Softball Bears Finish Sweep of Sycamores with 6-1 Victory
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- For the second straight day a resurgent Missouri State offense punished Indiana State to take a 6-1 victory and complete a two-game series sweep of the Sycamores Sunday at Price Field. The Bears recorded a season-high 12 hits on the afternoon, while junior pitcher Natalie Rose turned in five scoreless innings to lead MSU to its ninth straight win over ISU.
Ashley Knehans led the way with a 3-for-3 afternoon, and Caitlin Chapin drove in three runs and scored two more with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Additionally, Kirstin Cutter and Tyler Porter sparked the MSU offense with multi-hit games for the second day-in-a-row.
Just as they did in Saturday’s series-opening 6-1 win, the Bears jumped on top early and never let up. Singles by Porter and Knehans set the table in the top of the first leading up to Chapin’s two-out, two-run triple to deep center that really got the ball rolling. Raeven Replogle drove in Chapin with a base hit into shallow right that just eluded the reach of ISU second baseman Stephanie Robinson to stake Missouri State to a 3-0 lead.
The Bears came right back with two more runs the next inning, striking for four consecutive hits after ISU starter Chelsea Wallace retired the first two hitters of the frame. Cutter sparked the two-out rally by beating out a tapper in front of the plate, and Porter followed with a base hit to center. Next, Jenna Schwark lined a single to center to plate Cutter and move Porter over to third, making it a 4-0 MSU advantage. The Bears weren’t quite done, as Knehans delivered an RBI-single to left to drive home Porter and stretch the lead to five runs.
Rose (8-9) would take over from there, retiring nine straight batters following a one-out single to Olivia Andres in the second inning. In all, the Bears’ right-hander would set down 12 of the last 13 hitters she faced to notch her eighth victory of the year. She fanned five batters on the day and allowed just three hits in registering her sixth consecutive outing without giving up an earned run.
Chapin would give MSU an insurance run in the top of the fifth when she blasted a Wallace offering over the wall in straight-away center to make it a 6-0 game.
Savannah Wiggins closed out the win for MSU after relieving Rose in the sixth. The freshman righty held the Sycamores (9-14, 0-5 MVC) to a single run on just one hit over her two-inning stint that closed out the Bears’ third straight series sweep of Indiana State.
Up next, Missouri State (13-11, 4-1 MVC) will travel to Normal, Ill., next weekend for its second straight Valley road series against Ililnois State. The Bears and Redbirds will play a doubleheader beginning at noon Saturday (April 2) to open the series, then play a single contest Sunday at noon to wrap up the weekend.