April 12, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State softball team (22-17, 5-8) was unable to generate enough offense to overcome early deficits in a doubleheader sweep by visiting Indiana State (22-18, 4-9) at Killian Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Bears dropped game one, 6-1, before suffering a 4-0 setback in game two.
Junior Chelsea Jones had three of the Bears' six hits on the day. She hit her team-leading 11th double of the season in game two. On the day, she reached base in four of six plate appearances. Jones also pitched her fifth complete game, second in a row, in game one.
Fellow junior Ali Trickey patrolled centerfield for the Bears. She recorded a hit and a walk to reach base in both games.
Senior Ashley Brentz and Heather Duckworth each contributed hits. Duckworth hit her seventh double of the year and also walked on the day.
Game 1 - Missouri State 1, Indiana State 6
The Bears got a first inning walk from Duckworth and neither team was able to generate a run or a hit out of the gate in game one.
In the MSU second inning, Chelsea Jones singled through the right side to start the frame. Pinch runner Kerri Cunningham moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Rebecca McPherson. A fly out and foul out ended the Bears' threat.
Indiana State put together a four-run inning in the top of the third. Two hits, a walk, a hit batter and three MSU errors led to the four runs.
Duckworth led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to centerfield. She would remain there as the inning ended as MSU could not get a run home.
The Sycamores added single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings to grow the advantage to 6-0. In the bottom of the sixth, back-to-back singles by Brentz and Trickey got the rally going. Two batters later, both runners moved up on a fly out to right field. Chelsea Jones followed a roped a single through the left side to plate a run, but that would be all the Bears could get in the inning.
Elena Gambill drew a pinch hit walk with two down in the bottom of the seventh, but MSU dropped game one, 6-1.
Jones struck out three in the complete game. She did allow a walk, just her 14th on the year, and suffered the loss despite giving up just three earned runs.
Game 2 - Missouri State 0, Indiana State 4
The two teams were retired in order in the first inning by MSU starter Jessie Van Es and ISU starter Yvette Alvarez. In the second inning though, the Sycamores batted around and put three runs on the board. Van Es limited the damage by stranding the bases loaded.
The Bears looked to rebound in the bottom of the inning. Jones doubled to left to begin the frame. She moved to third, averting the tag, on a fielder's choice by Bethany Sullinger to put runners at the corners. ISU was able to quash the rally with a caught stealing, pop out and strikeout stranding Jones at third.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Trickey walked to lead off. Two batters later, she advanced all the way to third as Jones reached on a two-base error by the ISU third baseman. With two outs, Stacia Boecksteigel drew a walk to load the bases. Again, the Sycamores were able to keep MSU off the board stranding runners at all three bases.
ISU tacked on a run in the fifth inning on a walk, a sac bunt and a bloop double to left field with two outs.
In the Bears' fifth inning, Gambill drew her second walk of the day. Pinch runner Kerri Cunningham stole second, her 21st of the season, tying her for fifth on the all-time single season steals list.
Van Es threw three-plus innings to begin the game. She gave up three hits and recorded a strikeout. Erin Struemph tossed four solid innings of relief, scattering two hits and striking out two Sycamore batters.
Missouri State looks to salvage a game in the series finale on Sunday. The 12:00 p.m. game will be the Bears' Pink Game. Fans will get free admission with donations to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks encouraged. MSU will also host a free post-game clinic for youth eighth grade and younger.