No. 7 Bradley Upends No. 6 Missouri State, 2-1, to Advance
May 10, 2007
NORMAL, Ill. - In a match up between two of the Missouri Valley Conference's top pitchers, Bradley's Ashley Birdsong out-dueled Missouri State's Melissa Porche in the seventh-seeded Braves' 2-1 victory over the six-seeded Bears in first round action of the 2007 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Softball Championship Thursday at the Redbird Softball Complex in Normal, Ill.
Both pitchers went the distance with Birdsong earning her 20th victory after recording nine strike outs and giving up one unearned run and five hits. Porche was equally as impressive, notching nine punch outs of her own, and allowing only two hits, while giving up two runs with only one being earned.
Bradley improves to 26-22 overall, while Missouri State ends it season with a 21-29 record.
Missouri State got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, 1-0, when left fielder Elysha Swider drove home center fielder Katie Martin on a sacrifice fly in foul ground down the right field line. Martin reached on an opposite field single to left and advanced into scoring position on a stolen base and error by Bradley shortstop Trish Kowalewski.
Bradley scored its first run in the top of the fourth inning when designated player Amanda Clack hit a sacrifice fly to straight away center filed that scored left fielder Miriam Wegmann, who led off the inning reaching on a throwing error by Porche. Porche's throwing error allowed Wegmann to take second base.
The Braves went ahead for good, 2-1, in the fifth inning when catcher Sara Loete belted her third home run of the season over the left field wall.
Bradley moves on to face third-seeded Southern Illinois in a quarterfinal match up Thursday evening. First pitch between the Braves and the Salukis is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.