Pitching and Defense Key as Softball Splits Doubleheader with SEMO
 
Jessie Van Es allowed just three hits to earn her first win as a Bear.
 
Jessie Van Es allowed just three hits to earn her first win as a Bear.
 

March 7, 2013

Box Score

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The Missouri State softball team (8-9) got outstanding pitching from all three pitchers to split the doubleheader at Southeast Missouri State (4-8) on Thursday afternoon in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The Bears fell in game one, 3-2, but rallied for a 2-1 victory in game two.

"It is great for us to have two close games," said head coach Holly Hesse, "these are the games that push us to be better. I was excited to see us come back. Jessie (Van Es) was excellent on the mound and she had to be to earn her first win today. Our defense was tremendous all day. We made some great plays, including that one to end the game."

In game one, pitcher Chelsea Jones tossed her league-leading 10th complete game of the season. She struck out four batters and did not allow a walk in the game.

In game two, freshman pitcher Jessie Van Es picked up her first win with a three-hit performance. Junior transfer Rachel Brisker came on in relief to earn the save in her Bears' debut.

At the plate, Caitlin Chapin was 2-for-5 with two runs batted in. She blasted her third home run of the year, the 17th of her career to move alone into fifth all-time. Kirstin Cutter had three hits and Heather Duckworth drove in two runs.

Game 1 - Missouri State 2, SEMO 3
The Bears gained an early lead after neither team plated a run in the first inning. Mary Stephens cracked a single off the third baseman's glove to lead off the second. Pinch runner Ciara Flau moved to second as Stevie Pierce laced a single through the left side. Back-to-back groundouts to the right side pushed the runners around and plated Flau for the first run of the game.

 

 

MSU kept getting runners on in the third. Cutter and Kerri Cunningham reached on one-out singles. A fielder's choice put runners on the corners with two away, but the Bears were unable to convert.

In the fourth inning, Chapin left no doubt when she crushed a solo home run to left, doubling the Bears' lead. It was Chapin's third home run of the year and 17th of her career giving her sole possession of fifth in program history.

SEMO got a run back in its half of the inning. A two-out single followed by an RBI triple split the lead in half. The Redhawks then took the lead in the fifth with three-consecutive singles and a steal of home. Cunningham limited the damage as she threw out the runner at the plate to end the inning.

In the sixth, Stacia Boeckstiegel extended her hitting streak to five games with a single that dropped in centerfield. A line-out double play ended the inning and the Bears' attempt to tie the game.

The Bears got back to work in the seventh. Lauren Eisenreich started the inning with a sharp single to center. She stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout, but was stranded as the game ended.

Game 2 - Missouri State 2, SEMO 1
Missouri State put together a two-out rally in the third inning. Cunningham dropped a perfect bunt in front of the plate and reached with a single. Cutter followed and slapped a slow roller back to the pitcher, but beat the throw to first. Heather Duckworth came to the plate and worked out of an 0-2 hole to double over the centerfielder's head, driving in both runners.

After SEMO cut the lead in half in the fourth, MSU started a rally in the fifth. Amber Dreher drew a leadoff walk. Braxton Coil dropped a bunt in front of the plate, but the Redhawks' throw to second was too late to get an out. Two batters later, Cutter beat out yet another infield hit to load the bases. The SEMO hurler wiggled out of the jam and the Bears left the bags full without plating a run.

The Bears got a runner aboard in the sixth and again in the seventh, but were unable to push across a run and increase the lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Van Es got the leadoff hitter on a foul pop-up. After a single, Brisker made her MSU debut and the first batter she faced flew out to right. The Redhawks didn't stop as back-to-back singles looked to tie the game, but Eisenreich came up throwing, nabbing the runner at the plate to end the game.

Missouri State will travel to Memphis, Tenn., next Tuesday for a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader against the Tigers and then on to Edwardsville, Ill., for a single game versus the Cougars at 4:00 p.m. Missouri State will host UNI to open conference play in a home-opening series on March 16 and 17 at Killian Stadium.

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