(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) The MIAA Softball Tournament bracket shook out to serve up three games for Missouri Western on Saturday.
The Griffons rebounded from a 3-0 loss to Fort Hays State to knock out Northeastern State 7-4, setting up another elimination meeting with Emporia State.
Western grabbed an early lead, but a seven-run outburst in the fifth inning lifted the Hornets to a 7-6 victory, snuffing out the Griffons' conference title hopes.
The first match of the day feature another stout pitchers duel between Jackie Bishop (21-8) and Maddie Holub. The MIAA Player and Pitcher of the Year got the best of Western (38-16), allowing two hits and striking out 10 in a complete game shutout.
The difference was a three-run home run by Amanda Vaupal in the top of the seventh. Bishop also gave up just two hits in the loss.
The Griffons rebounded with Janie Smith (17-6) on the hill, allowing four hits and striking out three in seven innings. Keri Lorbert, Sam Elliott, Maegan Roemmich, and Taylor Anding opened the scoring with four runs in the fourth.
After the RiverHawks responded with three tallies in the bottom of the frame, Western struck back with another pair, establishing enough cushion to earn them another game.
Western again grabbed the lead in that final game against Emporia State with Kendall Sorenson's RBI single in the first. Lorbert followed that up by padding her margin as the Griffons' all-time home run leader, knocking a two-run shot to build a 3-0 lead.
With a four-run deficit to work with, the Hornets responded with seven runs in the fifth inning, five coming off Bishop. Smith allowed the final two in relief.
The Griffons did not go quietly as Roemmich launched the third two-run homer of the game in the sixth to pull them within a run. Karly Schmelzer was able to slam the door with the tying run on in the final frame.
Western entered the MIAA Tournament eighth in the NCAA Central Regional. The top eight teams earn regional bids, hosted by each of the top two seeds.