April 17, 2012
Wichita State Series Notes
The Missouri State softball team (18-18, 6-8) concludes an eight-game home stand when Wichita State (10-31, 3-12) visits Killian Stadium on Wednesday for a doubleheader beginning at 4:00 p.m. Home field has not been advantageous in this series as the visiting team has won the last six matchups between the teams.
The Bears rebounded with a walk-off win in game two against Southern Illinois on Saturday, snapping a nine-game skid against the Salukis. Chelsea Jones threw a complete game in the win and has been the pitcher of record in MSU's last three victories.
The Shockers had been winless in the league until a three-game sweep at Evansville last weekend put WSU in the win column. Before last weekend's sweep, Wichita State had lost 24 of its previous 25 games dating back to March 3.
- Natalie Rose entered the week fourth in the nation in fewest walks allowed per game (0.82). She is one of only nine pitchers in the country allowing fewer than one walk per game this season.
- Rose is just 13 strikeouts shy of becoming the third pitcher in MSU history to record 600 punchouts in a career.
- Sophomore Heather Duckworth has a team-leading nine doubles this season. That total is tied for third in the MVC.
- Senior Raeven Replogle has eight sacrifice bunts this season, tied for third in the league.
- Freshman Chelsea Jones has been the pitcher of record in each of the Bears' last three wins.
- Second baseman Ashley Brentz has 11 hits in the last eight games, including the walk-off double against SIU on Saturday.
- The last three Bears' victories have been in game two of doubleheaders.
- The visiting team has won the last six games in the MSU-WSU series.
FOLLOWING THE BEARS
Video: Bears All-Access, visit MissouriStateBears.com/allaccess to subscribe.
Audio: KBFL-AM 1060 will broadcast the doubleheader on Wednesday.
GameTracker: GameTracker will be provided for all home Missouri State softball games including this weekend's both games of the doubleheader with Wichita State. Fans can follow along by clicking the GameTracker link on the softball schedule page at MissouriStateBears.com.
IN THE OTHER DUGOUT
Wichita State Shockers: The Shockers are coming in fresh off a three-game sweep at Evansville. The wins over the Aces were WSU's first MVC victories of the season. Wichita State has won just 10 games this season, four in the last 28 games. The Shockers have struggled in the circle with a team ERA of 6.00. On offense, freshman Sydney Stuever is the leading hitter among regulars at .308 and she leads the Shockers with 10 steals.
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 587 strikeouts with Jordan Birch of Illinois State the only other MVC pitcher with more than 500 strikeouts (565).
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 617-601-2, Hesse entered the season tied for 40th on the all-time victories list among active coaches.
NO FREE PASSES
Pitcher Natalie Rose had her streak of consecutive innings without issuing a walk snapped at 31.2 when she issued a free pass in the fourth inning of the February 26 game vs. Western Illinois. The last walk Rose had issued came in the second inning of the State Farm MVC Tournament Championship game versus Drake on May 14, 2011. Rose has allowed just 17 bases on balls this season, the fewest walks per game ratio (0.82) in the Valley and entered the week fourth in the nation in fewest walks per seven innings.
Missouri State has three hitters with 17 or more walks this season. Only Creighton and SIU have as many hitters with as many walks. Stevie Pierce leads the Bears with 20 free passes, with Ashley Brentz and Lauren Eisenreich having 18 and 17 bases on balls, respectively. Pierce had three consecutive multi-walk games from March 31 through April 3, the only player in the past four seasons to accomplish the feat. Brentz had back-to-back two walk games on March 27 and March 31 and Pierce had back-to-back multi walk games in 2011 (March 9 at North Texas  and March 12 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff ).
MSU SOFTBALL IS ON THE AIR
Four remaining Missouri State home softball games will be broadcast on radio and/or television this season.
2012 Broadcast schedule
Date - Opponent - Media Outlet
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. 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, March 24 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. Since the official start of spring, the team batting average has risen 22 points since March 20.
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.
On March 24, Brentz scored three times in MSU's 11-2 six inning win at Evansville. The three runs scored was a career-best for the second baseman.
Duckworth had another career day at UMKC on April 3. She drove in three runs in a 4-2 Bears' win. Two of the RBI came in the top of the seventh inning, plating the winning run. She followed that up with another three RBI game against Bradley on April 6.