Bears Rebound for Split with Oklahoma State on Sunday
March 9, 2014
STILLWATER, Okla. - The Missouri State softball team (12-7) got a 10-strikeout performance from Erin Struemph and hit three home runs as a team on the day in a split against host Oklahoma State on the final day of the Mizuno Classic in Stillwater, Okla. MSU dropped the first game 5-2 before rallying for a 5-1 win in game two.
"I thought we played really well today," said head coach Holly Hesse. "It gives us a lot of confidence to get this win. We put all parts of the game together. We had really good pitching all day and played good defense. At this point in the season we want to be having all aspects of the game there and it was good to see that today."
Chelsea Jones racked up four hits on the day including her first home run of the season. She drove in two and scored in the win. In the circle, she tossed a complete game in game one she struck out three and did not allow a walk.
Junior Rebecca McPherson had her first career three-hit game in game two. She drove in a run in the victory and also drew a walk on the day.
Game 1 - Missouri State 2, Oklahoma State 5
The Bears added to the lead in the third. Ali Trickey doubled to left-center to begin the rally. Kerri Cunningham sacrifice bunted her to third. Ashley Brentz then singled up the middle to score Trickey and up the lead to 2-0.
After OSU pushed a run across in the top of the fourth, Duckworth led off the bottom half with a double to right-center. Stacia Boeckstiegel put down a sacrifice bunt, but the ball rolled all the way to third base for a fielder's choice. Rebecca McPherson walked, but both runners remained on base as the inning closed.
Again in the fifth the Bears looked to start a rally. With two away, Chelsea Jones doubled to the wall in left-center. MSU wasn't able to capitalize though, stranding pinch runner Suzanne Allen on base.
After giving up two runs to Oklahoma State in the sixth and seventh innings, the Bears took one last crack at the Cowgirls. With one away, Cunningham and Brentz drew back-to-back walks to bring the tying run to the plate. But the OSU pitcher wiggled off the hook for a game one win.
Game 2 - Missouri State 5, Oklahoma State 1
MSU continued to score in the third. After a one-out walk to Brentz, OSU sent a relief pitcher to the circle. Jones greeted her rudely with a two-run home run to left. Sullinger continued the inning with a single over the third baseman's glove and was then replaced at first by Duckworth on a fielder's choice. Boeckstiegel drew a walk to move Duckworth into scoring position. McPherson followed and singled to left sending the third run of the inning home and putting runners at the corners. McPherson then stole second and the throw sailed into center allowing Boeckstiegel to score.
The Bears looked to add to the lead in the fourth. Cunningham led off the frame with a single down the left field line. Two batters later, Jones singled to left and both runners moved into scoring position on the throw to third. The Cowgirls stranded the runners there, though, to keep MSU off the board.
In the fifth, McPherson picked up her third hit of the game with a one-out single up the middle. It was the first three-hit game of McPherson's career.
OSU scored its only run of the game in the fifth as Struemph shut down the Cowgirl offense on just five hits. She ended the game with her 10th strikeouts of the game.
Missouri State travels to Conway, Ark., on Tuesday to close out the season-opening road trip with a rescheduled 5:00 p.m. game against Central Arkansas. The Bears then open the home slate on Wednesday, March 12 vs. SIU Edwardsville at 5:00 p.m. That game marks the beginning of a five-game home stand that includes the MVC opening series against Bradley (March 15-16).