Struemph Racks Up Career High 11 Strikeouts in Bears' Win at UNI
April 19, 2014
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph racked up a career-high 11 strikeouts and the Missouri State softball team (24-20, 7-11) salvaged the series finale, 6-5, at UNI (24-15, 11-8) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Saturday. The teams combined for three home runs aided by a fierce wind to left field, but Struemph outdueled UNI's Jamie Fisher for the win.
"Our success starts in the circle," said head coach Holly Hesse. "(Erin) Struemph stepped up and really gave us a big time performance today. It certainly helped us to take an early lead. It shows a lot of confidence and courage by this team to come back and beat a good team like UNI."
Junior Chelsea Jones had two hits including a solo home run.
Freshman Elena Gambill contributed two hits and scored a run. She hit her fourth double of the year, one of three doubles on the day for the Bears.
Chelsea Jones put the Bears in front early. On the first pitch she saw, she hit a solo home run to left that hit near the top of the scoreboard. It was her third home run of the year, a career-best for Jones.
MSU looked to add to its lead in the second. With one down, Erin Duewel lined a single to left field. Elena Gambill followed and singled past the third baseman down the left field line. Braxton Coil flew deep to center field, but Bears were not able to up the advantage.
UNI turned a walk and home run to left into two runs to overtake the lead in the bottom of the second.
The Bears battled right back in the third. With one out, Ali Trickey reached on a passed ball. She stole second and moved to third on an infield single by Chelsea Jones. Pinch runner Kerri Cunningham promptly stole second, her 22nd of the season, tied for the third-highest single season total in school history. Another UNI passed ball allowed Trickey to score and tie the game. A fielder's choice put Bethany Sullinger at first with two outs. She stole second and then scored on a fly to right by Heather Duckworth that was dropped.
UNI tied the game in the bottom of the frame on two singles and an MSU error.
In the sixth inning, Duckworth led off with a double that she ripped off the third baseman's glove. A passed ball and wild pitch allowed her to score the go-ahead run. Two batters later, Gambill doubled to left-center. She advanced to third on a passed ball as well. Coil followed and reached on a UNI error. Pinch runner Olivia Roark stole second and pinch hitter Allie Alvstad was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ashley Brentz singled through the right side to plate a run and re-load the bases. Trickey grounded back to the pitcher, but the throw home was wild giving MSU its third run of the inning.
UNI hit a solo home run in the seventh, but Struemph finished the game with her 11th strikeout for the win. It was her eighth complete game of the season.
Missouri State returns to Killian Stadium on Tuesday, April 22 for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader against Wichita State. The Bears then travel to Columbia, Mo., to face Missouri on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., a game that can be seen live on MC22. MSU will wrap up the home slate on Senior Weekend April 26 and 27 against Illinois State with 12:00 p.m. starts both days at Killian.