MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Western Illinois softball dropped the final game of the Blues City Classic on Sunday (Feb. 26) against Missouri State, 2-0. The Leathernecks are now 4-9 on the year, while the Bears stand at 5-2 following the win.
Sammy Marshall and Hailey Bickford were named to the Blue City Classic All-Tournament team. Marshall hit .529 (9-for-17), scored six runs and stole eight bases over the weekend while Bickford posted a 0.93 ERA in four appearances. Bickford, who earned the victory against Southeast Missouri State, struck out 14 batters over 15 innings of work and held opposing hitters to a .183 batting average.
The Bears scored both of their runs in the bottom of the second inning. An error put the leadoff hitter on base and a single through the right side put runners at first and second with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners up a base, a run came home on a groundout. The next run scored on a first and third play.
From there the Leatherneck defense held Missouri State at bay, keeping them off the board for the rest of the game. Western Illinois struggled at the plate, striking out a total of eight times and tallying two hits.
Megan Kelly struck out to end the threat. Marshall leads Western Illinois with a .426 batting average (20-for-47) this season and is a perfect 18-for-18 on stole base attempts.singled and stole second in the top of the first inning. She made it to third base with two outs but
Lia Romeo singled with one out in the second inning but was caught stealing to end the inning. Kelly walked with two outs in the fourth inning but was left stranded. Kelly is second on the squad with six walks this season and has reached base in four straight contests.
Teagan Walsh earned the first start on the mound of her collegiate career. She allowed two runs, both unearned, and four hits over 5 1/3 innings pitched. Kelsey Michelini came in to get the final two outs of the sixth inning. Missouri State's Natalie Rose earned the victory on the mound pitching a complete game.
The Fighting Leathernecks are back in action next weekend (March 3-4) when they compete in Southern Illinois' Coach B Classic. Western Illinois takes on SIU (noon) and Southern Illinois Edwardsville (6 p.m.) Saturday and Northern Illinois (9 a.m.) and Wright State (11 a.m.) on Sunday at Charlotte West Stadium.