Missouri State Softball Downs Butler with a Pair of Big Innings
Feb. 10, 2013
ATLANTA, Ga. - The Missouri State softball team (1-4) registered its first win of the season in comeback fashion against Butler (0-5) on the final day of the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Invitational on Sunday morning. The Bears rallied for three runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth for the victory.
"It's always nice to come back and win once you get down," said head coach Holly Hesse after the win. "Chelsea (Jones) gave us seven good innings and that has been the key for us, for the pitching to continue to improve. The offense didn't press after a slow start, they stayed relaxed and loose. It's good to see CC (Chapin) and Stevie (Pierce) put the ball out of the park."
Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Jones kept the Bears within striking distance early. After a first inning run, she settled in to scatter six hits over the next six innings. Her strikeout came in a big situation, ending an inning with the tying run at third. It was her third-straight complete game to open the season.
At the plate, Missouri State was led by Stevie Pierce with a 2-for-2 day that included a hit by pitch. She scored twice and drove in two on a home run in the sixth. Caitlin Chapin and Stacia Boeckstiegel also added an RBI, Chapin's on a home run.
The Bears got off to a slow start. Butler took a first inning lead with a trio of singles. Lauren Eisenreich cut down a runner at the plate to end the inning and limit the damage to just one run.
Chapin got the Bears' first hit of the game in the fourth, sparking a big inning. With one out, Chapin sent a bomb to left center that easily cleared the fence to tie the game. The home run was the 16th of Chapin's career, tying her for fifth all-time in program history.
Mary Stephens continued the inning and drew a walk. Pierce dropped a single into right-center, sending pinch runner Ali Trickey to third. On the next pitch, a double steal plated Trickey to put the Bears in front. Pierce advanced to third on the play which would prove vital on the next play. Boeckstiegel popped a foul ball up in front of the first base dugout. As the Butler fielder made the catch and fell over the dugout railing, a heads-up Pierce tagged and scored the third Bears' run of the inning.
Butler got a run back in the fifth, but the Bears rallied again in the sixth. Chapin drew a one out walk and moved to second on a groundout. Pierce stepped in with two outs and a runner in scoring position. She drove a 2-1 pitch deep out to left field for her third home run of the young season, tying her career high for a season.
Missouri State continues its season-opening road trip when the team travels to San Antonio, Texas next weekend for five games at the UTSA Tournament. The Bears open the tournament with games against Boise State and host UTSA at 2:00 and 4:30, respectively, on Friday.