Missouri State to play single game at Wichita State on Wednesday before travelling to UNI for three games on Friday and Saturday
April 15, 2014
Wichita State-UNI Series Notes
The Missouri State softball team (23-17, 6-8) heads out on the Valley road for four games against league foes this week. The Bears will stop in Wichita for a single game Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. versus the league-leading Shockers (25-17, 12-3). MSU will then venture to Cedar Falls, Iowa, for a three-game set against preseason favorite UNI (21-13, 8-6) on Friday and Saturday.
The Last Meeting
April 30, 2013
The Last Meeting
March 16, 2013
Redshirt sophomore Erin Duewel
had a breakout game in the series finale win against Indiana State on Sunday. She had a career-high three hits in the game, including her second home run of the season. She also doubled her career-best by driving in four runs. She also drew a walk, coming with the bases loaded to drive in her third run of the inning in the bottom of the second.
Seniors Stacia Boeckstiegel and Ashley Brentz also set career highs in RBI last week, both coming in Monday's win at Loyola. Boeckstiegel hit a three-run home run to cap off a four-RBI performance. Brentz drove in three to top her previous best.
Kerri Cunningham continues to climb the charts in the MSU annals. On Saturday, she stole her 21st base of the season, tying her for the fifth-best single season in school history.
Sophomore Bethany Sullinger is leaving her mark in the record books as well. She drove in two runs on Sunday against Indiana State to give her 35 RBI on the season, tied for the fifth-highest single season total. Both of her RBI on Sunday came with two outs extending her league-leading total to 23 two-out RBI.
In the circle, freshman Erin Struemph picked up her first MVC win on Sunday. She threw 5.1 solid innings of relief, her second-consecutive outing of relief allowing just one run. She struck out two Sycamores to run her season total to 97 strikeouts, fourth-most among Valley pitchers. Her 2.74 ERA is the best in the league.
Last season, the Bears swept all three games against Wichita State to extend the all-time series lead to 56-43. MSU and UNI have played to a 41-40 all-time series, led narrowly by the Bears. Three of the last five meetings with UNI have gone extra innings and three of the last four have been decided by a single run.
- Sophomore Bethany Sullinger drove in her 35th run of the year on Sunday, tied for the fifth-most in a single season in MSU history. She has a league-best 23 two-out RBI.
- Senior Kerri Cunningham stole her team-leading 21st base of the year versus Indiana State on Saturday, tied for the fifth-highest single season total and the most steals by a player since 2006.
- Junior pitcher Chelsea Jones has only walked 14 batters in 96.2 innings on the season. She entered the week ranked 14th in the nation with just 1.01 walks allowed per seven innings.
- Redshirt sophomore Erin Duewel had a breakout game against Indiana State on Sunday. She had a career-high three hits and drove in four runs, double her previous best.
- Senior Stacia Boeckstiegel drove in a career-best four runs against Loyola on Monday, including her fourth home run of the year, a three-run blast that landed on the roof of the adjacent basketball arena.
ACROSS THE DIAMOND
Wichita State Shockers: The Shockers have made a surprising surge to the top of the league standings at the midpoint of the Valley slate. At 12-3, WSU has already surpassed its win total from last year in MVC play. The Shockers enter Wednesday's game after sweeping preseason league-favorite UNI last weekend. Wichita State leads the Valley in nearly every offensive category including a team batting average of .310. Newcomers Cacy Williams and Paige Luellen are hitting .397 and .374, respectively. That offense has been necessary as the Shocker pitching staff has a 4.34 ERA, led by senior Sloan Anderson's 3.65 ERA. Last season, WSU dropped all three games to MSU.
UNI Panthers: The Panthers bring a four-game losing streak into this week. UNI plays Drake in a doubleheader on Tuesday before facing the Bears on Friday and Saturday. Senior pitcher Jamie Fisher has logged the fourth-most innings in the league and has the fifth-lowest ERA at 2.98 with 104 strikeouts. Transfer Rikki Alcaraz (.327) is one of just two regulars hitting better than .300 for the Panthers. Last year, the teams split a doubleheader to keep the slight edge in the all-time series with the Bears at 41-40.
