Softball Splits DH with Aces on Day Gaines' Jersey is Retired
April 20, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - On a day when right hander-turned lefty slapper Barb Gaines' jersey was retired, current left-handed leadoff slap hitter Kirstin Cutter picked up five hits and drew a walk on Saturday helping the Bears to a doubleheader split at Killian Stadium. Missouri State (16-25, 7-9) was the recipient of a couple unlucky breaks in a 3-1 loss in game one, but the Bears took advantage of several fielding errors by Evansville (18-25, 9-9) for a 4-1 victory in game two.
"I was excited to see both of our pitchers put together solid games today," said head coach Holly Hesse. "Rachel (Brisker) was amazing on the mound and did a great job of getting leadoff outs."
Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Jones tossed her 16th complete game of the year in game one, striking out four Purple Aces, all looking. Junior Rachel Brisker went the distance in game two, earning her third victory of the season while scattering four hits in her first complete game as a Bear.
Game 1 - Missouri State 1, Evansville 3
Senior first baseman Stevie Pierce helped the Bears cut into the deficit in the bottom half of the inning. She drove a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall for her eighth home run of the year, tying her for the second-highest single season home run total in school history. She also doubled her career total coming into the season and moved into the top-6 all-time with 16 big flies.
In the MSU third, Rebecca McPherson and Cutter each had singles, but the Bears were unable to score the equalizer.
Jones continued to hold the Purple Aces in check as the Bears looked to tie the game. Missouri State had another opportunity in the fifth. McPherson walked with one out. Kerri Cunningham replaced her at first on a fielder's choice. Cutter legged out her second infield single of the game and when the late throw from third base went errant, it looked as if the Bears had tied the game. But the wild throw got caught in the tarp and the runner was sent back to third and MSU would not get the tying run across in the inning.
Evansville tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh and held on to take game one.
Game 2 - Missouri State 3, Evansville 1
Freshman catcher Braxton Coil picked up her third extra-base hit of the year in the second. With two away, she ripped a doubled into the left field corner. Pinch runner Ali Trickey was stranded to end the frame.
UE picked up a run on a couple of hits in the third to take a 1-0 lead. The advantage was short-lived as MSU quickly responded in the bottom of the inning.
Cutter led off the inning with another infield single and then stole second. An error on the Evansville pitcher allowed Cunningham to reach and Cutter to move to third. Two batters later, Boeckstiegel dropped a squeeze bunt and Cutter made a great slide at the plate to score the tying run. With two outs and two on, Lauren Eisenreich doubled driving in the go-ahead run and a throwing error on the plate allowed the third Bears' run of the inning to cross the plate.
That would be all the run support MSU starter Rachel Brisker needed. She allowed just one hit and a walk over her final four innings of work to earn the win.
MSU added a run in the sixth to extend the lead. Coil singled to right for her second hit of the game. Amber Dreher walked and Cutter singled yet again, loading the bases with no outs. Back-to-back fielder's choices allowed a run to score and the Bears held on for the 4-1 victory.
Missouri State will look to take the series in the finale at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday at Killian Stadium. The Bears will then travel to Wichita on Wednesday in the rescheduled midweek doubleheader against the Shockers before returning home for the final four home games of the year.