Offensive Outburst Powers Bears to Sweep at Wichita State
April 24, 2013
WICHITA, Kan. - The Missouri State softball team (18-26, 9-10) rallied from behind in both games to sweep Wichita State (16-26, 7-11) in a doubleheader on Wednesday. The Bears scored 12 runs over the final four innings of game one to win, 12-9. In game two, the Bears trailed until the sixth inning, tying the game and pulling out the win in the eighth inning, 7-6.
"Every win right now is big just to make sure we get ourselves into the tournament," said head coach Holly Hesse. "I was really excited to see what our offense did and how mentally tough we were to battle from behind all day. It was a great effort by Chelsea (Jones), especially towards the end of the second game, she was really tough.
The Bears cranked three home runs, all in game one. Stevie Pierce, Stacia Boeckstiegel and Caitlin Chapin hit long balls as Pierce and Chapin etched their names in the MSU record book. Pierce hit her ninth of the year, one shy of tying the single season mark. Chapin hit her 18th career big fly, tying Heather Anderson for fourth in program history.
Chapin went 4-for-7 in the twin bill including a home run in game one. She scored three runs, including the extra-inning game winner in the second game.
Kirstin Cutter also had four hits on the day and drove in two runs. Heather Duckworth added three hits, scored twice and drove in a run. Every Bear that batted on the day had at least one hit in the twin bill.
Pitcher Chelsea Jones picked up the win in both games. She came on in relief in game one as the Bears rallied from behind. In game two, she picked up her 11th win of the year as she held the Shockers close while the Bears again rallied.
Game 1 - Missouri State 12, Wichita State 9
WSU pushed the lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the second. Bears' shortstop Kirstin Cutter legged out a two-out infield single in the third inning in her 200th career game played.
The Bears took over the lead in the fourth. Ashley Brentz walked to open the frame. Heather Duckworth drove her in from first with a double to right-center. Mary Stephens followed and bounced a single off the Shockers pitcher, scoring Duckworth.
The inning continued with Stevie Pierce cranking her ninth home run of the season to right-center, driving home pinch runner Ciara Flau. Pierce upped her career total to 17 home runs, tying teammate Caitlin Chapin for fifth in school history. She raised her RBI total for the season to 33, tops on the Bears.
Boeckstiegel followed Pierce and blasted a home run of her own to right-center. It was her third of the year and second base hit of the game. Lauren Eisenreich walked and was replaced at first by Chapin on a fielder's choice. Kerri Cunningham beat out an infield single and Brentz walked for the second time in the inning to load the bases. But a line drive to second base ended the rally.
The Shockers regained the lead in the bottom of the inning with three runs. But the Bears rebounded in the fifth. Stephens began the inning with a single through the right side. Pierce was hit by a pitch and Boeckstiegel sacrificed both runners into scoring position. Eisenreich flew out to right and the fly ball was deep enough for both runners to tag and score. Chapin followed and moved into a tie for fourth with her 18th career home run, a line drive over the leftfield fence.
The Bears began the sixth inning in a tie game after WSU tied the game at 8-8. Brentz drew her third walk of the game with one away in the inning. Duckworth singled to right-center, sending Brentz to third. Stephens dropped a squeeze bunt and an errant throw to the plate allowed the run to score and both runners to move into scoring position. Pierce followed and also dropped a squeeze bunt with Duckworth beating the throw to the plate. Boeckstiegel was hit by a pitch to load the bases. The next hitter, Chapin, doubled over the centerfielder's head scoring two, but pinch runner Ali Trickey was cut down at the plate to end the inning.
The Shockers scored once in the bottom of the seventh, but Jones closed the door on the victory, her 10th of the year.
Game 2 - Missouri State 7, Wichita State 6 (8 inn.)
In the top of the fourth, Missouri State looked to rally. Brentz led off with a solid single through the right side. Duckworth followed and singled through the left side. Stephens grounded out to the right side, moving both runners up. But a fly out to left was too shallow as the runner was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
WSU doubled the lead with two runs in the fourth. The Bears responded in the fifth. Boeckstiegel was plunked to lead off the inning. Pinch runner Flau moved to second when Eisenreich dropped a single inside the leftfield line. Rebecca McPherson pinch hit and singled to right to load the bases. Cutter singled on the next pitch to score Flau and reload the bases. Brentz was up next and flew deep to left, scoring Eisenreich.
In the bottom of the inning, the Shockers tacked on two more runs to push the lead back to four at 6-2.
The Bears offense took over in the sixth. Stephens led off with a walk. Braxton Coil singled to shortstop, moving pinch runner Trickey to second. Chapin then singled to left-center, driving home Trickey and Coil on a WSU bobble in centerfield. Cunningham followed, tripling to left-center and plating Chapin. Cutter tied the game with a single to left.
In the Bears' eighth inning, Chapin singled to right to begin the frame. Cunningham dropped a bunt in front of the plate and the WSU catcher threw to second. But her throw was wide and skipped past the centerfielder to the wall, allowing Chapin to score all the way from first.
The Shockers got a base hit to begin the bottom of the eighth. With one down, WSU Jaegers sent a deep fly into the leftfield corner. MSU's Eisenreich ranged into the corner making the catch against the wall. She then turned and threw towards first with a relay throw doubling the runner off first to end the game.
The Bears now return to Killian Stadium to conclude its home slate with three games against Creighton this weekend and a single game against Wichita State on Tuesday, April 30. Sunday will be Senior Day at the K as the Bears honor this season's senior class. Tickets can be purchased at the field on game day.