Softball Drops Hard-Fought Doubleheader at UNI
April 21, 2012
The Missouri State softball team (19-21, 7-11) dropped both games in a hard-fought battle with UNI (33-11, 17-1) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon. The Bears took the Panthers nine innings before a 5-1 loss. In game two, the Bears rallied in the late innings, but fell short, 7-6.
"I was excited to see our offense score six runs against the first-place team," said head coach Holly Hesse. "We got tremendous pitching from Natalie and Chelsea today against one of the best hitting teams in the league. A lot of people did good things for us today. It was exciting to have the lead late in both game with an opportunity to win."
Stacia Boeckstiegel was 1-for-4 in both games, slamming her first career home run in the ninth inning of game one. Raeven Replogle was 1-for-2 on the day with a pair of sacrifice bunts and a run scored. Caitlin Chapin was 2-for-3 in game two with an RBI and a run scored.
Game 1 (Missouri State 1, UNI 5 [9 innings])
Both Rose and UNI pitcher Jamie Fisher were dominant through the first few innings. Rose allowed her first hit in the fourth inning. The Panthers got another single in the fifth, but went hitless again until the ninth.
In the top of the fifth, the Bears got their first hit off the bat of Lauren Eisenreich. She singled through the right side past the out-stretched glove of the UNI second baseman. She advanced to second on Raeven Replogle's 10th sacrifice bunt of the season. Eisenreich stole third with two outs, but a groundout ended to inning.
The Bears broke through in the top of the ninth. After two were out, Stacia Boeckstiegel launched her first career home run to left center to break the scoreless tie.
UNI rallied in the bottom of the ninth. A leadoff walk came around to tie the game on an RBI double with one out. The Panthers would work the bases loaded and then Gina Brown hit a walk-off grand slam to center field.
The nine inning game is the longest game for the Bears this season. It was the second extra-inning game of the season for Missouri State.
Game 2 (Missouri State 6, UNI 7)
UNI answered in its half of the inning. A pair of one-out singles and a two-out three-run home run put the Panthers in front, 3-1.
After UNI added a run in the fourth, the Bears cut into the lead in the fifth. Replogle drew a one-out walk and moved to second on an infield ground out. Ashley Brentz lined a single up the middle, scoring Replogle from second to halve the Panther lead at 4-2.
Missouri State rallied in the fifth inning. Pinch hitter Kerri Cunningham singled down the left field line. Two batters later, Lauren Eisenreich grounded to third, but an errant throw allowed Cunningham to score from first. The next hitter, Caitlin Chapin, singled up the middle, driving in Eisenreich to tie the game at 4-4. Jones helped her own cause with an RBI single through the left side to put the Bears ahead. Replogle singled, but the Bears were left with two runners on to end the inning.
The lead would be short-lived as UNI put three runs on the board in its half of the inning. But MSU would not quit. Brentz walked to begin the Bears' seventh inning. Two batters later, Stacia Boeckstiegel lined a single to left field giving the Bears two runners. Eisenreich laid down a sac bunt and reached on a throwing error. Brentz scored on the play to pull Missouri State to within one run at 7-6. Chapin flied to right field and the UNI fielder's throw to the plate got pinch runner Ali Trickey to end the game.
The Bears will wrap up the series at UNI on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. MSU will head to Wichita to play a single game against the Shockers on Wednesday before returning to Killian Stadium for the final home stand of the season. Senior weekend is set for April 28 and 29 against Indiana State. Fans will be admitted free on Fan Appreciation Day on April 29 at 12:00 p.m.