Softball Bears host Wichita State in a doubleheader Tuesday and play at Missouri in a single game on Wednesday.
April 21, 2014
Wichita State-Missouri Notes
The Missouri State softball team (24-20, 7-11) will look to rebound from a tough week as it hosts the first-place Wichita State Shockers (29-17, 16-3) in a doubleheader at Killian Stadium beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday. MSU will then have a quick turnaround as the Bears travel to Columbia on Wednesday for a single game against No. 13/15 Missouri at 5:00 p.m. The Bears' game against the Tigers will be telecast live on MediaCom (MC22).
The Last Meeting
April 16, 2014
Bears Drop Conference Game at Wichita State in No-Hitter
The Missouri State softball team (23-18, 6-9) fell victim to five long balls by Wichita State (26-17, 13-3) in a five-inning, 12-0 loss in Wichita on Wednesday. The Bears were no-hit for the 20th time in program history, the second time that Wichita State has held MSU hitless.
The Last Meeting
April 3, 2013
Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph
continues to top her already impressive start to her career. On Saturday, she tossed her eighth complete game in a win over UNI. In the win, she struck out a season-high 11 Panthers. It is the most strikeouts by any Valley pitcher this season. On the year, she has 111 strikeouts, fifth-most in the league and only MVC pitcher with more than 100 strikeouts who hasn't allowed more hits than strikeouts.
Senior Kerri Cunningham continues to climb the charts in the MSU annals. On Saturday, she stole her 22nd base of the season, tying her for the third-best single season in school history. It is the most stolen bases in a season since Amanda Bean swiped 23 in 2003.
Sophomore Bethany Sullinger is leaving her mark in the record books as well. She drove in a run in Sunday's win at UNI to give her 36 RBI on the season, the fifth-highest single season total. Of her 36 RBI, she has a league-leading total of 23 two-out RBI.
Second baseman Ashley Brentz walked for the 22nd time this season on Saturday at UNI. The runs her career total to 73, sixth-most in MSU history.
Last week, the Bears suffered just the 20th no-hitter in 45 seasons of play. It was the second time that Wichita State has kept MSU hitless. MSU also faces a ranked Missouri team that put up back-to-back shutouts on the Bears in last season's doubleheader sweep in Springfield.
- Sophomore Bethany Sullinger drove in her 36th run of the year on Saturday, 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 22nd base of the year at UNI on Saturday, tied for the third-highest single season total and the most steals by a player since 2003.
- Junior pitcher Chelsea Jones has only walked 18 batters in 101 innings on the season. She is ranked 32nd in the nation with just 1.25 walks allowed per seven innings.
- Freshman Erin Struemph's 11 strikeouts at UNI on Saturday were the most in a single game by any MVC pitcher this season.
- Senior Ashley Brentz drew her 73rd career walk on Saturday at UNI, the sixth-most in MSU history.
- Led by senior Heather Duckworth's four triples (19th in the nation), Missouri State ranks 20th in the nation with 13 triples on the year.
ACROSS THE DIAMOND
Wichita State Shockers: The Shockers bring a season-high seven-game wining streak into Tuesday's doubleheader. All seven wins have been in MVC play giving WSU a comfortable lead atop the league standings at 16-3. Wichita State leads the Valley in nearly every offensive category including a team batting average of .317. Newcomers Cacy Williams and Paige Luellen are hitting .418 and .373, respectively. That offense has been necessary as the Shocker pitching staff has a 4.20 ERA. Freshman pitcher Katie Malone, who no-hit MSU last week, has a 15-5 record despite a 4.30 ERA.
Missouri Tigers: The Tigers enter Wednesday's matchup having win 9 of the last 11 with the only blemishes being a doubleheader sweep by Iowa in the Hawkeye State. Redshirt sophomore Taylor Gadbois leads a potent Missouri offense with a .437 average. She has lethal speed as her 40 stolen bases on the year ranks her fourth in the country in swipes per game. In the circle, freshman Tori Finucane holds a 1.69 ERA with a 16-5 record to go along with 125 strikeouts. Last season, the Tigers swept a doubleheader from the Bears at Killian Stadium and hold the all-time series advantage at 36-15.
EXTENDING HER LEGACY
Head Coach Holly Hesse is second in all-time wins by an MVC coach with 670. 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 (929 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 nine wins and is fifth in the MVC with a 3.12 ERA. She has completed eight of her 16 starts on the year, three of which have been shutouts, and has earned three saves.
Struemph struck out an MVC-best 11 in Saturday's win at UNI. She is second in the MVC in overall opponent's batting average (.249), strikeouts per game (6.80) and batting average against with two outs (.219). She is fourth in the league in batting average against with runners on base (.246). On the season, she has struck out at least one batter in 25 of 31 outings, including two appearances of just 0.2 innings.
STEALING TO APPLAUSE
Senior Kerri Cunningham successfully stole her 22nd base of the year on April 19 at UNI. The speedy centerfielder is inching closer to the record books as her 22 steal total is tied for the 3rd-most steals in a season. Her 22 steals are also the most since Amanda Bean had 23 in 2003.
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 18 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. Jones again went yard in the finale at UNI (April 19).