April 6, 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Missouri State softball team (21-14, 4-5) scored in the first inning and again in the seventh, but couldn't complete the comeback in a 3-2 defeat in the series finale at Drake (10-23, 3-6) on Sunday afternoon.
Each of the Bears' first four hitters in the lineup recorded a hit in the game. Ashley Brentz, Heather Duckworth and Erin Duewel had a double apiece for MSU.
The Bears scored in the first inning for the third time in as many games at Drake this weekend. Kerri Cunningham reached on a fielding error with one away. Heather Duckworth followed and drilled a double to right-center scoring Cunningham from first on the play.
In the fourth inning, Sullinger reached on an infield single past the pitcher. After advancing to second on a groundout, she stole third with two outs, but was stranded to end the frame.
After getting out of a bases-loaded jam upon entering the game in the third, relief pitcher Erin Struemph got into trouble in the fourth. Drake loaded the bases and pushed three runs across before Chelsea Jones entered and struck out the first batter she faced on three pitches to end the inning.
The Bears looked to rally in the sixth. Ashley Brentz began the inning with a double to left-center. Cunningham followed and dropped a beautiful bunt in front of home plate, beating the throw to first. Cunningham promptly stole second, her 20th stolen base of the season.
In the seventh inning, Rebecca McPherson reached on an infield single. She moved to second on a ground out. Two batters later, Erin Duewel doubled into the right field corner to plate McPherson and draw the Bears within one run. But Drake pitching held the lead and stranded Duewel on second to end the game.
Jessie Van Es started for the Bears on Sunday. She racked up four strikeouts and did not allow a walk in 2.1 innings pitched. Chelsea Jones fired the final 2.1 innings recording three strikeouts and giving up just one hit.
MSU will travel to Chicago for a 11:00 a.m. doubleheader against Loyola at Northwestern's Sharon Drysdale Field. Missouri State returns home on Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13 with a three-game series against Indiana State. Games start at 12:00 p.m. both days. Sunday's series finale will be the Bears' Pink Game. Fans will get free admission with donations to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks encouraged.