SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri State Bears are one step closer to breaking through to an NCAA Regional.

The Bears beat Illinois State 5-1 on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference softball tournament at Killian Stadium in Springfield.

Steffany Dickerson recorded her 20 win of the season with a seven strikeout, one earned run allowed effort for Missouri State (26-18).

Dickerson also hit a single to left field in the bottom of the fifth to score Kelsie Lewis and Olivia Krehbiel, which put Missouri State up 5-0.

Krehbiel had the biggest hit of the game, breaking a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the third inning with a three run home run to center field.

The Bears will face top-seeded Northern Iowa in the MVC title game on Saturday afternoon.

Missouri State will be the visiting team, on its home field, as it looks to end an 11-year NCAA tournament drought.