Missouri State Prevails 10-7 in Battle of the Bears in Conway
March 11, 2014
CONWAY, Ark. - The Missouri State softball team (13-7) put runs on the board in five different innings and hit a pair of home runs en route to a 10-7 victory over Central Arkansas (10-16) in Conway, Ark., on Tuesday.
For the third-straight game, MSU jumped out in front with a run in the second inning. Heather Duckworth led off the frame with a walk. Two batters later, she was replaced at first by Rebecca McPherson on a fielder's choice. After McPherson stole second, she crossed the plate on a single up the middle by Elena Gambill. The run snapped a scoreless streak of more than two games versus UCA.
MSU extended the lead in the third inning. Kerri Cunningham reached base as her speed caused a UCA fielding error. She was sacrifice bunted to second by Ashley Brentz. Two batters later, Bethany Sullinger singled to left sending Cunningham across the plate. Another UCA error on the play allowed Sullinger to move all the way to third. Her base location didn't matter as Duckworth launched her second home run of the year to left field.
UCA got two runs back in the bottom of the inning on a leadoff double and two-run home run of its own.
Missouri State added to its advantage in the fourth. McPherson singled up the middle to start the rally. Two batters later, Ali Trickey reached on a bunt single and both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Cunningham dropped a bunt that was mishandled by the third baseman scoring the first run of the inning. Brentz followed and hit a dribbler up the first base line that stayed fair to drive in the second run of the frame.
Central Arkansas tightened the game with two home runs scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Boeckstiegel tripled with one out in the fifth, her third triple on the year. McPherson followed and flew to shallow center, but a nice slide at home by Boeckstiegel turned it into a sacrifice fly and RBI for McPherson.
In the top of the seventh, Chelsea Jones singled to lead it off. Sullinger replaced pinch runner Suzanne Allen at first on a fielder's choice. The inning continued with Duckworth singling over the shortstop to put two runners aboard. Boeckstiegel cleared the bases with her third home run of the year, a three-run blast to left.
UCA put two runs on the board in the seventh, but MSU prevailed 10-7.
Missouri State will kick off a five-game home stand with Thursday's home opener at 4:00 p.m. versus SIU Edwardsville (6-13). The Bears will open conference play at Killian Stadium on Saturday (March 15) with a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader against Bradley (9-14). The series will conclude on Sunday with a single game also at 12:00 p.m. MSU's home stand will wrap up on Tuesday (March 18) with a 5:00 p.m. game against Northern Colorado.