Softball Ends 2012 Season With 2-0 Loss To Portland State
"You have to give Portland State a lot of credit because they are a feisty group," said Vann Stuedeman, the winningest first-year head coach in MSU history. "They are great competitors and we wish them the very best of luck in the rest of the tournament."
Junior left-handed pitcher Kylie Vry was the star in the circle for the Bulldogs yet again Friday, striking out six in as many innings. The southpaw was the hard-luck loser after surrendering two runs off five hits. Vry wrapped up MSU's appearance in the Big Dance with the individual school record for strikeouts in a NCAA Tournament game (10), series (16) and career (16).
At the dish, senior catcher Ka'ili Smith ended her stellar Bulldog career 1-for-3 with a walk. Sophomore center fielder Jessica Offutt finished 1-for-3 as well, ending her showing with a .429 average (3-for-7). Sophomore Heidi Shape and juniors Jessica Cooley and Shelby Fisher reached base via the walk. Senior Brittany Bell was hit by a pitch for the 52nd time in her career, finishing her tenure in Starkville second all-time in the SEC.
Pitching was the dominant theme through the first 29 outs of the game, with four hits given up in the first 33 at-bats. The 34th at-bat of the elimination contest came with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, when Vikings' junior second baseman Carly McEachran roped a line-drive home run over the wall in right field for a 1-0 lead in favor of Portland State.
The Vikings added one last run in the sixth stanza, which started with Vry recording a quick out on a line drive back to the circle. The junior struck out PSU's Brittany Hendrickson on a wild pitch, but the runner reached first safely. Sophomore Crysta Conn reached on a fielder's choice when Hendrickson was forced out at second. Left fielder Sadie Lopez followed the force out with a single to right-center field to push Conn over to third. Senior pitcher Lindsey Dunlap subbed in for Vry, and threw an illegal pitch on her first throw. The call plated Conn across the dish for the second and final run of the game.
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