Bears Continue Dominance of Purple Aces with Two Wins at Evansville
March 24, 2012
The Missouri State softball team (13-9, 3-2) got convincing 11-2 and 3-0 wins over MVC foe Evansville (7-18, 0-5) at Cooper Stadium in Evansville, Ind., on Saturday. The victories push Missouri State's streak to eight consecutive wins over the Purple Aces and 20 wins in the last 23 games against UE.
"Any win on conference is big, so this is huge for us," said head coach Holly Hesse. "CC (Chapin) has the capability of hitting the ball out of the park every pitch. It was to see her come around and have a big day for us."
Pitcher Natalie Rose struck out nine on the day to move into sole possession of third place on the all-time Missouri State strikeout list. Rose was credited with the victory in both games to improve her record to 9-2. In game two, she fired her ninth complete game of the season and third shutout.
"Any time you can finish your career in the top-three in any category, that's pretty amazing," continued Hesse. "She is in the early stages of her senior year and has had an outstanding career for us and has proven herself as one of the top pitchers in the league."
Ashley Brentz, Caitlin Chapin, Heather Duckworth, Lauren Eisenreich and Chelsea Jones all had multiple hits on the day. Chapin, Kirstin Cutter, Rebecca McPherson and Raeven Replogle had multiple RBI in the doubleheader.
Game 1 (Missouri State 11, Evansville 2 [6 innings])
Missouri State added to the lead in the second. Stevie Pierce and Heather Duckworth drew back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. Lauren Eisenreich sacrificed the runners to second and third. Raeven Replogle came up and dropped a bunt in front of the plate and Pierce scored under the flip from the UE first baseman to give MSU a 2-0 lead.
The Bears continued to add runs in the third inning. Brentz singled to center, moved to second on a wild pitch and on to third on a McPherson groundout to first. After Chelsea Jones was hit by a pitch, pinch runner Alissa Trickey provoked a rundown and Brentz scored on the play.
Missouri State erupted for its biggest inning of the season in the fourth. Duckworth doubled to right-center to start the one-out rally. Eisenreich lined a single off the UE second baseman's glove to give the Bears runners on the corners. Replogle was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kirstin Cutter grounded back to the pitcher, who bobbled the ball and all Bears' runners were safe.
Brentz continued the one-out rally with a sharp single to left as all three runners advanced. McPherson drew a bases loaded walk to push across the third run of the inning. Jones singled to left for an RBI. Then Caitlin Chapin grounded back to the mound, but the UE pitcher threw the ball away and two more runs scored to give the Bears a six-run inning.
After UE extended the game with a run in the fifth, Jones lined a two-out double to left field in the top of the sixth. Chapin followed and launched a two-run homer to give the Bears an 11-2 lead. It was Chapin's team-leading third dinger of the season and 13th of her career.
The 11-run output was a season high for Missouri State. The last time the Bears scored more than 10 runs in a game was on March 27, 2010, a 14-10 win at Evansville.
Game 2 (Missouri State 3, Evansville 0)
The Bears again took the early lead in game two. After getting out of a confusing bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first, MSU got on the board in the second. Caitlin Chapin lined a single up the middle to start the rally. Stevie Pierce followed with a walk and Heather Duckworth singled to left to load the bases for MSU. Raeven Replogle and Kirstin Cutter drew back-to-back bases loaded walks as the Bears took a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, the Bears added to the lead. Chapin lead off and hit her second home run of the day to give MSU a 3-0 advantage.
Missouri State will wrap up the conference series at Evansville on Sunday, March 25, with a 12:00 p.m. game. The Bears are back at Killian Stadium to face the Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday in a 4:00 p.m. doubleheader before setting back out on the road to play at Drake and at UMKC.