Walk-Off Win Ends Bears' Skid Against Southern Illinois
 
Ashley Brentz drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
 
Ashley Brentz drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
 

April 14, 2012

Box Score

The Missouri State softball team (18-18, 6-8) got a walk-off win in game two to split a doubleheader against Southern Illinois (25-12, 10-4) at Killian Stadium on Saturday. The 3-2 win in game two came with a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh and snapped a nine-game losing streak to SIU after a game one, 7-2 loss.

"We talked about our ability to come back," said head coach Holly Hesse. "We have had some comeback wins this season and we kept that mindset through the end of the game. Chelsea threw a phenomenal game against a very good hitting team and CC (Caitlin Chapin) was a difference maker on both sides of the ball."

Jones tossed a complete game victory in game two, her sixth time complete game of the year. In all, she threw 8.2 innings and allowed just one earned run on the day. She now has MSU's last three wins, all coming in the second game of doubleheaders.

Offensively, Kirstin Cutter, Caitlin Chapin and Lauren Eisenreich had good days getting hits in both halves of the twin bill. Cutter was 3-for-6 win a run scored. Chapin went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI and Eisenreich had three hits and scored twice.

Game 1 (Missouri State 2, SIU 7)
The Bears got an early two-out rally going in the second inning. Lauren Eisenreich lined a single up the middle. Caitlin Chapin singled up the middle on the next pitch to give MSU two aboard. But a foul pop up that stayed in play ended the threat.

Southern Illinois got its first hit of the game in the fourth inning. Kelsea Ashton drew a walk with one out, just the 17th walk issued by Natalie Rose this season. Then back-to-back singles loaded the bases for SIU. But a line drive off Rose's chest was knocked down to force out the runner at home. Rose rallied to strike out the final batter to leave the bases loaded for the Salukis.

 

 

SIU continued to put pressure on Rose and finally broke through in the fifth. After two outs, the Salukis got back-to-back hits to plate the first run of the game.

The Bears responded in their half of the inning. Lauren Eisenreich led off the inning with a double. Caitlin Chapin moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt. Raeven Replogle laid down a bunt and Eisenreich slid under the tag to tie the game at 1-1. Kirstin Cutter reached on an infield single and advanced to second, Replogle to third, when the SIU first baseman threw to first with no one covering. With Stevie Pierce at the plate, an errant pick-off throw to third that was bobbled by the left fielder allowed Replogle to score the go-ahead run for the Bears.

But the lead was short-lived. SIU batted around and plated five runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-2 lead. The Salukis tacked on a run in the seventh for a 7-2 game one win.

Game 2 (Missouri State 3, SIU 2)
Behind the right arm of Chelsea Jones, the Bears' fortunes against SIU would turn in game two. Jones cruised through the first two innings, allowing just one hit, but faced the minimum on a caught stealing.

Missouri State's offense struck in the bottom of the second. Lauren Eisenreich singled to start the inning. She moved to second on Stacia Boeckstiegel's sacrifice bunt. That's when Caitlin Chapin lined a double to the right-centerfield wall to plate Eisenreich.

Ashley Brentz walked to lead off the third for the Bears. Jones sacrificed her to second and she scored on a single through the right side by Heather Duckworth to give MSU a 2-0 advantage.

SIU chipped away at the lead in the fifth. After loading the bases, Jones limited the damage to just one run and stranded the bases loaded to keep the Bears' lead to 2-1.

Then in the sixth inning, the Salukis got a pair of doubles, one that was wind-aided, to tie the score at two apiece.

After Jones cruised through the top of the seventh, it looked like MSU's second extra inning game this week was imminent. But the Bears had a different idea. With two outs, Kirstin Cutter lined a single up the middle. Stevie Pierce walked to advance Cutter to scoring position. After an SIU pitching change, Ashley Brentz lined a walk-off single over the head of the Saluki right fielder for the Bears' victory.

Missouri State will conclude the three-game series against SIU on Sunday, beginning at 11:00 a.m. A free youth clinic will be held immediately following the game. The Bears will play a double header against Wichita State on Wednesday, April 18 to wrap up the nine-game home stand. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket window at Killian Stadium on game days.

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