Senior Weekend on Tap as Softball Hosts Illinois State
April 25, 2014
The Missouri State softball team (25-22, 8-12) will face the Illinois State Redbirds (21-24, 13-5) at Killian Stadium in a three-game series this Saturday and Sunday. The Bears will celebrate six seniors for their outstanding career contributions in between games of Saturday's doubleheader. Missouri State is currently tied for sixth in the MVC standings with just six regular season games remaining.
Freshman pitcher Erin Struemph tosssed her team-best ninth complete game of the season at No.15/17 Missouri on Wednesday. She held the potent Tigers' offense to just six hits. In Tuesday's doubleheader against league-leading Wichita State, she earned a win and combined to strike out 11 Shockers over 6.1 innings of work.
Fellow freshman Elena Gambill came through with clutch at-bats against the Shockers. In game one, she hit a walk-off RBI single to cap a Bears' 6-5 comeback win. In game two, she hit a RBI double in the bottom of the seventh with two outs after an eight-pitch full count at-bat. Gambill's double was the Bears' 60th of the year, tied for the fifth-most by a team in a single season.
Senior second baseman Ashley Brentz drew her 23rd walk of the season to lead off game one against Wichita State on Tuesday. She now has 74 career bases on balls, sixth-most in MSU history. Brentz is the only Bear to start and play in every game this season. She leads the team in hits (44), runs scored (31) and at-bats (139).
Last Saturday, senior Kerri Cunningham swiped 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.
First baseman Bethany Sullinger has burst into the MSU record books in just her sophomore season. She drove in her 36th run of the year in Sunday's win, the fifth-highest single season total. Of her 36 RBI, she has a league-leading total of 23 two-out RBI.
Missouri State has won at least one game against Illinois State in each of the last six seasons. The teams split a doubleheader in Normal, Ill., last season to open the series. Heather Duckworth drove in a career-high four runs in the win. Illinois State took the finale and upped its all-time series lead to 64-35.
ACROSS THE DIAMOND
EXTENDING HER LEGACY
BEARS SOFTBALL IS ON THE AIR
Remaining 2014 Broadcast Schedule
Struemph struck out an MVC-best 11 in last Saturday's win at UNI. She is leads the Valley in batting average against with two outs (.211), is second in strikeouts per game (6.85) and third in overall opponent's batting average (.246). Her batting average against with runners on base (.247) is fifth-best in the league. On the season, she has struck out at least one batter in 28 of 34 outings, including two appearances of just 0.2 innings.
STEALING TO APPLAUSE
SWEEPING THROUGH TEXAS
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
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.
The only other Bear to have three doubles in a game was Staci Wattie against Maryland on March 24, 2000.
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
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 also went yard in the finale at UNI (April 19) and again on April 22 versus Wichita State.
BREAKING THE ICE
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.
WAITING IN THE WINGS