Softball Wins Championship at UTA Maverick Invitational, 3-0
Feb. 16, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Missouri State softball team (6-2) claimed the championship at the UTA Maverick Invitational with a 3-0 triumph over host UT Arlington (6-4) on Sunday afternoon. Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph pitched her first career shutout and second complete game of the weekend. She struck out eight and did not allow a walk while scattering seven hits.
"It has to start with pitching and our pitching staff was really phenomenal in all five games, said head coach Holly Hesse. "They gave us a chance to win every game. Back-to-back shutouts is just awesome. The offense is doing a great job, scoring early in the game. The top of the order is ready to go and really sets the tone for us. Bethany (Sullinger) just had an amazing weekend with big hits, clutch hits all weekend."
The Bears jumped out in front early. Ashley Brentz worked a nine-pitch walk with one out in the bottom of the first. She moved to second two batters later when Bethany Sullinger singled through the left side. Heather Duckworth continued the inning driving home both runners with a triple into the right field corner to put MSU ahead, 2-0. The triple was the 100th career hit for Duckworth.
MSU tried to up the advantage in the second inning. With two down, Erin Duewel got it started with a single to right field. Kerri Cunningham followed and caught UTA napping with a drop bunt single. Brentz came up and worked another walk to load the bases, but UTA got out of trouble with a groundout to end the Bears' inning.
The Bears continued to hit in the third inning. Sullinger picked up her second hit of the game with a line-drive single to center. Duckworth singled to right and both runners advanced into scoring position on the throw to third base. UTA again was able to get out of trouble with three infield outs to keep MSU off the board.
MSU added to its lead in the fifth. Sullinger again singled with one away. Two batters later, Madison Jones singled to right and both runners moved into scoring position on the play. Chelsea Jones came up and dropped a bunt single to score Sullinger form third putting the Bears up 3-0.
Missouri State travels to Memphis next weekend for the Blues City Classic starting on Friday (Feb. 21). The Bears will face Morehead State, Alabama A&M, Appalachian State, host-Memphis and Lipscomb at the BCC. The Bears' home opener is slated for March 12 vs. SIU Edwardsville at 5:00 p.m.