Softball Bears Upended in Series Finale Against Drake
March 30, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Missouri State softball team (14-16, 5-3) was unable to dig out from a big deficit in a 13-5 six-inning setback to Drake (19-12, 5-2) in the series finale in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon. The Bears, the designated home team, had their season-best four-game winning streak snapped.
Freshman Mary Stephens led the Bears with three hits on the day taking over the team lead with a .380 average and 35 hits this season. She also scored a run in the game, her 11th of the year.
The Bears looked to take the lead in the bottom of the first. Kirstin Cutter drew a walk to lead off. She moved to second on a wild pitch and then Heather Duckworth was hit by a pitch to give the Bears two aboard. Mary Stephens singled to left, but Cutter was thrown out trying to score. Stevie Pierce followed and drew a walk to load the bases. The walk was Pierce's 78th career free pass, tying her with Diedre Shores for third in program history. Stacia Boeckstiegel lined out sharply to third, ending the threat.
Drake picked up a run in the top of the second to take the lead, but the Bears battled right back. Caitlin Chapin singled to center with one away. Kerri Cunningham reached on an infield single pushing Chapin into scoring position. Cutter followed and singled to right, tying the game, 1-1.
In its half of the third, Missouri State got a lead-off single from Stephens. Pinch runner Ciara Flau advanced to second on a Pierce sac bunt, but was stranded there as the inning ended.
The Bulldogs retook the lead in the fourth with a six-run inning. The Bears got runners on in their half of the frame. Cunningham singled with one away. Two batters later, Ashley Brentz walked, but both runners remained on base as the inning closed.
Drake tacked on another run in the fifth and again the Bears got runners on. Boeckstiegel walked with two outs and Lauren Eisenreich followed with a single to left, but MSU was unable to convert any runs.
In the sixth, Drake put up five more runs, putting the Bears behind big. That didn't stop the Bears from battling to the end. With two outs, Amber Dreher singled to right field and pinch hitter Rebecca McPherson popped a two-run home run, her second of the season. Stephens followed with a base knock to left, sending pinch hitter Braxton Coil to the plate. Coil drilled a two-run shot to left, her first home run as a Bear. The rally ended with a ground out to end the game.
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.