Bears host SIUE Thursday and begin MVC play against Bradley at Killian Stadium this weekend.
March 12, 2014
SIUE-Bradley Series Notes
The Missouri State softball team (13-7) returns to Killian Stadium to begin a five game home stand on Thursday against SIU Edwardsville. The Bears continue the home stand on Saturday and Sunday with a three-game conference-opening series against Bradley. The home stand wraps up on Tuesday against Northern Colorado, a renewal of AIAW National Tournament foes in the 1970s.
The Last Meeting
March 13, 2013
Missouri State brings a two-game winning streak into the home stand after knocking off Central Arkansas on Tuesday by a 10-7 score. Seniors Stacia Boeckstiegel
and Heather Duckworth
each homered in the game combining to drive in five runs against UCA. Every batter in the Missouri State lineup contributed at least one hit, run and/or RBI in the win.
The Bears capped last weekend's Oklahoma State Mizuno Classic with a 5-1 win over the host Cowgirls. In that victory, freshman Erin Struemph picked up her sixth win of the season in her fifth complete game outing of the year. She struck out a season-high 10 OSU hitters while lowering her season ERA to a league-best 2.29.
Junior Chelsea Jones has been on fire at the plate extending her hitting streak to six games with a pair of hits at Central Arkansas on Tuesday. During her six game streak, she is hitting .667 (10-for-15) with six RBI, three doubles and a home run. She is tied atop the league with seven doubles this season.
Bethany Sullinger has continued to be solid in the clean up spot in the lineup. On Sunday, she clubbed her team-leading fifth home run of the season. That figure ranks second in the MVC and her .683 slugging percentage is third-best in the Valley.
On Tuesday, Boeckstiegel became the second MSU hitter this season with a home run in back-to-back games (Sullinger, 2/14, at UTA and vs. Central Michigan). She also hit her third triple of the year, tying teammate Duckworth atop the league.
- Junior Chelsea Jones leads MSU with a .404 average on the year, fourth-best in the MVC. She has hit .667 over her current six-game hitting streak and is tied for the league lead with seven doubles on the year.
- Jones and teammate Erin Struemph are the only two MVC pitchers to throw two seven-inning shutouts this season (UNI's Jamie Fisher's two shutouts were both five-inning outings).
- Struemph pitched her fifth complete game of the year with a 10-strikeout performance to beat Oklahoma State on Sunday. She leads the MVC with a 2.29 ERA and is averaging a league-best 7.4 strikeouts per game.
- Senior Stacia Boeckstiegel has hit a home run in each of the last two games. She is the second Bear this season to hit a long ball in back-to-back games (Bethany Sullinger, Feb. 14).
- Boeckstiegel legged out her third triple of the year at Central Arkansas on Tuesday. She is tied atop the MVC charts with teammate Heather Duckworth, the only players in the Valley with three triples.
- Sophomore Bethany Sullinger drove in her team-leading 19th run of the year on Tuesday. It came with two outs, her league-leading 13th two-out RBI.
ACROSS THE DIAMOND
SIU Edwardsville Cougars: SIUE started the season 0-4 and haven't fared much better since en route to a 6-13 record. Through 19 games, the Cougars offense is hitting just .209 with no batter hitting better than .300. Power has also been absent from the SIUE offense with just one home run. Senior Chelsea Yankolovich leads the Cougars with a .276 average and six stolen bases. In the circle, senior Erin Greenwalt and sophomore Haley Chambers each have three victories and have pitched nearly every inning this season. In recent seasons, SIUE has had the Bears number having won the last four meetings including last season's 11-1 win in Illinois. The all-time series favors SIUE 4-2.
Bradley Braves: The Braves enter league play after splitting four games at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., last weekend. BU defeated Mississippi Valley State twice while losing to host Arkansas twice. Junior Alyson Clemente leads the Braves with 16 RBI and is hitting .333. As a team, Bradley is hitting .268 and lead the MVC with 97 walks. Senior Madeline Lynch-Crumrine leads the pitching staff with a 3.12 ERA and has earned five of the Braves' wins. She has walked 37 while striking out 33, a common theme on the BU staff with a 80-66 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Last season, the Braves salavaged the final game of the season-ending three-game series in which MSU eliminated BU from MVC Tournament qualification. Missouri State leads the all-time series 51-27 with a 26-10 record at home versus the Braves.
