Softball Heads to Lone Star State for Five-Game Weekend
Heather Duckworth scored twice and drove in a run against SDSU in 2012
Heather Duckworth scored twice and drove in a run against SDSU in 2012

Feb. 13, 2014

UTA Maverick Invitational NotesGet Acrobat Reader

The Missouri State softball team (1-2) heads to the Lone Star State for five games at the UTA Maverick Invitational in Arlington, Texas. The Bears begin the weekend against host Texas-Arlington and will also face Central Michigan on Friday. MSU plays South Dakota State on Saturday before the four-team tournament enters the semifinal phase later on Saturday afternoon. A championship and consolation game will be played on Sunday to conclude the weekend.

The Last Meeting
South Dakota St.2
Missouri State7
February 19, 2012
Denton, Texas
Rose Dominant as Softball Bears Beat SDSU, 7-2
The Missouri State softball team (2-1) defeated the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (0-3) at Lovelace Stadium in Denton, Texas, by the score of 7-2 on Sunday

Last weekend, the Bears won one game in a three-game set at ACC opponent Georgia Tech to open the season. Saturday's win marked the first time MSU had defeated the Yellow Jackets.

Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph made an immediate impact in the circle for the Bears. Her debut came in relief of game one in which she registered her first strikeout to strand a pair of runners. In game two, she earned the victory with four spectacular relief innings. She struck out six Yellow Jackets, including the side with a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs in her first inning of work. In Sunday's finale, Struemph was handed the ball for her first career start adding three solid innings to her resume before surrendering her first runs against of the weekend.

Senior centerfielder Kerri Cunningham made a successful transition to the leadoff spot in the lineup. She collected a team-high four hits on the weekend and was key to the Bears win on Saturday. She went 2-for-4 in the victory while scoring twice, driving in a run and stealing two bases. She also made a dazzling diving catch in left-center to end the fifth inning.

Fellow senior Heather Duckworth also had a big outing in the win. She went 3-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a steal of home. It was her fourth career three-hit game.

Preseason All-MVC selection Mary Stephens picked up a single in each game of Saturday's doubleheader to extend her active hitting streak to eight games, a team high.

- Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph matched last season's single game high with six strikeouts against Georgia Tech on Saturday. She did not allow a run in four innings of relief to earn her first career win.
- Erin Duewel returned to the lineup after a redshirt season in style by blasting her first career home run in Saturday's win at Georgia Tech.
- Senior Stacia Boeckstiegel drove in a run in each of the final two games of the GT series to lead the team in RBI.
- Centerfielder Kerri Cunningham made a smooth transition to the leadoff role picking up a team-high four hits on opening weekend. She scored twice, stole two bases and drove in another in three games at GT.
- Senior Heather Duckworth became the first Bear this season with a three-hit game, doing it on Saturday in game two. It was her fourth career three-hit game. - Junior Ali Trickey went 2-for-3 on the weekend including a double and her first pinch hit of the year. She led MSU in pinch hits (4) in 2013.
- Sophomore Mary Stephens extended her hitting streak to eight games with a single in each game of Saturday's DH at Georgia Tech.

Texas-Arlington Mavericks: The Mavericks played five games at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah to open the season. UTA got an extra-inning victory in its first game and shutout Utah Valley in the finale. The Mavericks' pitching was the story of the weekend registering a 1.75 ERA over the five games. Sophomore Shannon Carrico went 2-0 in three starts and struck out 11 over 18.1 innings pitched. Offensively, UTA hit just .205 with junior Meagan Michele topping the squad with a .333 average. The last matchup between the Bears and Mavericks couldn't be decided in regulation and UTA skirted by with a 3-2 win in eight innings in 2004.

Central Michigan Chippewas: Central Michigan got off to a fast start going 3-1 at the Rosemont Rumble. The Chippewas got a pair of shutout wins over Valley member Drake and beat UIC before a Sunday defeat to Illinois. Senior pitchers Chelsea Sundberg and Morgan Yuncker threw back-to-back complete game shutouts against Drake. On the offensive side, CMU hit .243 on opening weekend and are led by junior Kristen Kuhlman's .400 average. Junior Trista Cox provided the power for CMU hitting three home runs over the four games. The last time MSU and CMU played was back in 1982 with Central Michigan winning 7-0.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits: South Dakota State struggled to put up runs through the first three games of the Cyclone Invitational, all resulting in losses, before a torrent of runs led to the Jacks first win of the season. SDSU split with MVC foe Indiana State dropping the opening game, 6-2, before wrapping up the weekend with a walk-off 14-12 eight-inning victory. Infielder Elyse Eitel scorched opposing pitching to the tune of a .727 average in an 8-for-11 weekend. The Jacks arms suffered as runs piled up to a 5.38 ERA over the four games. The Bears and Jackrabbits met just two seasons ago in the Mean Green Classic and MSU prevailed with a 7-2 win.

Missouri State softball will be broadcast on radio and television again in 2014. Seven of the Bears home games can be heard on KBFL 1060 AM and Additionally, two home games will be telecast on MediaCom. All home games can be seen online via Bears All-Access, a subscription-based service through

2014 Broadcast Schedule
Wednesday, March 12 vs. SIU Edwardsville [KBFL]
Wednesday, March 26 vs. Tulsa [KBFL]
Saturday, April 12 vs. Indiana State (DH) [KBFL]
Sunday, April 13 vs. Indiana State [MC22]
Tuesday, April 22 vs. Wichita State (DH) [KBFL]
Tuesday, April 22 vs. Wichita State (G2) [MC22]
Saturday, April 26 vs. Illinois State (G1) [KBFL]

Head Coach Holly Hesse is second in all-time wins by an MVC coach with 647. She trails only current Illinois State coach Melinda Fischer (910 wins).

Senior centerfielder Kerri Cunningham entered 2014 with the most stolen bases among returners. She paced the Bears through opening weekend with two steals at Georgia Tech.

Her transition to the leadoff role was a success through the first three games of the season. She led the Bears with four hits and two runs scored in the three-game set at Georgia Tech.

Redshirt sophomore Erin Duewel returned to the lineup in game two of Saturday's doubleheader at Georgia Tech. After playing in just six games in 2013, Duewel looked eager and ready to get back on the field.

In her first at-bat in nearly a year, she put down a perfect sacrifice bunt. But in the sixth inning, she left no doubt with her first career home run, a majestic shot over the left field fence.

Beside Duewel's first career home run, MSU saw several others record career firsts in the weekend series at Georgia Tech.

Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph picked up her first career strikeout in her first outing, ending the sixth inning with a punch out to strand two Yellow Jackets on base. In game two on Saturday, she earned her first career victory while striking out six over four innings of work.

Fellow freshman Madison Jones picked up her first career hit, a solid single through the right side, during game two on Saturday.

Senior Ciara Flau made the most of her opportunity to start on Sunday. She led off the fifth inning against the Yellow Jackets and laced her first career double into the right field corner.



Official Store

    Watch Video