When it rains, it pours.
It poured on the Pittsburg State Gorillas even before the genuine article began falling early in the second game of a scheduled doubleheader Wednesday afternoon against the No. 10-ranked Missouri-St. Louis Tritons at the PSU Softball Complex.
The second game was called off due to rain and deteriorating field conditions and Pitt State lost the first 9-1, devastated by six errors.
The Tritons, on a 12-game winning streak and owners of a 19-2 overall record, possess a team ERA of — get this — 1.45, a statistic on the improvement since their ERA through March 23 was 1.58.
That high-quality pitching leaves opponents little margin for errors and unfortunately, the Gorillas were not having their best fielding day Wednesday.
In the top of the first, Katie Schultz and Ashleigh King reached on back-to-back errors, one throwing, one fielding, and freshman Alex Stupek hit a two-run single to center scoring both Schultz and King.
After tough-luck Pitt State starter Samantha Grove and the Gorillas held Missouri-St. Louis scoreless in the second and third innings, the Tritons scored three in the fourth, helped out by two Pitt State errors, one throwing, one fielding.
Madison Zbaraschuk connected on a double in the fourth, plating Stupek, who had reached on the fielding error to lead off the frame. The next two runs in the fourth came on a fielding error and a passed ball.
Pitt State plated its only run against Missouri-St. Louis starter Hannah Perryman in the bottom half of the fourth, as designated player McKenzie Rynard found an offering to her liking and deposited it over the right field fence. Rynard's homer gave her seventh on the season.
The Tritons collected three more unearned runs in the fifth, going ahead 8-1 on not a single earned run against Grove, who earned MIAA/AstroTurf Pitcher of the Week earlier this season but fell to 8-5 with the loss Wednesday. In fact, Missouri-St. Louis collected its first eight runs on just four hits, demonstrating once more how much tough luck Grove faced.
Katie Wood closed out the game in the sixth with a walk-off single to center, the only run charged to Grove.
Pitt State managed only four hits against Perryman, whose ERA actually increased Wednesday to 0.74 from 0.71. At only two points this season has Perryman's ERA stood above 1.00, only as high as 1.08. As a freshman last season, Perryman went 24-6 with a 1.55 ERA and struck out 352 hitters.
Rynard collected a home run and a single, and Tiffany Brown hit a double. Nicole Nease also singled and nobody outside the 3-4-5 hitters of the Gorillas lineup recorded a hit. Brown remains in the pursuit of both single-season and career home run records at Pitt State, one shy of tying both marks, 17 and 46 respectively.
Pitt State (15-13) dropped its third straight since a 11-2 win over Northern State last Saturday at the Missouri Western Regional Crossover. In the last week, the Gorillas have faced three opponents ranked in the top 11 of the nation — No. 9 Emporia State, No. 10 Missouri-St. Louis and No. 11 Augustana.
Pitt State defeated Emporia State 3-2 last Friday and lost to Augustana 11-7 on Sunday, the first loss of the three-game skid.
The Gorillas return to MIAA action this weekend after seven consecutive nonconference games with road doubleheaders against Northwest Missouri and Missouri Western.
NO. 10 TRITONS 9, GORILLAS 1 (6 INNINGS)
MSL200 331 — 9 7 1
PSU000 100 — 1 4 6
Hannah Perryman and Madison Zbaraschuk. Samantha Grove and Nicole Nease. WP: Perryman (10-2). LP: Grove (8-5). E: Katie Wood; Alex Perez 3, Jordan Bradshaw 2, Bailey Letts. HR: McKenzie Rynard. 2B: Zbaraschuk; Tiffany Brown. HBP: Katie Schultz. A: 50.