Offensive Explosion Powers Bears to Victory at UT Arlington
Feb. 14, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Missouri State softball team (2-2) racked up 13 runs on 16 hits in a 13-4 six-inning victory against UT Arlington to open the UTA Maverick Invitational. Six different Bears had multiple hits in the game.
"It is really exciting to see so many hitters in the lineup contributing," said head coach Holly Hesse. "We just executed really well at the plate today. Chelsea (Jones) was clutch all day with some big hits in some key situations. I am really excited about what Erin Struemph has shown us in relief."
Junior Chelsea Jones went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs. All three of her hits were doubles, the first Bears with three doubles in a game since Staci Wattie accomplished the feat on March 24, 2000. She also picked up her first win of the season with 4.1 innings in the circle.
The Bears' offense started clicking in the first inning. With two outs, Stacia Boeckstiegel laced a single into right field. Two pitches later, Bethany Sullinger roped a line-drive home run over the right field fence to put the Bears in front 2-0. MSU didn't stop there as Heather Duckworth and Madison Jones each singled to continue the frame, but the Bears were unable to push either to the plate.
The second inning looked similar to the first. Kerri Cunningham reached on an infield two-out single to start the rally. Ashley Brentz fouled off several pitches and eventually worked a walk. Boeckstiegel lined a double into the left-center gap plating the first run of the inning, the third-straight game with an RBI. Sullinger followed and looped an infield single just over the pitcher to push across another run.
The Mavericks answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on three base hits, but MSU pitcher Chelsea Jones limited the damage by stranding the bases loaded to end the inning.
Missouri State came right back in the third. Madison Jones reached on an infield single to start the inning. Chelsea Jones drove a double into left-center and Madison Jones slid around the catcher to score from first.
The Bears broke the game open in the fifth. Duckworth singled to center to begin the inning. Madison Jones put down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw sailed into right field putting both runners in scoring position. Chelsea Jones blooped a double in behind first base to plate the first run. Pinch hitter Allie Alvstad reached on a fielder's choice and the UTA attempt to cut down the runner at the plate resulted in the second Mavericks' error of the inning allowing a run to score. Ali Trickey continued the inning with a chopper over the pitcher to score another run. Cunningham grounded out, but it was a productive out, driving in the fourth run of the frame. Brentz doubled with two outs for her 100th career hit.
UTA put a string of hits together to get a couple of runs back in the bottom of the fifth. Erin Struemph came on to pitch in the inning and struck out two, including the final batter of the frame with the bases loaded.
MSU continued to pile up the runs in the sixth. Duckworth walked with one out. She advanced to second on a Madison Jones single through the left side. Chelsea Jones doubled for the third time in the game to drive home Duckworth. Erin Duewel followed and reached base on a squeeze bunt. Trickey doubled to drive home two more runs and make it 13-4.
The Bears return to action around 7:00 p.m. this evening against Central Michigan. The weekend continues with two games tomorrow and a final game on Sunday.