March 26, 2012
Kansas Series Notes
The Missouri State softball team (13-10, 3-3) will face Kansas (22-6) in a non-conference doubleheader that was rescheduled from last week. The Bears and Jayhawks take the field at 4:00 p.m. in Kansas' first visit to Killian Stadium. The Jayhawks last played in Springfield in 2007 and have hosted the Bears in each of the last five matchups.
Kansas is the Bears' third Big 12 opponent this season. Missouri State narrowly missed knocking off then-No. 13 Missouri as the Bears stranded the tying runs on base in the final at bat. MSU split a doubleheader with Iowa State in the home opening series against the Cyclones.
Missouri State comes off of a 3-2 week in which the offense started clicking. MSU tied a season high with 11 hits at Eastern Illinois last Thursday, a game that included the highest scoring inning of the year (five run sixth inning). Then on Saturday, Missouri State put up the highest run total in nearly two years with an 11-2 win at Evansville. That game saw the Bears top their best inning with a six run fourth inning.
The Bears will jump right back into conference play this weekend with a second-straight road series. MSU will play at Drake on Saturday (DH) and Sunday with 12:00 p.m. games in Des Moines, Iowa, both days.
- Senior hurler Natalie Rose moved into third place on the all-time MSU strikeout list with her first inning strikeout of UE's Amy Gaertner on March 24.
- Freshman Rebecca McPherson had a six-game hitting streak snapped during game two of the doubleheader at Evansville on Saturday. It was the longest hitting streak by a Bear this season.
- Caitlin Chapin and Heather Duckworth recorded at least one hit in every game of the Evansville series last weekend.
- Junior Caitlin Chapin doubled her home run output for the season with a home run in each game of the doubleheader sweep at Evansville on Saturday.
- Despite an 18-71 record against the Jayhawks, Missouri State has won two of the last three meetings with Kansas.
- The last time Kansas visited Springfield was in 2007. The last five meeting between MSU and KU have been in Lawrence, Kan.
- Missouri State's Chelsea Jones and Kansas' Maddie Stein are stepsisters.
FOLLOWING THE BEARS
Video: Select Missouri State home games will be video streamed on Bears All-Access. For upcoming video streams, visit the softball schedule page at MissouriStateBears.com.
GameTracker: GameTracker will be provided for all home Missouri State softball games including the doubleheader against Kansas. Fans can follow along by clicking the GameTracker link on the softball schedule page at MissouriStateBears.com.
IN THE OTHER DUGOUT
Kansas Jayhawks: The last five meetings have been at KU's home field. Kansas last visited Springfield in 2007. The last time the Bears and Jayhawks hooked up, the teams split a doubleheader at the Kansas Invitational on March 14, 2010. In game one, MSU was victorious, 8-7, but KU rallied for a walkoff win in game two, 4-3. KU is led by second baseman Ashley Newman (.385), one of six Jayhawks hitting over .300. All of Kansas' hurler have a season ERA under 3.00. Tuesday's games will mark the 90th and 91st games against Kansas, the second-most games against one opponent in school history (92 games vs. Wichita State).
500 AND COUNTING
Senior pitcher Natalie Rose struck out Southeast Missouri State's Taylor Cowan to end the fourth inning on Sunday, March 4 for strikeout number 500 of her career. Then on March 24, she struck out Amy Gaertner of Evansville for career strikeout number 546 to take over sole possession of third on the all-time Missouri State list in the category, passing Terri Whitmarsh. Rose leads all active Valley pitchers with 552 strikeouts with Jordan Birch of Illinois State the only other MVC pitcher with more than 500 strikeouts (513).
600 AND COUNTING
Head Coach Holly Hesse won her 600th game at the helm of the softball Bears in her 24th season at MSU in a season-opening 7-2 win against Sam Houston State (February 17). With an overall record of 612-593-2, Hesse entered the season tied for 40th on the all-time victories list among active coaches.
MSU SOFTBALL IS ON THE AIR
Eight remaining Missouri State home softball games will be broadcast on radio and/or television this season.
2012 Broadcast schedule
Date - Opponent - Media Outlet
April 6 - Bradley (DH) - KBFL-am 1060
April 7 - Bradley - MediaCom TV
April 14 - SIU (gm 1 only) - KBFL-am 1060
April 18 - Wichita State (DH) - KBFL-am 1060
April 28 - Indiana St (game 1 only) - KBFL-am 1060
May 2 - Arkansas - KBFL-am 1060 & MediaCom TV
The Missouri State offense has heated up since the official start of spring last week. On Thursday (March 22) at Eastern Illinois, the Bears tied a season-high with 11 hits and scored five runs in the sixth inning, the highest single inning total of the season. Then on Saturday at Evansville, Missouri State continued to sizzle with a six-run fourth inning that led to an 11 run outing, the highest run total since a 14-10 win at Evansville in 2010.
After launching the second-highest MSU single season total of eight home run in 2010, junior Caitlin Chapin has found her power stroke again in 2012. On Saturday, March 24, Chapin blasted a home run in each game of the doubleheader at Evansville to give her a team-leading four dingers this season. She is the only Bear with more than one four-bagger this year. Her 14 career homers is just two shy of fifth in school history.
CAREER DAY 2012
Several returning Missouri State players have had career days already this season. Sophomore Ashley Brentz had her first career four-hit game on opening day (February 17) against Sam Houston State and stole her first base. It was the first four-hit performance by a Bear since another second baseman, Christa Gammon, had four hits in game one of a doubleheader against UNI on May 8, 2010.
On that Sunday (February 19), senior Raeven Replogle had a career-best three-RBI game against South Dakota State. Junior Caitlin Chapin had two stolen bases and sophomore Heather Duckworth scored two runs, both career highs.
At the Blues City Classic in Memphis, Tenn., Brentz and Kirstin Cutter each recorded their first multi-RBI games of their careers. Both feats occurred on Saturday (February 25) as Cutter drove in both runs in the Bears' 2-1 win over Miami (OH). In the nightcap, Brentz drove in two of the four runs in MSU's 4-1 win over SEMO.