Sullinger, Struemph Lead Bears Past Central Michigan, 6-3
Feb. 14, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Missouri State softball team (3-2) got three home runs and a complete game by Erin Struemph to get past Central Michigan, 6-3, in the final game of day one at the UTA Maverick Invitational. Bethany Sullinger hit two home runs and drove in four runs in the victory.
"She (Struemph) was just dominating against a good Central Michigan team," said head coach Holly Hesse. "She got ahead in the count well and had a lot of strikeouts to lead off the inning. It is always exciting to see the ball leave the park. For our number four hitter to have three home runs on the day, you got to love that kind of power in the middle of the lineup."
Struemph tossed the first complete game of her career and the Bears' first of the season. She struck out nine Central Michigan hitters and allowed just three hits.
The Bears got on the board in the first inning again in the night cap. Boeckstiegel hit a home run to center field to give MSU a 1-0 lead. Sullinger launched her second home run of the day three pitches later, a no-doubter to left field.
Missouri State added to the lead in the third. McPherson led off the inning with an infield single off the pitcher's glove. Kerri Cunningham sacrifice bunted her to second and McPherson advanced to third on a ground out to the right side. Boeckstiegel was hit by a pitch, the 17th time in her career. Sullinger followed and drilled a three-run shot over the left field fence to up the lead to 5-0.
Central Michigan chipped away at the lead in the third. A couple of timely hits resulted in two runs for the Chippewas. Then in the sixth, a solo home run by CMU cut the Bears' lead to 5-3.
The Bears will play South Dakota State at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday before the tournament enters the semifinal phase where MSU will play at 3:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. The weekend concludes on Sunday with the Bears either playing in a 10:00 a.m. consolation game or the 12:00 p.m. championship game. Missouri State travels to Memphis next weekend for the Blues City Classic starting on Friday (Feb. 21).