Feb. 21, 2015
LAFAYETTE, La. - Freshman Molly Fields hit a walk-off single in the eighth inning as the Missouri State softball team (7-7) rallied for a split on day two of the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational on Saturday. MSU rallied for a 3-2 eight-inning win over Iowa (3-9) to conclude action on Saturday. The Bears dropped a 5-0 decision to No. 6 Louisiana (13-0) earlier in the day.
"I thought we played a lot of really good ball today, against a couple of good teams," said head coach Holly Hesse. "It can be mentally challenging when you're struggling to score runs. We did a great job of mentally hanging in there until we could make something happen. I thought our pitching was extremely good and kept us in the game with a chance to win.
Senior Chelsea Jones led the way for the Bears recording four hits on the day, including a single in the seventh inning to break up the Cajuns' no-hit bid. She scored the game-winning run in game two as well. In the circle, Jones tied a career high with six strikeouts against Iowa. She scattered just three hits in eight innings of work.
Redshirt sophomore Mary Stephens hit her team-high third double of the season. It drove in the Bears' first run of the day against Iowa.
Senior Rebecca McPherson had a hit, drew a walk and scored the game-tying run versus Iowa. Fellow senior Ali Trickey had an RBI single to tie the game against Iowa.
Game 1 - Missouri State 0, #6 Louisiana 5
Missouri State starting pitcher Erin Struemph held the sixth-ranked team in the country in check over the first couple innings. She struck out two Cajuns in the first inning and another in the second.
Rebecca McPherson drew a leadoff walk in the top of the second inning for the Bears. She remained at first as the next three Bears were retired.
A bunt single in the bottom of the third inning by the nine-hole hitter broke Struemph's 2.1 innings of hitless pitching. Two batters later, Louisiana pushed two runs across on a home run.
Struemph kept the Bears' deficit at two until the sixth inning. After a strikeout of the first hitter, Struemph's sixth of the game, back-to-back hits put another run on the board. MSU went to the bullpen and Louisiana continued the inning by tacking on two more runs.
In the top of the seventh inning, Chelsea Jones broke up Cajuns pitcher Jordan Wallace's no-hit with a two-out single through the left side.
Game 2 - Missouri State 3, Iowa 2 (8)
The Bears took advantage of an early Iowa error in game two. Madison Jones reached on a defensive miscue by the Hawkeyes to begin the game. Mary Stephens followed with a screaming double to the wall in right center sending Jones all the way home. Chelsea Jones continued the inning with a single to left, but the Bears were left with runners at the corners.
With two out in the third inning, Chelsea Thomas drew a walk. She moved to third on a single up the middle by McPherson. However, the runners remained at the corners to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Iowa got back-to-back pinch hits plated two runs and gave the Hawkeyes the lead.
Missouri State tied it up in the sixth inning. McPherson walked with one down. Chelsea Jones singled to left and Kaitlin Beason drew a walk to load the bases. Trickey singled through the right side on the first pitch to drive home the tying run.
The game remained knotted going to the eighth inning. After Jones retired Iowa in order, she started bottom half of the eighth with a single to right. Beason drew her second walk of the game. Trickey put down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to third was not in time loading the bases for the Bears with no outs. Fields stepped up and lined a single up the middle to plate the game-winning run.
The Bears conclude the weekend against Iowa (3-9) on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Missouri State's home opener will be Saturday, February 28 as the Bears host the Rally for Allie Leukemia Awareness Tournament at Killian Stadium.