Softball Suffers Pair of Tough Losses to UMKC on Tuesday
March 19, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State softball team (10-14, 1-1) hung tough in a pair of losses to visiting UMKC (11-12) at Killian Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. The Bears fell in game one, 2-1, and lost game two late, 7-2.
"We were right there in both games," said head coach Holly Hesse. "We had runners on in nearly every inning and out hit UMKC in game two. I thought our pitching was the best part of our game today. It was just one of those days where we didn't get any breaks."
Sophomore Chelsea Jones went the distance in game one, tossing her 13th complete game of the season. She struck out three and did not issue a walk. In game two, freshman Jessie Van Es also struck out three batters while scattering five hits in five innings pitched.
The Bears' reserves came up with clutch hits and took advantage of opportunities. Freshman Bethany Sullinger clocked a two-run pinch-hit double in game two. Sophomore Rebecca McPherson had two hits and scored a run as she got the start in game two. Freshman catcher Braxton Coil had two sac bunts to move runners in game two as well.
Game 1 - Missouri State 1, UMKC 2
After the Kangaroos plated a pair of runners on a two-out single in the third, the Bears got back to work. Caitlin Chapin lined a solid single to center to lead off. Brentz followed and reached on a perfect drop-bunt single. A fielder's choice and a couple pop ups ended the threat.
Brentz drew a two-out in the fifth and Stevie Pierce drew a free pass to lead off the seventh, but the Bears were not able to convert either into a game-tying run. Pierce's walk was her team-leading 11th of the season and 74th career base on balls, fifth-most in school history.
Game 2 - Missouri State 2, UMKC 7
In the Bears' first, things looked promising. Kirstin Cutter reached on an infield bunt single and stole second. The next batter, Brentz, drew a walk and Duckworth sacrifice bunted the runners into scoring position. But back-to-back infield ground outs ended the inning.
Again in the second, the Bears began the inning well. Eisenreich and McPherson started the frame with back-to-back singles. Coil sacrificed both runners into scoring position, but the UMKC pitcher got out of the inning without a run scored.
In the fourth Inning, UMKC's Caitlin Christopher hit a solo home run to put the Bears behind 2-0. Then in the Bears' half of the inning, the start was a mirror image of the second inning. Eisenreich and McPherson singled with Coil moving them to scoring position. MSU sent pinch hitter Bethany Sullinger to the plate and she popped an 0-2 pitch off the left-center wall to knot the game at 2-2.
UMKC converted a lead-off double into a run in the sixth to retake the lead. Eisenreich singled again to start the Bears' sixth. McPherson rallied from an 0-2 count to draw a walk, but a fielder's choice got the lead runner and the rally slowly came to an end.
The Kangaroos busted the game open in the top of the seventh, scoring four unearned runs to put the game out of reach.
Missouri State will travel to Lawrence, Kan., on Thursday for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader against the Jayhawks before getting back into conference play. The Bears head to Terre Haute, Ind., to face the Sycamores on Saturday and Sunday in a three-game set.