Fourth-seed Missouri Western defeated fifth-seed Northeastern State 4-0 in their first game of the tournament.
Missouri Western softball has been on an absolute tear, with a searing eight-game win streak to end the regular season.
The Griffons got onto the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third inning thanks to sophomore Chloe Armstong's two-run single into left field with the bases loaded. The Griffons would then have two more runs scored thanks to a single to left field from freshman Bubba Hoelscher and sophomore Natalee Weber's single to right field gave the Griffons a 4-0 lead.
Missouri Western's defense also showed up in this game, supporting their offense with talented defensive plays. Sophomore standout Sydney Rader pitched a phenomenal game for Missouri Western when it mattered the most.
Rader pitched a complete game, allowing only one hit in seven innings while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Rader also struck out three Northeastern state batters. In the top of the seventh, Rader walked three batters to load the base. However, she made up for those walks by getting a pivotal strikeout and an infield groundout to come her way to put the game to bed.
Rader moves onto a record of 18-7 in the season, while Missouri Western's overall record sits at 28-20 and 17-9 in conference play.
The Griffons will be back in action on May 6 in Edmond, Oklahoma, against the number one seed Washburn, who carries a record of 43-11. Washburn who are the No. 23-nationally ranked team in the country swept the Griffons on April 1 with scores of 8-1 and 6-5.