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Bears Sweep Doubleheader over Drake, Extend Win Streak to Four
 
Lauren Eisenreich hit three doubles in the doubleheader.
 
Lauren Eisenreich hit three doubles in the doubleheader.
 

March 29, 2013

Box Score

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Missouri State softball team (14-15, 5-2) handed league-leading Drake (18-12, 4-2) its first conference losses of the season in a doubleheader sweep in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday afternoon. The Bears, the designated home team, rallied for a 3-2 win in game one and scored six times over the first three innings for a 6-2 victory in game two. With the sweep, MSU became the first team with five conference wins this season.

"Our pitching staff was outstanding today," said head coach Holly Hesse. "All three pitchers contributed significant innings. We hit the ball well all day against one of the top pitching staffs in the league. I am proud of how the team battled and played well in all aspects of the game."

Pitcher Rachel Brisker picked up the victory in game one, moving to 2-0 on the season. She allowed just two hits over 4.2 innings of work in the twin bill, striking out one batter in the process. Jessie Van Es worked the final four innings of game two, striking out three to earn the win.

Senior Lauren Eisenreich piloted the Bears' offense on the day. She had three doubles, drove in two runs and scored twice.

Junior Ashley Brentz had a hit in each game, extending her hitting streak to a team-best nine games, the longest by a Bear since Jessie Smith's 11-game hit streak in 2009.

Game 1 - Missouri State 3, Drake 2
The Bulldogs strung together three hits in the top of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. In the Bears' second inning, Mary Stephens led off with a double to right field. Pinch runner Ciara Flau scored as the next batter, Stevie Pierce, also doubled to right. Pierce was able to advance to third, but was stranded, ending the inning tied, 1-1.

 

 

Ashley Brentz extends her hitting streak to a season-best eight games with a two-out double to left in the third inning. She was stuck at second as the inning ended with the Bears unable to take the lead.

Neither team scored in the fourth or fifth inning. In the sixth, DU again pieced together three hits to push across a go-ahead run.

Missouri State was not deterred by the deficit. Stephens singled to center with one away in the bottom of the sixth. Stacia Boeckstiegel walked with two outs with Lauren Eisenreich headed to the plate. Eisenreich popped a two run double off the wall in left, giving the Bears the lead.

Rachel Brisker cruised through the top of the seventh to earn her second victory of the season. It was also her second-straight relief appearance in which she did not allow a hit in more than an inning pitched.

Game 2 - Missouri State 6, Drake 2
Drake again jumped on top with a run in the top of the first in game two. The Bears responded in the bottom of the first with back-to-back infield hits by Kirstin Cutter and Brentz. After a Heather Duckworth sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, a Bulldog error allowed both runs to score. It was the eighth time in the last 10 games that MSU scored in the first inning. Brentz extended her hitting streak to nine games with the infield single.

The Bears continued to score in the second. Back-to-back doubles to begin the inning from Eisenreich and Caitlin Chapin plated the first run of the frame. After a Drake pitching change, Braxton Coil was hit by a pitch. Rebecca McPherson laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Chapin and pinch runner Ali Trickey into scoring position. Cutter followed and drove in a run on a fielder's choice. Brentz was then plunked to load the bases leading to the second Bulldog pitching change of the inning. Duckworth followed with a sac fly to left, plating the third Bears' run of the inning.

In the third inning, the Bears tacked on another run. Eisenreich doubled for the third time on the day to start the inning. Chapin singled to left, moving Eisenreich to third base. Coil dropped a sacrifice squeeze bunt down, scoring the sixth run of the game for MSU.

That run support would be all the Bears needed. Drake was only able to muster a single run in the sixth as the Bears swept the doubleheader, 6-2.

The teams will wrap up the series on Saturday with a game at 11:00 a.m. at Ron Buel Field in Des Moines, Iowa. Following this weekend's games, the Bears will return to Killian Stadium against No. 6/7 Missouri in a doubleheader on April 3 at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday's twin bill versus the Tigers has been designated Faculty and Staff Appreciation night. All Missouri State faculty and staff will receive FREE admission by presenting a valid BearPass ID at the ticket window at Killian Stadium on game day.

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