Lady Bears go 1-1 in tourney

Missouri Valley Conference softball

NORMAL, Ill. — The Missouri State Lady Bears went 1-1 and were eliminated from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Thursday.

In the first game of the day, the Lady Bears posted a 4-3 win against Northern Iowa in the single-elimination event.

Erin Struemph (St. Elizabeth High School) threw a complete game to lead the Lady Bears to the win. She did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, giving up seven total, and struck out six while walking three. All three runs were earned.

The Panthers got four of their seven hits in the fourth inning, when they scored all of their runs. But Struemph induced a popup with two runners on to get out of a jam.

Struemph also stranded the tying and winning runs in the seventh to end the game.

Missouri State then saw its season come to an end with a wild 8-5 loss to Bradley in the quarterfinals.

The Braves jumped out to a 4-0 lead, only to see the Lady Bears come roaring back with five unanswered runs, four in the fifth and one in the sixth.

But Bradley won it in the bottom of the sixth inning with a grand-slam home run.

The Lady Bears got runners to second and third with two outs in the top of the seventh but were unable to score.

Struemph (13-12) took the loss in relief, pitching the final three innings. She gave up five earned runs on seven hits while striking out two.

Missouri State ends the season with a record of 28-27.

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