Softball Bears Rally in Seventh for 3-2 Win Over SEMO
ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri State softball team rallied for three runs with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 3-2 victory over Southeast Missouri State Friday in their first game at the Saint Louis University Breast Cancer Tournament at the Billiken Sports Complex. MSU trailed the entire game until Lauren Eisenreich’s soft liner was misplayed by SEMO second baseman Carman Fowler to allow the tying and go-ahead runs to cross the plate.
Held in check by four different Redhawk pitchers for most of the day, the Bears (3-4) got a two-out walk from Stevie Pierce and a single from Caitlin Chapin to set the table for their game-ending rally. MSU, which recorded just two hits over the first six innings, snapped a 12-inning scoreless streak when Ashley Knehans lined a pitch through the hole at short. SEMO left fielder Evan Sallis overran the ball for the first of two costly errors in the inning, allowing Pierce to come around from second.
Eisenreich followed with a looping liner toward second that appeared to be playable for what would have been the final out of the game. Instead, the wind-blown ball handcuffed Fowler and dropped in fair territory, bringing pinch-runners Kerri Cunningham and Ashley Brentz home for the improbably come-from-behind victory.
The Bears fell behind immediately, as SEMO tallied an unearned run in the top of the first courtesy of a Missouri State throwing error and an RBI-double down the left field line by Fowler. MSU starter Savannah Wiggins worked her way out of further trouble in inning by getting Renee Kertz to chase a third strike and coaxing a fly ball off the bat of Nicole Troncoso. Wiggins would wiggle her way out of jams in each of her four innings before a lead-off double from Taylor Cowan in the fifth led to a 2-0 advantage for the Redhawks.
Natalie Rose (2-3) came on in relief of Wiggins and promptly retired each of the nine batters she faced. The junior right-hander fanned four batters en route to her second victory of the season.
The Bears’ nightcap against host Saint Louis was scoreless in the second inning when it was suspended due to inclement weather. The game will resume at 3 p.m. Sunday, after the Bears take on No. 18 Missouri at 11 a.m.
MSU will be back in action Saturday when it faces off against UMKC at 3 p.m.