With a chance to earn a higher seed and enter the Mid-American Conference tournament with some much needed momentum, the Ball State field hockey team couldn't match the firepower of Missouri State, dropping its conference finale in Springfield, Mo., on Sunday afternoon.

Senior goalkeeper Chelsea Mitchell, who had a tremendous outing with 10 saves against Iowa on Friday, couldn't mirror her performance against the Bears, who tagged her with four goals during the afternoon.

The game was scoreless midway through the first half until the Bear's Hillary Lawless broke the tie with her 10th goal of the season to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.

Senior co-captain Devanny Kuhn answered for the Cardinals by tying the game at 1-1 with her team-leading seventh goal of the season.

The Bears continued to press offensively and the results came in waves. Senior Casey Bayliss was unstoppable for the Bears, notching her second hat trick of the season by scoring once in the first half and twice in the second, en route to a 4-3 win on Missouri State's Senior Day.

What proved to be a disappointing conclusion to the season shed some light on what may ahead for coach Beth Maddox and her team.

Freshman Tori Widrick tied her career-high with two important goals, which enabled the Cardinals to keep pace with the Bears. Both of Widrick's scores were unassisted.

Following the game, Maddox declined to answer any questions regarding the game. However, Maddox acknowledged her team would turn the page, narrowing their focus on the MAC tournament, which is set to begin Thursday in Athens, Ohio.

"We are focused on the tournament at this point," Maddox said. "We will prepare accordingly and do our best on Thursday."

The No. 4 seeded Cardinals will have three days to prepare for their first round game against No. 5 seed Miami on Thursday at 11 a.m. The Cardinals swept the season series against the RedHawks, outscoring them by a combined 9-5.