Softball Drops Heartbreaker in Regular Season Finale at Creighton
May 6, 2012
The Missouri State softball team (24-25, 12-14) dropped its final regular season game to Creighton (27-24-1, 15-11) on a walk-off home run, 5-4, in Omaha, Neb., on Sunday afternoon. Despite the loss, the Bears locked up the No. 6 seed in next week's State Farm MVC Tournament in Carbondale, Ill.
Senior pitcher Natalie Rose worked her 23rd complete game of the season. She struck out six and walked just one in the game. It was Rose's 153rd appearance as a Bear, the most in school history.
After Rose worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first, the Bears got runner on in the second. Stacia Boeckstiegel was hit by a pitch with one out. The next hitter, Lauren Eisenreich, drew a walk, moving pinch runner Ciara Flau to second. After a flyout, Rebecca McPherson reached on a CU throwing error to load the bases, but the Bears were unable to push across the first run of the game.
In the Bears' third inning, Ashley Brentz beat out a slow grounder to second base for an infield hit. With two outs, she stole second to move into scoring position. Heather Duckworth flew out to the warning track in right-center to end the MSU rally.
Missouri State would take the lead in the fourth. Boeckstiegel reached on an infield single. Stevie Pierce flied to right and Boeckstiegel tagged up and moved to second because the CU fielder dove to make the catch. McPherson came up with two outs and worked the count full. She then smashed her first career home run, a two run shot, to left field.
Duckworth led off the Bears' sixth with a solid single to left-center. She moved to second on a Boeckstiegel sac bunt. She advanced to third when Lauren Eisenreich grounded to the right side. Pierce lined the ball up the middle, but it was knocked down by the pitcher to end the inning.
Pinch hitter Amber Dreher singled through the right side with one out in the seventh. Kirstin Cutter reached on an infield single and Brentz drew her team-leading 28th walk of the season, but MSU was unable to capitalize and increase the lead.
Creighton got three straight hits to lead off the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. Rose worked out of the jam and Boeckstiegel tagged out the go-ahead run at plate to send the game to extra innings.
Duckworth again began the Bears' rally in the eighth inning. She doubled off the left-centerfield wall. After consecutive groundouts to shortstop, Pierce came to the plate. She drove the ball high to right, clearing the fence for a two-run homer. The Bears would work three consecutive walks to load the bases, but a borderline third strike call ended the threat.
CU would again rally in its half of the inning. Back-to-back infield singles put two on for Alexis Cantu. She drove a 1-1 pitch deep over the right-centerfield wall for a walk-off three run home run.
Missouri State will now 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.