Pitching Dominates as Bears Get a Pair of Shutout Wins
Feb. 26, 2012
The Missouri State softball team (6-2) got dominant pitching performances from Natalie Rose and Chelsea Jones in a pair of shutout wins in the final day of the Blues City Classic in Memphis, Tenn. The Bears defeated Western Illinois (4-9) by a 2-0 score and followed that with a 1-0 win over host Memphis (3-12).
"We had tremendous pitching performances today," said head coach Holly Hesse. "It all starts in the eight-foot circle and they certainly stepped up against two very good teams. We also had a bunch of great defensive plays that helped secure the wins today."
Game 1 vs. Western Illinois (4-9)
The Bears got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Caitlin Chapin reached on an error and moved to second base when Lauren Eisenreich singled to left field. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Stevie Pierce. Heather Duckworth drove in the Bears first run with a fielder's choice groundout. After Raeven Replogle was hit by a pitch, she stole second base and Eisenreich scored on an attempted rundown of Replogle.
Missouri State started rallies in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Brentz drew a walk, Rebecca McPherson reached on a fielder's choice and Chapin was hit by a pitch, but the Bears left two runners stranded. In the fourth, Duckworth lined a single down the left field line. But WIU got a double play grounder to get out of the inning.
The Bears again mounted a rally in the sixth. McPherson led off with a single up the middle. Chapin reached on a fielder's choice. Eisenreich followed with a base of balls, but the Bears again left a pair of runners stranded.
Game 2 vs. Memphis (3-12)
Missouri State got an early lead in the top of the third inning. Duckworth lined a double off the centerfield wall to lead off the inning. She was sacrificed to third by Stevie Pierce. Replogle came up and dropped a perfect squeeze bunt in front of the plate and Duckworth scored to give MSU a 1-0 advantage.
The Bears got a two-out rally going in the fifth inning. Pierce laced a double into the left field corner. Replogle followed and was hit by a pitch. But the Tigers got a pop up to end the inning, stranding two runners on base.
The Bears got out a jam in the sixth inning. A pair of Memphis singles gave the Tigers runners at the corners with two outs. Relief pitcher Rose came in and got Jessica Phillips to pop up to right field to end the threat.
Eisenreich lined a double off the left field wall to start a Bears' rally in the seventh. Pierce drew a two-out walk and MSU had two runners aboard. Again the Tigers were able to strand both runners and get out the inning unscathed. But the one run was all the Bears needed for a win over Memphis.
Missouri State will return to action on Friday at the UMKC Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament held in Kansas City, Mo. The Bears will face Saint Louis and Missouri at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively on Friday. Play will continue on Saturday when the Bears face host UMKC at 5:00 p.m. The Bears will then round out the tournament on Sunday with a game against SEMO at 1:00 p.m. Missouri State's home opener will be Saturday, March 10 as the Bears host Iowa State in a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. at Killian Stadium.