Springfield, Mo. — Oklahoma State’s Megan Castle hit a home run to lead off the seventh inning and Kat Espinosa threw a complete-game shutout as the Cowgirl softball team defeated Missouri State 1-0 here Thursday afternoon at Killiam Stadium.
Castle’s home run was just her second of the season and the sixth of her career. Both homers this season have been leadoff dingers.
Oklahoma State had other opportunities to score. Mariah Gearhart led off the game with a base hit and stole second, but was stranded. Back-to-back walks put runners on first and second in the third inning, but Alysia Hamilton flew out to centerfield to end the frame.
Sophomore Julie Ward led off the fourth inning with a base hit to right field and after advancing to second on a passed ball, reached third when Castle dribbled a ball to second base. Christa Gammon misplayed the ball, allowing Castle to reach base safely. Ashley Boyd hit a fly ball to right field, scoring Ward from third, but she was called out on an appeal for leaving the base early.
Missouri State had at least two runners on base in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. The Bears had the bases loaded in the fourth with one out, but Cowgirl hurler Kat Espinosa got a strikeout and a pop up to end the threat.
Espinosa scattered four hits while striking out nine and walking two. She improved to 13-3 on the season.
Oklahoma State (34-7 overall, 5-0 Big 12) will host the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday and Sunday, April 10-11, at 2 and 12 p.m., respectively.