EXTENDING HER LEGACY
Head Coach Holly Hesse is second in all-time wins by an MVC coach with 659. With a 7-1 victory over South Dakota State on February 15, Hesse earned milestone win 650. She trails only current Illinois State coach Melinda Fischer (917 wins).
BEARS SOFTBALL IS ON THE AIR
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 RadioSpringfield.com. Additionally, two home games and one road game will be telecast on MediaCom. All home games can be seen online via Bears All-Access, a subscription-based service through MissouriStateBears.com.
2014 Broadcast Schedule
Wednesday, March 12 vs. SIU Edwardsville [KBFL]
Wednesday, March 26 vs. Tulsa [KBFL]
Sunday, March 30 vs. Southern Illinois [MC22]
Saturday, April 12 vs. Indiana State (DH) [KBFL]
Sunday, April 13 vs. Indiana State [MC22]
Tuesday, April 22 vs. Wichita State (DH) [KBFL]
Wednesday, April 23 at Missouri [MC22]
Saturday, April 26 vs. Illinois State (G1) [KBFL]
Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph has been a tremendous addition to the Bears' pitching staff. She has a 6-2 record and leads the MVC with a 2.29 ERA. She has completed five of her seven starts on the year, two of which have been shutouts, and has earned a save.
Struemph, along with teammate Chelsea Jones, are the only two Valley pitchers with two seven-inning shutouts on the season. She also leads the MVC in batting average against with two outs (.150), batting average against with runners on base (.192) and is second with an opponent's batting average of .226. On the season, she has struck out at least one batter in 12 of 14 outings, including two appearances of just 0.2 innings.
SWEEPING THROUGH TEXAS
The Bears went down to Texas and swept all five games at the UTA Maverick Invitational (Feb. 14-16) for their first five-game winning streak since early in the 2012 season. MSU defeated 2013 MAC Champion and 2014 favorite Central Michigan and took two games each from host UT Arlington and South Dakota State.
Missouri State pitched back-to-back shutouts to claim the title in Arlington.
The Bears' winning streak continued in Southaven, Miss. extending to eight games, the longest win streak since 2011. MSU also pitched two more shutouts, making it four shutouts over the span of five games.
HOT IN TEXAS IN FEBRUARY
Sophomore first baseman Bethany Sullinger picked up MVC Player of the Week honors (Feb. 17) after a scorching weekend at the plate. In five games at the UTA Maverick Invitational, she hit .625 with a stellar 1.250 slugging percentage.
On Valentine's Day, Sullinger clubbed three home runs, two of which came against MAC favorite Central Michigan. She hit safely in all five games and had career bests in hits, runs scored and RBI. She also drew her first career walk and stole her first career base.
Junior Chelsea Jones became just the second Bear since 1997 to hit three doubles in the same game when she accomplished the feat against UT Arlington on Feb. 14. She drove in a run with each of those doubles.
The only other Bear to have three doubles in a game was Staci Wattie against Maryland on March 24, 2000.
Missouri State topped its season total from 2013 (5) by hitting six triples at the Blues City Classic (Feb. 21-23). The Bears hit three triples against Alabama A&M (Feb. 21), the first three-triple game since April 2, 1998 versus Saint Louis. In the bottom of the third inning against the Bulldogs, Stacia Boeckstiegel and Heather Duckworth each tripled, the first time in three seasons (March 26, 2011) that two players tripled in the same inning.
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Senior catcher Stacia Boeckstiegel was hit by a pitch against Central Michigan (Feb. 14), her first HBP this season. She has now been plunked 17 times in just over two seasons and is six shy of the school record.
Through the first 20 games of the season, the Bears have clubbed 13 home runs. Sullinger has hit five of the 13 long balls, second-most in the MVC. Boeckstiegel and Sullinger hit back-to-back dingers against Central Michigan.
Redshirt sophomore Erin Duewel accounted for the Bears' only home run of opening weekend when she hit the first of her career in the sixth inning of the second game at Georgia Tech (Feb. 8).
Elena Gambill was the only Bear to go deep at the Blues City Classic. She blasted a solo shot to left in the second inning against Lipscomb (Feb. 23).
Heather Duckworth hit her first home run of the year against SEMO. The three-run blast came on her birthday (March 1) and helped her set a career high with seven total bases in the game.
Missouri State clubbed four dingers in Stillwater and added two more at Central Arkansas (March 11). Boeckstegel went yard in the final game at Oklahoma State and against at UCA becoming the second player this year to homer in back-to-back games (Sullinger, Feb. 14, at UTA and vs. Central Michigan).