Softball Splits Doubleheader Against Loyola on Monday in Evanston
April 7, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. - Senior catcher Stacia Boeckstiegel drove in a career high four runs in a game one win as the Missouri State softball team (22-15, 5-6) split a doubleheader against Loyola (14-19, 5-6) at Northwestern's Sharon J. Drysdale Field in Evanston, Ill., on Monday. The Bears won game one, 10-3, and dropped the second game despite a valiant effort, 5-3.
"Just really proud of how resilient they were, they came out on fire today," said head coach Holly Hesse. "We did a great job at the plate today and had good pitch selection. Chelsea (Jones) has so much heart, so much fight in her. She throws strikes and gives us a chance to get outs."
Boeckstiegel racked up a season high three hits in game one, driving in a career-best four runs in the game. She joined the "Roof Club" with her fourth home run of the season, landing it on the roof of the adjacent Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Ashley Brentz also recorded three hits between the two games. She drove in three runs in game one. Brentz also scored a run in each game of the doubleheader for the Bears.
Game 1 - Missouri State 10, Loyola 3
Loyola answered in the bottom of the inning with three runs of its own. Neither team generated much offense over the next three innings.
In the top of the fifth, MSU broke the tie. Stacia Boeckstiegel ripped a single off the pitcher. Allie Alvstad then drew a walk, moving pinch runner Olivia Roark into scoring position. Brentz then worked the count full before blasting a double off the left-center field fence to score both runners. Cunningham sacrifice bunted Brentz to third and Duckworth drew her second walk of the game. Loyola kept the inning at two runs, though, with a thwarted double steal attempt.
The Bears added to their lead in the sixth. With one away, Rebecca McPherson drew a walk. Erin Duewel followed and singled to left field. Boeckstiegel stepped in and blasted a three-run home run to left, landing on the roof of the adjacent basketball arena. Alvstad singled to right, but was cut down trying to stretch it to a double. Brentz kept the inning going with a single through the right side and Cunningham legged out an infield single. Duckworth followed and singled to right, but Loyola was able to avert further damage by cutting down the runner at the plate.
MSU continued to pour it on in the seventh. Sullinger singled to left, the seventh-consecutive batter to record a hit for the Bears. Two batters later, McPherson walked, followed by Duewel drawing a base on balls, the season-high eighth walk of the game by the team. With the bases loaded, Boeckstiegel reached on an infield single to push home the first run of the inning. Alvstad reached on a fielder's choice and the bases remained loaded. Brentz was then hit by a pitch getting an RBI as Duewel crossed the plate.
Chelsea Jones started and tossed her third complete game of the season. She struck out four and scattered six hits.
Game 2 - Missouri State 3, Loyola 5
The Ramblers put together a pair of hits to push across a run and tie the game in the bottom of the first.
In the Bears' second inning, McPherson doubled to right to begin the inning. Three batters later, Alvstad was hit by a pitch, but both runners were stranded to end the inning.
Cunningham began the third inning with a bunt to third base. The Loyola fielder threw the ball into the right field corner allowing Cunningham to advance all the way to third. Duckworth grounded back to the pitcher and she bobbled the ball and threw late to home as Cunningham crossed the plate. Sullinger followed with a walk and both runners advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Chelsea Jones. McPherson picked up a RBI on a groundout to short as Duckworth came home on the play.
Loyola grabbed two runs in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. Five consecutive Ramblers reached base in the inning alternating walks and singles to push home the runs.
The Bears looked to retake the lead in the sixth. Ali Trickey led off the inning with a single to left. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McPherson. Duewel drew a four-pitch walk, but Loyola got out of the inning without allowing a run.
In the bottom of the sixth, Loyola put up two runs to take a 5-3 lead. Chelsea Jones came on to pitch and stranded the bases loaded in the inning.
The Bears got a leadoff single from Brentz to open the seventh. Cunningham followed with a bunt single. Duckworth advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Loyola induced a shallow fly out and a ground out to end the game.
Jessie Van Es started game two and pitched five innings. She struck out four hitters.
Missouri State returns home on Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13 with a three-game series against Indiana State. Games start at 12:00 p.m. both days. Sunday's series finale will be the Bears' Pink Game. Fans will get free admission with donations to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks encouraged.