Softball Splits with League Front Runner Creighton on Senior Day at Killian
April 28, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Chelsea Jones struck out nine Bluejays and drove in the winning run in game two as the Missouri State softball team (19-27, 10-11) split a doubleheader on Senior Day against Creighton (27-14, 14-4) on Sunday afternoon. The Bears were on the short end of 3-1 score in game one, but rebounded to post runs in four different innings to take game two, 10-5.
"Proud of how this team played today, obviously, a big, big split with Creighton," said head coach Holly Hesse. "I thought she (Chelsea Jones) was just phenomenal today. Creighton has two of the best hitters in the league and I thought she really shut them down. I feel she gets better and better the more she throws."
Jones tossed her 17th complete game in game one, striking out five hitters. In game two, she came on in relief and pitched the final 5.2 innings, earning the victory while striking out four additional CU hitters. She also drove in two runs, including the eventual game-winner, with a pinch-hit single in game two.
Senior Lauren Eisenreich drew two walks in game one. Then in game two, she went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Fellow senior Kirstin Cutter contributed a hit in each game and scored a run in game one.
Second baseman Ashley Brentz went 3-for-3 in game two and added a walk. She also scored twice. Kerri Cunningham had three hits on the day, crossing the plate a career-high three times in game two. She also stole two bases, one in each game.
Game 1 - Missouri State 1, Creighton 3
Eisenreich picked up her first walk in the second and Cunningham singled in the fifth, but both Jones and CU's Becca Changstrom held the offenses off the board.
Creighton got a two-out RBI single in the sixth to tie the game. MSU looked to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning. With one away, Stephens legged out an infield single. Pinch runner Ali Trickey stole second base. Stacia Boecksteigel and Eisenreich drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases. Senior Caitlin Chapin stepped in and flew to shallow left field, but the CU fielder came in and made a sliding catch to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Bluejays scored twice on a pair of fielder's choices and held on to take game one, 3-1.
Game 2 - Missouri State 10, Creighton 5
The advantage was short-lived though. With one away in the bottom of the first, Brentz singled up the middle. Three consecutive errors on the Bluejays infield loaded the bases and allowed the first Bears' run of the frame. Eisenreich then singled to center, driving home two runs and giving MSU the lead.
In the second, both teams scored a run. The Jays got a bases loaded single, but Jones induced a pair of fly outs to limit the damage to one run. In the MSU half of the inning, Cunningham reached on an infield single. Two batters later, Brentz singled to center and Cunningham raced safely to third base. Boeckstiegel squeezed Cunningham home as the Bears regained the lead.
Both teams again scored in the third inning. CU got a run on a slow groundout to third base. The Bears then piled on three runs, retaking the lead, this time for good. Eisenreich singled to short to begin the inning for the Bears. She moved to second on a sac bunt by Bethany Sullinger. Chapin then beat out an infield hit, sending Eisenreich to third. Chapin stole second and MSU sent Jones to the plate to hit for herself. Jones singled to centerfield, driving in both runners. Cunningham re-entered and ran for Jones, promptly stealing second. Cutter then singled to short, but the throw to first was dropped by the CU first baseman allowing Cunningham to score the third run of the inning.
Neither team scored in the fourth, but CU got a run back in the fifth on a two-out infield bloop single that dropped near second base out of the reach of the drawn in infield.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bears rallied again for a big inning. Sullinger reached on another Creighton error to begin the inning. An infield single by Cunningham and a two-out walk by Brentz loaded the bases. The Bears' next hitter, Boeckstiegel, was hit with the first pitch, her ninth hit-by-pitch on the season, driving in a run. Stephens then grounded to short, but the ball was booted allowing two more MSU runs to cross the plate.
Jones then closed the door allowing just a leadoff single in the seventh to earn her 12th victory of the season.
The Bears will wrap up the home portion of the regular season schedule on Tuesday with a 6:00 p.m. game against Wichita State. The team will wear their pink uniforms and encourage fans to wear pink to the game.