STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State scored three runs in the fifth inning, including a solo home run by Chelsea Garcia, and Oklahoma State’s 15th-ranked softball team defeated the Bears 3-2 here Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action.
Garcia led off the fifth frame with her homer over the left field fence, her second of the season and the sixth of her career. Senior Breana Casaus followed that with a walk and took second base on a bunt single by leadoff hitter Mariah Gearhart. Katelyn Bright moved both runners up on a sacrifice bunt before Alysia Hamilton walked on four pitches to load the bases.
On a two-ball count to cleanup hitter Julie Ward, Missouri State starting pitcher Lauren McGinley threw an illegal pitch, moving all three runners up and plating Casaus with the second run. On pitch later, Ward hit a fly ball to shallow centerfield. The wind put the ball just of the reach of shortstop Kirstin Cutter, allowing Gearhart to score and put ahead, 3-0.
Senior Anna Whiddon, the Cowgirl starter in the circle, threw to one batter over the minimum through five innings. The lone baserunner was the two-hole hitter Tyler Porter, who walked in the top of the first. Ashley Knehans broke up the no-hitter and the shutout with a home run to lead off the sixth inning, her fifth of the season.
With one out in the top of the seventh and the bases empty, designated player and cleanup hitter Caitlin Chapin hit a line drive over the wall in right centerfield, cutting the deficit to one, 3-2. But Alaina Burkhart became Whiddon’s 11th strikeout victim of the game, and pinch hitter Delayna Gary grounded out to third base to end the game.
Oklahoma State (30-7) became just the third team this season to reach the 30-win mark. The Cowgirls will travel to Columbia, Mo., this weekend to face the fourth-ranked Missouri Tigers in a two-game set, starting Friday at 5:30 p.m.