Eisenreich Homers Twice as Bears Sweep DH at Creighton
May 5, 2012
Lauren Eisenreich launched two home runs and the Missouri State softball team (24-24, 12-13) scored a season-high 13 runs in a doubleheader sweep of Creighton (26-24-1, 14-11) in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday afternoon. The Bears won their fifth straight 1-0 outcome in the first game and rallied from behind for a 13-11 victory in game two.
"I am so proud of the way we competed today," said head coach Holly Hesse. "Everyone contributed to these wins. We did a lot of things right and it was good to see all of our hard work pay off."
Eisenreich became the first player this season to hit two home runs in one game and the only player in the past four seasons with five RBI in a game. She also walked, scored and singled in the decisive seventh inning of game two. It was Eisenreich's first career multi-homer game, the first time in her career she had scored three runs in a game and her first five-RBI game
Ashley Brentz and Stevie Pierce each drew four walks on the day. Kirstin Cutter walked three times. Both Brentz and Cutter scored twice and Pierce crossed the plate once. MSU drew 11 walks in game two, a season high and the highest single game total in the last four seasons.
Game 1 (Missouri State 1, Creighton 0)
Kirstin Cutter gave the Bears an early runner. She drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the game. The Bears were unable to move her around the bases and she was left stranded when the inning ended.
In the fourth inning, the Bears got another leadoff walk. Ashley Brentz drew her team-leading 24th free pass of the season. After she was sacrificed to second by a Caitlin Chapin bunt, Chelsea Jones was hit by a pitch. Stacia Boeckstiegel came up with two aboard and fouled off six two-strike pitches before being hit to load the bases. But a questionable called third strike ended the Bears' scoring opportunity.
Stevie Pierce led off the fifth inning and broke the Bears' 11.2 inning hitless streak with a solid single to right. Pinch runner Ciara Flau moved up and Raeven Replogle reached on a CU fielding error on her team-leading 14th sacrifice bunt. Cutter followed suit and dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners. After a Brentz walk, Chapin drove the ball deep enough to center field to plate Flau from third to give MSU the lead.
The Bears looked to build on the lead in the sixth. Jones drew a four-pitch walk and was pinch run for by Ali Trickey. A Boeckstiegel sac bunt moved the runner to second and Trickey took third on a passed ball. But a bang-bang play at first that Pierce was called out on, ended the scoring threat.
Game 2 (Missouri State 13, Creighton 11)
Creighton responded with five runs of its own in the bottom of the first. Five singles and a double plated the tying runs. The Bluejays then took a 6-5 lead on a sacrifice fly in the second inning.
CU added to its lead in the third. Back-to-back home runs and an RBI double plated three to push the Bluejay lead to 9-5 after three frames.
Missouri State rallied back in the top of the fifth. Boeckstiegel walked to begin the inning. Rebecca McPherson followed with a walk to move pinch runner Kerri Cunningham into scoring position. Duckworth would sacrifice both runners. Eisenreich batted and launched her second home run of the game to left, driving in three runs. The blast pulled the Bears to within one at 9-8.
The Bluejays increased the lead in the sixth inning. Amy Baker hit her league-leading 15th home run to push the CU advantage to 11-8.
The seventh inning would prove pivotal for the Bears. Eisenreich led off and drew a walk. Stevie Pierce followed suit with her fourth walk of the game, her second career four-walk game. Raeven Replogle belted a double into the left-centerfield gap to score Eisenreich. The next hitter, Cutter, singled to center plating Pierce. Cutter moved to second on a wild pitch and Brentz doubled down the left field line pushing across the tying and go-ahead run. Brentz advanced to third on a Jones single through the left side. Cunningham followed and singled up the middle adding an insurance run for the Bears.
Natalie Rose came on in the seventh inning and nailed down her fourth save of the season in a 1-2-3 inning. She caught the final CU hitter of the game looking capping an 11-strikeout day for Rose. With her appearance in game two, she pulled even with Melissa Porsche for the most career appearances in the circle with 152.
Missouri State will play its final regular season game at Creighton on Sunday, May 6 at noon. The Bears will then prepare for the State Farm MVC Tournament which will be held in Carbondale, Ill., beginning on May 10. MSU will face Bradley in the #6-#7 matchup at 1:30 p.m. at Charlotte West Stadium.