Bears Rally for Game One Win, Split at Drake
March 31, 2012
The Missouri State softball team (15-12, 4-4) split a pair of games against Drake (14-16, 7-1) at Ron Buel Field in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday. In game one, the Bears rallied from a two-run deficit for a 3-2 victory. Drake used a four-run fourth inning to down the Bears, 4-2, in the second game.
"We are mirror images of each other," said head coach Holly Hesse referring to the Bears and Bulldogs. "It was evident by the split. We made big plays in game one and got the win. It was an excellent job of manufacturing runs by our team to rally from behind."
Ashley Brentz and Lauren Eisenreich each had three hits and scored a run on the day. Brentz had two walks and Eisenreich drove in two runs. Stacia Boeckstiegel was 1-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored in game two.
Natalie Rose earned the win in game one to improve to 11-4 on the year. She threw her 12th complete game, striking out four Bulldog hitters and did not allow a walk for the 14th time this season.
Game 1 (Missouri State 3, Drake 2)
Missouri State threatened in the top of the second. Heather Duckworth drew a one-out walk. The next hitter, Caitlin Chapin scalded a ball just inside the third base line that glanced off the DU fielder's glove to put runners on second and third. A foul out and strikeout ended the rally, though.
Drake got on the board in the bottom of the second. After Rose retired the first two hitters on groundouts to Duckworth, Jordan Gronewold lined a home run over the left field fence for a 1-0 Bulldogs lead.
The Bears again had runners aboard in the third. Ashley Brentz laced a one-out single to right field. Rebecca McPherson reached on a DU fielding error to give the Bears two-on. But a groundout to third and a pop up ended the threat.
After Drake scored an additional run in the third, the Bears got on the board in the fourth. Chapin hit a double down to the left field corner. The next batter, Lauren Eisenreich, drove her in with a single through the left side to close the gap to a 2-1 DU lead.
Missouri State would pull even in the fifth. Brentz drew her second walk of the game to lead off. McPherson reached on a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed by the new Drake pitcher. After both runners advanced on a passed ball, Stevie Pierce drove home the tying run with a groundout to third.
Eisenreich drew a four-pitch walk in the sixth. After being sacrificed to second, she stole third base and scored on another Drake fielding error. The Bears took the lead in the inning, 3-2, without getting a hit.
Game 2 (Missouri State 2, Drake 4)
Drake pulled ahead in the fourth inning. Back-to-back singles and consecutive fielder's choice putouts at third gave the Bulldogs two runners. Lindsey Vande Wall hit an opposite field home run to give DU a 3-2 advantage. Drake added another run after three consecutive singles, but Caitlin Chapin ended the inning with a perfect throw to the plate to gun down the final out.
The Bears got a runner on in the third with a two-out single by Chelsea Jones. In the fifth inning, a walk by Kirstin Cutter and a single by Ashley Brentz gave the Bears two runners. In both innings, MSU was unable to score.
Again in the sixth inning, the Bears had runners aboard. Jones doubled to lead off the inning, narrowly missing a home run as the ball hit off the top of the fence and back into play. After pinch runner Ciara Flau was caught stealing, Stevie Pierce walked, but the Bears weren't able to plate a run in the inning.
A one-out single in the seventh by Eisenreich was Missouri State's final chance to rally. She advanced to second in the inning, but was left stranded to end the game.
Missouri State wraps up the three-game Valley series at Drake on Sunday, April 1 at 12:00 p.m. The Bears will revisit UMKC on Tuesday, April 3 for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader to conclude the five-game road swing. MSU will return to Killian Stadium for a nine-game home stand beginning on Friday, April 6 with a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader against Bradley.