Struemph Shuts Down Potent Lipscomb Offense in 7-2 Victory
Feb. 23, 2014
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - The Missouri State softball team (10-3) got another stellar outing in the circle from freshman Erin Struemph in a 7-2 win over Lipscomb (11-2) at the Blues City Classic on Sunday morning. Struemph moved to 5-1 on the year and pitched her fourth complete game in a row. The 10-3 record ties the best start to a season under head coach Holly Hesse as the Bears began 10-3 in both 2008 and 1994.
"Lipscomb is certainly having a quality season, coming in 11-1 with their only loss to Missouri," said Hesse. "We pretty much dominated from start to finish against a really good team. I just can't say enough good things about Erin (Struemph) and what she's doing as a pitcher. When she does get in trouble, she bears down and gets out of it. She is just doing all the right things that you want a pitcher to do."
Struemph piled up six strikeouts, giving her 39 on the season in 39 innings pitched. She shut out Lipscomb until the seventh inning, snapping her scoreless streak at 23.1 consecutive innings without allowing a run.
Kerri Cunningham sparked the Bears' offense going 3-for-4 and scoring two runs. She extended her hitting streak to eight games and has scored at least one run in four consecutive games.
The Bears took an early lead by scoring in the first inning for the sixth-straight game. Cunningham led off the game with a bunt single. Ashley Brentz dropped a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to second was not in time giving MSU two aboard. Stacia Boeckstiegel moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt of her own. Sullinger followed and tripled to right-center driving in both runners.
MSU built on its lead in the second. With two outs in the inning, Gambill belted her first career home run over the left field fence.
The Bears upped the advantage in the fourth. Ali Trickey reached and advanced to second on a pair of errors by Lipscomb. Chelsea Jones blooped a single into right pushing Trickey to third. Pinch runner Ciara Flau stole second and both runners scored on a wild pitch and throwing error by the LU catcher. The inning continued when Gambill drew a walk. Cunningham singled up the middle giving the Bears two aboard. Brentz reached on an error and the throw allowed another run to score. After Brentz stole second, Boeckstiegel got down a perfect squeeze to push the fourth run of the inning home.
Lipsomb scored twice in the seventh inning, but Struemph clamped down to strand two runners on base for the complete game.
Missouri State travels to Cape Girardeau, Mo., for the annual Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament next weekend. MSU will face Saint Louis and SEMO on Saturday and play UMKC on Sunday before a seeded championship/consolation game rounds out the weekend. The Bears' home opener is slated for March 12 vs. SIU Edwardsville at 5:00 p.m.