Springfield, MO — Missouri State (29-23) exploded for four runs in the top of the sixth to help the Bears to a 7-4 victory over Drake here Saturday in the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The victory marked the club's sixth MVC Tournament title and propelled the Bears to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.
The Bears struck first with a two-run homer in the top of the third by Stevie Pierce, her third of the season.
Drake (34-21) answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth off the bat of Jordan Gronewold, her ninth of the season, but MSU was up to the task and got a bases-load single from Heather Duckworth in the fifth to regain a two-run lead, 3-1.
Missouri State opened the flood gates in the sixth as it sent eight hitters to the plate and collected five hits, including a two-run single by Pierce off Jenna DeLong who was chased in the fifth and then re-entered to face Pierce. Ashley Knehans and Raeven Replogle also had RBI singles in the inning as the Bears built a 7-1 lead.