Softball Bears Swat Two Homers in Home Opening Split with Iowa State
March 10, 2012
The Missouri State softball team (9-5) got a complete game shutout by senior pitcher Natalie Rose to take game one of the home opening doubleheader against Iowa State (7-12) on Saturday by a 4-0 score. In game two at Killian Stadium, the Cyclones rallied for a 6-4 win over the Bears as the teams split the doubleheader.
"It was good to be back at home at Killian today," said head coach Holly Hesse, who is now 16-8 in home openers. "Nat(alie) was dominant in the first game against a good Big 12 team. There was good defense behind her and it was nice to get the home opener victory. Stevie, CC (Chapin) and Boeckstiegel all had big days at the plate and we are getting more offensive contributions throughout the lineup."
Game 1 vs. Iowa State
Rose struck out the side in the first inning, setting the tone for the game. Neither team scored in the first three innings.
Pierce led off the bottom of the fourth inning and launched a 2-1 pitch over the right-centerfield wall to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. The home run was Pierce's first of the season and seventh of her career.
Neither team scored in the fifth inning, but MSU exploded for three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Caitlin Chapin smacked a lead-off double. Two batters later, Eisenreich drew a walk to put two aboard for Duckworth. Duckworth laced a single that scored both runners. The next batter, Stacia Boeckstiegel, launched a deep fly to straight-away centerfield. The ball glanced off the Iowa State fielder for an RBI double to push the Bears lead to 4-0.
The Cyclones got a couple of hits in the seventh, but were held off the scoreboard by Rose for her second shutout of the season. Rose improved to 5-0 on the season, firing her fifth complete game of the year.
Game 2 vs. Iowa State
Iowa State would draw even in the fourth inning. A double, hit batter and two singles got the Cyclones three runs in the fourth to tie the game. Then in the fifth inning, Iowa State strung together a couple hits to plate the go-ahead run.
The sixth inning saw the Cyclones plate a couple more runs to take a 6-3 lead into the last of the sixth inning. Kirstin Cutter lined a one-out single to center to start the Bears rally in the bottom of the sixth. Pierce followed with a double to the right-center gap and Cutter scored all the way from first. But the Bears weren't able to muster another rally and fell, 6-4.
The Bears will wrap up the three-game series against Iowa State at Killian Stadium on Sunday (March 11) at 12:00 p.m. The game will be recorded for tape delay broadcast on MediaCom TV. The Bears will head to Conway, Ark., for a single game on Wednesday (March 14) at 5:00 p.m. before returning to Killian for a three-game set with Illinois State next Friday.