Softball Splits MVC-Opening Twin Bill Versus Bradley
March 15, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State softball team (15-8, 1-1) rallied for a game one win and ended the day with a split to open MVC play against visiting Bradley (10-15, 1-1) on Saturday. The Bears came-from-behind to take game one, 6-3, at Killian Stadium before dropping game two, 4-0, to the Braves.
Senior Ashley Brentz had three hits on the day to lead the MSU offense. She also drew her team-leading 12th walk.
In the circle, Chelsea Jones pitched the Bears to victory in game one with five solid innings. She surrendered three runs, but only one was earned. Erin Struemph pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn her second save of the year. In game two, Struemph suffered the loss on four unearned runs despite a seven strikeout performance, scattering five hits over six innings. Jessie Van Es pitch a perfect seventh inning in game two.
Game 1 - Missouri State 6, Bradley 3
In the bottom of the third, Elena Gambill drew a leadoff walk. Again a fielder's choice followed by successive groundouts kept the Bears off the board.
Bradley took the lead in the fourth on a two-out two-run home run by Alex Chandler. Both runs, however, were unearned as an MSU error kept the inning alive with two outs.
In the top of the fifth, the Braves extended the advantage to 3-0 with three base hits in the inning.
Missouri State rallied from a 3-0 hole for the second-straight game. Stacia Boeckstiegel was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, the 18th time in her career to be plunked, five shy of the all-time record. Rebecca McPherson followed and laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw went into right field allowing both runners to move into scoring position. Erin Duewel then tripled to the right field corner, the first three-bagger of her career, to drive home both runs. Allie Alvstad continued the inning with the first hit of her career, a single to right, to drive Duewel in and tie the game. Kerri Cunningham and Brentz reached on successive bunt singles to load the bases. Sullinger came to bat two batters later and singled to center driving in two more runs. The five-run rally tied a single-inning high this season for the Bears.
McPherson reached on an error to begin the Bears' sixth. With two outs, she stole second and advanced to third on a bunt single by Cunningham. On the next pitch, Cunningham stole second and a passed ball by the BU catcher allowed McPherson to score from third.
Struemph struck out three Bradley hitters in the seventh to seal the win.
Game 2 - Missouri State 0, Bradley 4
With one out in the top of the third, Bradley got a runner on a Missouri State error. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for the Braves. After a foul out to the catcher, MSU looked like it was going to get out of the inning. Bradley pitcher Madeline Lynch-Crumrine had other ideas as she drilled a full-count pitch that just stayed fair over the left field fence for a grand slam.
In the bottom of the fourth, Brentz drew a leadoff walk. She was replaced at first by Chelsea Jones on a fielder's choice. Sullinger broke up the no-hit bid with a single to right field, but a line out double play ended the inning.
Boecksteigel began the Bears' fifth with a walk. Two batters later, Duewel reached on a fielding error giving Missouri State a pair of runners. Another fielder's choice and a pop up ended the threat.
Brentz lead off the bottom of the sixth with double to the right-center field gap. Two batters later, she moved to third on a wild pitch, but consecutive ground outs kept the Bears off the board.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Duewel reached on an infield single, but MSU was unable to get a run across.
Sunday's series finale has been postponed and may be made up at a later date pending approval from the MVC. The Bears will wrap up the home stand on Tuesday (March 18) with a 5:00 p.m. game against Northern Colorado. MSU and UNC have only played twice since facing each other in the AIAW national tournament three straight years from 1972-1974. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1974 National Championship in which the Bears defeated Northern Colorado 14-7 in the title game.