TNE Editor
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NSU softball closes regular season with home split

Published 4/21/18

TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State beat Mother Nature out and sneaked in its regular season finale on Saturday morning to split with Missouri Southern. 
The RiverHawks (29-24, 15-11 MIAA) broke up a no-hitter in the opener with a four run sixth to beat the Lions (23-29, 10-16 MIAA) 4-2 before falling 19-12 in the nightcap.
Heading into the MIAA Tournament that starts on Thursday, the RiverHawks will be the No. 6 seed with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.  Northeastern State will play against the No. 3 seed at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.
Trailing 4-0 in the opener, Addison Elbon halted a no-hit bid by Missouri Southern with a leadoff homer in the sixth.  The blast was a momentum changer for the RiverHawks who plated three more runs in the frame for the win.
All three of NSU's hits came in that third inning with Kelsey Harmon having the go-ahead RBI.  Sylver Collins was a ceremonial starter on Senior Day with Gail Young (14-13) picking up the decision. 
In the nightcap, the RiverHawks dug themselves out of a 5-0 opening frame by MSSU.  Northeastern State plated eight runs in the first four innings to take an 8-5 lead the Lions.
Already eliminated from postseason play, Missouri Southern did not go down without a fight and hung up crooked numbers in the final three innings.  The Lions smashed out seven hits for seven runs in fifth, then hit a grand slam in the sixth, and added three more in the seventh.
Despite all the offense by MSSU, the RiverHawks had 16 hits, with Paige Gann and Harmon having three.  Gann, who already owns the NSU record for home runs, hit her 44th to open the second inning.  Jess Schuler also homered for the tenth time this season in the same frame. 
Sydney Balderrama (14-8) started the game and went two innings in the loss.
Official brackets for the MIAA Tournament will be released on Sunday evening following the conclusion of the regular season.

Northeastern State 4, Missouri Southern 2 (Apr 21, 2018 at Tahlequah, Okla.) (Game 1) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Missouri Southern... 101 000 0 - 2 7 0 (22-29, 9-16 MIAA) Northeastern State.. 000 004 X - 4 3 0 (29-23, 15-10 MIAA) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Missouri Southern - Guzman,T; Atkin,A(6) and Badalamenti. Northeastern State - Collins,Sylver; Young,Gail(1) and Neal,Delaney; Ibarra,Kyla. Win-Young,Gail(14-13) Loss-Guzman,T(11-11) T-1:20 A-200 HR NSU - Elbon,Addison. Weather: Cloudy & 53 Guzman,T faced 4 batters in the 6th.
Missouri Southern 19, Northeastern State 12 (Apr 21, 2018 at Tahlequah, Okla.) (Game 2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Missouri Southern... 500 074 3 - 19 17 2 (23-29, 10-16 MIAA) Northeastern State.. 421 131 0 - 12 16 2 (29-24, 15-11 MIAA) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Missouri Southern - Hamm,N; Guzman,T(3); Cox,M(3); Atkin,A(5) and Gardner,S. Northeastern State - Balderrama,Sydney; Azua,Alex(3); Young,Gail(7) and Ibarra,Kyla. Win-Atkin,A(4-7) Loss-Balderrama,Sydney(14-14) T-2:45 A-200 HR MSSU - Windsor,E; Gardner,S. HR NSU - Crick,Sierra; Gann,Paige; Schuler,Jess. Weather: Cloudy & 55. Rain likely Balderrama faced 4 batters in the 1st. Azua,A faced 3 batters in the 5th.

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