EXTENDING HER LEGACY
Head Coach Holly Hesse is second in all-time wins by an MVC coach with 669. 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 (925 wins).
BEARS SOFTBALL IS ON THE AIR
Missouri State softball will be broadcast on radio and television again in 2014. Three remaining Bears' home games can be heard on KBFL 1060 AM and RadioSpringfield.com. 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.
Remaining 2014 Broadcast Schedule
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 eight wins and leads the MVC with a 2.74 ERA. She has completed seven of her 15 starts on the year, three of which have been shutouts, and has earned three saves.
Struemph also leads the MVC in overall opponent's batting average (.241), is second in strikeouts per game (6.49) and batting average against with two outs (.212). She is third in the league in batting average against with runners on base (.239). On the season, she has struck out at least one batter in 23 of 29 outings, including two appearances of just 0.2 innings.
STEALING TO APPLAUSE
Senior Kerri Cunningham successfully stole her 21st base of the year on April 12 against Indiana State. The speedy centerfielder is inching closer to the record books as her 21 steal total is tied for the 5th-most steals in a season. Her 21 steals are also the most since Sara Cole had 21 in 2006.
Heather Duckworth hit Missouri State's 11th triple of the year at UMKC on March 19. She leads the Valley with four triples. It is the most triples hit in a season by a player since Sara Cole had six in 2006. The Bears have hit 13 triples as a team this season, the most since MSU hit 16 in 2006.
Missouri State has picked up five weekly honors from the MVC this season, the most since 2006. Erin Struemph has earned the league's Newcomer of the Week honor twice, exactly one month apart (February 24 and March 24). Junior Chelsea Jones has been named MVC Pitcher of the Week twice (March 3 and March 17). Bethany Sullinger was the recipient of the league Player of the Week honor on February 17 after a stellar weekend in Arlington, Texas.
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 was also hit on March 15 against Bradley and again on March 29 versus SIU. She has now been plunked 19 times in her three seasons and is four shy of tying the school record.
The Bears have clubbed 17 home runs on the year, led by Sullinger's five long balls, three shy of the MVC lead. 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 again at UCA becoming the second player this year to homer in back-to-back games (Sullinger, Feb. 14, at UTA and vs. Central Michigan).
The Bears hit a pair of long balls in the series finale against Indiana State (April 13). Duewel went deep to pull the Bears within a run and Chelsea Jones put an insurance run on the board with her second dinger of the year.
BREAKING THE ICE
Beside Duewel's first career home run, MSU players have recorded firsts in their career already this season.
Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph picked up her first career strikeout in her first outing, ending the sixth inning with a punch out to strand two Yellow Jackets on base (Feb. 8). In game two against Georgia Tech (Feb. 8), she earned her first career victory while striking out six over four innings of work. Then in Texas, Struemph pitched her first complete game with a win over Central Michigan (Feb. 14). As an encore, she tossed her first career shutout with a 3-0 win over UTA in the championship game (Feb. 16). On February 21, Struemph earned her first career save over Morehead State with 0.2 innings of hitless relief to strand an inherited runner.
Fellow freshman Madison Jones picked up her first career hit, a solid single through the right side, during game two at Georgia Tech (Feb. 8). Her first multi-hit game came in the opener of the UTA Maverick Invitational, a 3-for-3 day against the host team (Feb. 14).
Elena Gambill, got in on the action in Texas. In game two of the UTA Maverick Invitational, Gambill registered her first career hit, a double to the left-center field wall against Central Michigan (Feb. 14). Gambill upped her slugging percentage on her next hit, a home run against Liscomb (Feb. 23).
Allie Alvstad drove in her first run with an RBI groundout against Alabama A&M (Feb. 21). She recorded her first hit with an RBI single to right against Bradley (March 15).
Senior Ciara Flau made the most of her opportunity to start at Georgia Tech (Feb. 9). She led off the fifth inning against the Yellow Jackets and laced her first career double into the right field corner.