian Stadium.
MSU starter Kaitlin Beason
(8-5) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before surrendering a two-out bunt single. She struck out three, gave up three hits and walked two in a complete-game victory.
MSU's winning rally began with an RBI groundout by right fielder Sara Jones
to plate pinch runner Carsten Warner
. Erika Velasquez Zimmer
kept it going with a two-out single to center to drive home Elena Gambill
. After Hailee Vigneaux
walked and Madison Jones
singled, Bethany Sullinger
smacked a bases-loaded hit up the middle to plate two more and make it a 4-0 contest.
That's all the Bears would need in picking up their 15th
win of the campaign
and Sullinger finished with two hits apiece to pace the MSU offense, which out-hit Loyola, 6-3 in the game.
Missouri State 2, Loyola 0
Holding the Ramblers scoreless through seven more innings, junior Holly Kelley
helped secure the series sweep in the Bears' 2-0, two-hit shutout over Loyola.
Kelley (7-4) kept the Ramblers off the board through seven complete innings, racking up a season-high nine strikeouts. The hurler struck out the side in the top of the first and registered a strikeout in every inning until the top of the seventh.
The Bears found their window of opportunity in the third inning when a fielder's choice, a walk and an error loaded the bases with two outs. Producing her second hit of the season, sophomore Morgan Greenlee
snuck a single through the left side to score Missouri State's first run of the game. With bases still loaded, fellow sophomore Kyana Mason
smashed as single to the shortstop to make it a 2-0 ball game.
The Bears had no trouble putting runners on, as the Missouri State offense left 11 runners on base through six innings. Vigneaux and Greenlee earned four of the Bears' hits, recording two apiece while Greenlee and Mason each tallied one RBI.
Coming Up For The Bears
The Missouri State softball team returns to action Wednesday, March 29 where they will travel to the University of Tulsa for a 5 p.m. matchup against the Hurricanes. For all the latest news on Missouri State softball visit missouristatebears.com or follow @MSUSoftball on Twitter.