Softball Suffers Doubleheader Sweep in Heartbreaking Fashion at SIU
April 13, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Missouri State softball team (15-23, 6-7) suffered a heart-breaking setback in a doubleheader loss to Southern Illinois (18-20, 6-6) in Carbondale, Ill, on Saturday afternoon. The Bears dropped game one, 7-1, and looked to have a split until SIU hit a walk-off grand slam for a 7-5 win.
"Offensively, we did what we needed to win," head coach Holly Hesse said about game two. "We scored first and had five runs by the third inning."
Ashley Brentz continued to be productive at the plate, recording hits in both halves of the twin bill. She has now hit safely in 17 of the last 20 games. She drove in the Bears' run in game one.
Kirstin Cutter set the table for the Bears. She had three hits on the day and scored three runs. Defensively, she made easily the play of the year in game one with a diving catch starting a double play.
Rachel Brisker threw 6.2 solid innings for the Bears. She befuddled Saluki hitters in game one, allowing a single hit in three scoreless frames. In game two, she was cruising until the last of the seventh. She gave up just three hits and struck out four on the day.
Game 1 - Missouri State 1, SIU 7
In the third, Stacia Boeckstiegel singled up the middle to lead-off the inning. Back-to-back fielder's choice putouts at second base quickly ended the Bears' rally.
SIU put up seven runs in the bottom of the third, capped by a questionable call leading to the final two runs of the inning.
MSU looked to rebound in the top of the fourth. Ashley Brentz beat out an infield hit to begin the inning. Heather Duckworth followed and laced a single to right. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, but the Bears were unable to score.
Kirstin Cutter led off the sixth and roped a triple to the gap in right-center. Brentz flied out to left, deep enough for Cutter to tag up and score.
Cutter put on a defensive display in the bottom of the frame. After an SIU double, Cutter laid out to make a diving catch on a liner destined for left field. She popped up and fired to second, doubling off the runner.
Game 2 - Missouri State 5, SIU 7
Missouri State extended the lead in the third. Kerri Cunningham beat out an infield hit without a throw. Cutter also reached on an infield single and both runners moved up on a Brentz sac bunt. Duckworth roped a double into the leftfield corner, plating both runs and chasing the SIU starter from the game. Pierce continued the inning with her second double of the day, driving in Duckworth. Lauren Eisenreich singled to right-center, driving in Pierce to cap a four-run inning.
SIU scored three runs in its half of the third. The Bears got a base hit in the fifth and again in the sixth, but were unable to pad the two-run cushion. Brisker shut down the Saluki offense until the bottom of the seventh when SIU got a walk-off grand slam to win the game.
The Bears and Salukis wrap up the weekend series with a noon game on Sunday. MSU will conclude the road trip with a doubleheader at Wichita State on Wednesday, April 17. The Bears then begin a seven-game home stand on Saturday, April 20 against Evansville. Special events surrounding the doubleheader on the 20th include Barb Gaines' jersey retirement and a celebration of Holly Hesse's 25 years at Missouri State.