Softball Amped for Battle of the Bears in Conway Tuesday
March 10, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Coming off a victory over Oklahoma State on Sunday, the Missouri State softball team (12-7) will travel to Conway, Ark., on Tuesday to play Central Arkansas (10-15) at 5:00 p.m. The game is a rescheduling of last Wednesday's postponed matchup.
Chelsea Jones had a fantastic weekend for the Bears. She topped the squad with a .636 average (7-for-11) and slugged 1.091 over the four games at the Oklahoma State Mizuno Classic. Jones is now tied atop the MVC with seven doubles this season after hitting two over the weekend. She also hit her first home run of the year and drove in four runs. In the circle, Jones pitched in three games, striking out nine while allowing just one walk.
Bethany Sullinger hit her team-leading fifth home run of the year on Sunday. She drove in three runs on the weekend, upping her season total to 18 RBI. Twelve of her runs batted in this season have come with two outs, tied for the most by a league player.
Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph tossed her sixth complete game of the year in the win over Oklahoma State. She struck out a season-high 10 Cowgirls, the most strikeouts in a game by an MSU pitcher since 2012. On the year, Struemph has a 2.29 ERA with 55 strikeouts and has held opposing batters to a .226 average, the second-best figures in the MVC.
UCA is 10-15 this year including a 0-4 record against top-25 teams and have been shut out six times this season. Freshman Briana Whisenhunt leads UCA with three triples and a .413 average for team that is hitting .249. Sophomore catcher Jessie Taylor has provided the pop with a team-best four home runs and 20 RBI. In the circle, juniors Ciara Clampitt and Kylee Studioso each have four complete games and sub-4.00 earned run averages. Studioso has earned six of UCA's 10 wins while recording 70 strikeouts this season.
Following Tuesday's game in Conway, Missouri State opens a five-game home stand with Thursday's home opener at 4:00 p.m. versus SIU Edwardsville. The Bears will open conference play on Saturday (March 15) with a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader against Bradley. The series will conclude on Sunday with a single game also at 12:00 p.m. MSU's home stand will wrap up on Tuesday (March 18) with a 5:00 p.m. game against Northern Colorado.