Softball Drops Home Game to No. 17/18 Tulsa
March 26, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State softball team (18-10) ran into a dominating pitcher in an 11-0 loss to visiting No. 17/18 Tulsa (29-3) at Killian Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. The Bears were able to muster just two hits in the game.
Tulsa got on the board in the top of the first inning on a one-out solo home run to right. In the inning, freshman starting pitcher Erin Struemph recorded her 80th strikeout of the season. Struemph held off the Golden Hurricane offense in the second, stranding the bases loaded without giving up a run.
Chelsea Jones got the Bears' first hit of the game to lead off the bottom of the second. She laced a single past the shortstop into left field. However, the Tulsa hurler stranded her there to keep MSU off the board.
Tulsa got back-to-back singles to begin the third and corralled three runs home on four base hits in the inning. Sophomore Jessie Van Es entered to pitch the fourth inning for the Bears. She struck out the seventh-best hitter in the nation to begin the inning and was able to pitch around two two-out hits to keep Tulsa from scoring.
In the bottom of the fourth, Kerri Cunningham looked to spark a rally with a four-pitch walk to lead off the inning. She stole second base in the inning, her 16th steal of the year, the most by a player since Jessie Smith stole 17 in 2007. Again the Bears were left without a run as the Tulsa right fielder made a running shoe-string catch to end the frame.
Van Es again looked to pitch around a couple of base hits in the fifth. But a controversial call on a triple in the left field corner helped Tulsa put two runs on the board.
Chelsea Jones came on to pitch the sixth for the Bears and recorded the first 1-2-3 inning of the game for MSU. But in the seventh, Tulsa put the game out of reach with a five-run frame with four of the runs being unearned.
Bethany Sullinger led off the seventh giving the Bears one last chance to score. She ripped a single off the pitcher, but remained at first as the game ended.
The Bears will continue the week at Killian Stadium with a three-game weekend series against Southern Illinois. The conference series will consist of a doubleheader on Saturday and single game on Sunday with games starting at 12:00 p.m. both days.