Game 1 Box Score
| Game 2 Box Score
| Season Stats
| MVC-Only Stats
Missouri State got a stellar pitching effort in game one, but could not hold off a late-inning comeback by home standing Loyola in game two of a thrilling Missouri Valley Conference softball doubleheader split here Saturday. The Bears won the first game, 2-1, and Loyola stole game two, 4-3, in eight innings.
Senior Holly Kelley
pitched a one-hitter in the opener for MSU, allowing just a second-inning solo homer to give the Bears their fifth straight win.
had three hits and drove home a pair of runs in the second game to highlight a 10-hit effort by MSU (28-16, 13-5 MVC) in the night cap. Loyola's squeeze play with one out in the bottom of the eighth won the game for the Ramblers (21-19, 7-9 MVC).
Missouri State 2, Loyola 1
Missouri State starter Holly Kelley
(10-3) picked up her tenth victory of the campaign on a one-hitter, striking out nine and walking two in a 2-1 Bears win. It was Kelley's fifth complete game of the year.
After falling behind 1-0, MSU provided Kelley with some needed run support in the top of the fifth. The Bears capitalized on two Loyola errors to plate a pair. Madison Jones
' bases-loaded groundout to second tied the game, 1-1, scoring Hannah Heinrichs
who reached on an error to start the rally. MSU's next hitter, Daphne Plummer
, hit a hard grounder to short that Jamie O'Brien bobbled to allow Hailee Vigneaux
to score and put the visitors on top, 2-1.
The Bears threatened again in the sixth, loading the bases with nobody out before LUC starter Kiley Jones (15-8) got a key strikeout and a pair of grounders to second base to get out of the jam.
But the 2-1 lead was all Kelley would need. She retired the final 15 batters she faced and recorded a strikeout in every inning but the fifth.
Loyola's only hit was a leadoff homer by Allison Ivey in the second, her third blast of the year. Kelley rebounded to fan two in the inning and limit the damage.
The Bears scattered five hits – all singles -- and left eight runners on base in picking up their 13th
conference win of the year.
Loyola 4, Missouri State 3 (8 innings)
Loyola rallied from a two-run deficit in the seventh inning to win the game, 4-3, on a squeeze play in the bottom of the eighth.
The Bears wasted no time getting on the board early in the second game. Plummer's two-out, infield single turned into a run moments later after a wild pitch and a single to right off the bat of Darian Frost
. Frost finished the game with two RBI and three hits.
Loyola put two on with one out in the second, but Kyana Mason
's diving catch off the bat of O'Brien resulted in an inning-ending double play when Mason threw to Jones to double off pinch-runner Kristin Lea.
The Bears added insurance runs in the third and fifth innings to extend their lead. In the third, a single to right by Jones set the table for a run-scoring double by Frost two batters later – her 30th
RBI of the season -- to make it 2-0. Plummer was the hero in the fifth, smashing a ball through the right side to score Erika Velasquez Zimmer
with one out and make it a 3-0 game.
The Ramblers put up an unearned run in the fifth to make it 3-1. A two-out error by Plummer brought home Brooke Wilson who started the inning with a bunt single. Plummer then made up for the mishap moments later by retiring the side on a nice play up the middle.
The home club then tied the game in the seventh. One-out hits by Wilson, O'Brien and Emily Borg made it a 3-2 game and chased Bears' starter Erin Griesbauer
. Madison Hunsaker
came on in relief to put out the fire, but not before LUC tied the game up on a two-out infield hit by Shannon McGee.
The Ramblers kept up the heat in the eighth, putting their first two runners on before a sacrifice bunt moved Loyola's winning run to third. A suicide squeeze by Wilson followed with MSU catcher Frost fielding the bunt and diving back to tag the incoming runner and missing it by an eyelash.
Wilson had four of Loyola's 11 hits, while Keenan Dolezal (6-10) picked up the win with a complete-game effort. She gave up 10 hits and struck out five in the pe
MSU starter Erin Griesbauer
went 6.1 innings with just two earned runs and a pair of strikeouts. Hunsaker (5-1) was tagged with the loss after surrendering four hits in one-plus innings of work.
Coming Up Next
The clubs will conclude their three-game series with a single game Sunday at 11 a.m. on ESPN+. MSU then travels to Southern Illinois for a single game at Noon on Monday in Carbondale.
For all the latest information on the Missouri State softball team, including weather and schedule updates, visit MissouriStateBears.com
or follow @MSUSoftball