March 22, 2002
Softball Team Wins 11 of Last 12 Games After Rocky Start
The Tournament: Truman State University Bulldogs (Mid-America Intercollegiate
Athletics Association/NCAA Division II) at the Missouri Western State College
Date: March 23-24, 2002
Location: St. Joseph, Mo.
* Mar. 23 vs. Maplewood Community Col., 10 am
Mar. 23 vs. North Dakota State, Noon
Mar. 23 @ Missouri Western, 3 pm
* Mar. 24 vs. Maplewood Community Col., 9 am
Mar. 24 @ Missouri Western, 11 am
Mar. 24 vs. North Dakota State, 1 pm
* Games vs. community colleges do not count on record, according to the NCAA.
Broadcast: The Truman campus radio station, KTRM 88.7 FM, is slated to broadcast all Bulldog home softball games this season.
Truman (11-4 overall): The Bulldogs went 0-3 to open the season, but have won 11 of their last 12 games after going 8-2 on their spring break trip to Kissimmee, Fla. Truman opened the 2002 campaign at Columbia College on March 3, losing by one run in both games of a doubleheader.
In the Columbia encounters, the 'Dogs fell 1-0 in the game one after giving up the first earned run of the year in the bottom of the sixth inning. Truman had four hits to Columbia's three, while sophomore Britni Buford (Kahoka, Mo./Clark County) took the loss. Senior pitcher Jennifer Hulsopple (Peculiar, Mo./Raymore-Peculiar) struck out nine batters in five innings before Buford relieved her.
In the second game of the double-dip, the Bulldogs tied the score with two runs in the fifth inning, and went ahead on an RBI single from sophomore shortstop Elizabeth Economon'(St. Louis/Notre Dame), her first hit of the season. However, CC loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh and a couple of costly errors left the 'Dogs holding the bag, 4-3. Truman had eight hits for the game, led by sophomore center fielder Katy Mueller (Affton, Mo./Cor Jesu) who was 3-for-4. Economon and junior second baseman Shelby Ortwerth (Hannibal, Mo.) were both 2-for-4.
The Bulldogs did not begin their spring break trip in a better fashion after losing their third straight game by one point in a 3-2 loss to American International (Mass.), ranked 18th in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason poll. The Bulldogs were up 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Mueller and Economon each had two hits and Economon hit a triple. Hulsopple took her first loss after giving up three earned runs.
It took 10 innings, but the 'Dogs got back on the winning track with a 3-2 victory over Ashland (Ohio) in the second game that day. Ashland took a 2-0 lead after four-and-a-half innings before Economon hit her first round-tripper of the year that scored Buford who had reached on a single. Economon singled in the bottom of the frame and Mueller laid down the sacrifice bunt to score the runner that was placed on second at the top of the inning, according to international tie-breaking rules. Buford struck out nine batters en route to claiming the team's first win of the year.
On day two of the Florida trip, Truman defeated Merrimack (Mass.) 5-4 and Bloomsburg (Pa.), 4-3. Merrimack had received the most votes of any team that did not make the NFCA preseason top 25, while Bloomsburg entered the year ranked in the No. 2 spot.
With Truman down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, Economon hit her second homer of the year vs. Merrimack, scoring three runs for the win. She was 2-for-3 for the game and freshman catcher Courtney Strubel (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) was 2-for-2 with two RBIs. Buford moved her record to 2-1 after giving up just one hit in the final two innings.
Against No. 2 Bloomsburg, Truman tied the score at two apiece after scoring two runs in the top of the fourth inning,as well as runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. Mueller was 3-for-4 and sophomore first baseman Leann Paul (Olathe, Kan./North) and Hulsopple were 2-for-4.
After a day off, the Bulldogs resumed play against Wayne State (Mich.) winning their fourth straight game, 5-1. Mueller led the team with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate and Buford picked up her third win on the mound, striking out nine batters.
In the night-cap, South Dakota snapped the Truman four-game win-streak, 4-2. Both teams had five hits, but a couple of costly Bulldog errors in the top of the third inning allowed USD to score three runs to take a 4-1 lead. Sophomore Breanna Wonderly (Conception, Mo./Jefferson) took the loss, but gave up just one earned run in the complete game and struck out eight.
The 'Dogs began their current six-game winning streak the next day after putting Tiffin (Ohio) away, 14-2. After taking a 6-0 lead by scoring three runs in both the third and fourth innings, Tiffin got on the board with two runs in bottom of the fourth. However, with two outs in the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs managed to score eight runs, helped by several Tiffin errors and passed balls. Sophomore Krystl Brown was 3-for-4 and Ortwerth, Economon, freshman catcher Holly Kessler (Blue Springs, Mo.), Hulsopple and Paul all had two hits each. Hulsopple ran her record to 2-1 for the season, allowing no earned runs.
Northern Kentucky was the next victim, losing in the bottom of the seventh inning after walking Hulsopple and allowing hits by Wonderly, senior outfielder Cathy Monroe (Kirkwood, Mo./Lutheran South) and Brown. Wonderly garnered her first win of the season after relieving Buford in the last inning with the tying run on base that eventually scored. Economon and Paul each had two hits for the game.
The last day of the Florida trip saw the 'Dogs register wins over Minnesota State University, Mankato 7-6 and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville 7-4 in the Florida finale.
The MSUM game was decided in nine innings. Both teams scored in the eighth, but Buford won the game for Truman in more ways than one, scoring the runner on third in the bottom of the ninth inning with a single and taking the win on the mound as well after relieving Wonderly in the top of the seventh when the score was tied at four apiece.
Versus SIUE, Truman took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, but let the Cougars score four runs over the next two frames. The 'Dogs maintained their lead with a run in the fifth and two runs in the seventh for the 7-4 win. Ortwerth was 3-for-4 and Paul and Buford were 2-for-4. Hulsopple scored two runners with a double in the fourth and was the winning pitcher, striking out seven batters.
The home-opener doubleheader with Drake on March 19 was cut short due to weather conditions. But in the first game, the Bulldogs came back from a 4-0 deficit to win 5-4. Truman got on the board with a pair of runs in the third inning and had whittled the DU lead down to one run heading into the bottom of the seventh inning when Economon again pulled the heroics with a two run homer. Mueller was 3-for-4, while Buford improved her record to 5-1 on the year.
In a rescheduled doubleheader with Lincoln on Wednesday, the 'Dogs swept the Blue Tigers 10-6 and 6-1. Economon had a four-bagger in both games and was 2-for-4 and 3-for4, respectively. Wonderly got the win in game one and Hulsopple went the distance in game two.
Coach: Kristi Bredbenner took over for the Bulldogs this season after graduating in December from Truman. She was an all-America catcher for the Bulldogs the previous four seasons and owns nearly every hitting record at Truman.
Missouri Western State College: Truman holds a slight 19-18 edge in the all-time series with the Lady Griffons. The Bulldogs have taken doubleheaders from MWSC the last three seasons, with the last win for the Lady Griffons coming on April 24, 1998, in the MIAA tournament, 10-9.
North Dakota State: The Bison will be looking to exact revenge after the Bulldogs ended NDSU's season by a 2-1 score at the 2001 NCAA Division II North Central Region tournament last year. The Bison were the host of the tourney and had beaten the 'Dogs 5-2 in game one the day before. North Dakota State still holds the advantage in the series though, 5-3.
Maplewood Community College: Truman does not keep records vs. Community Colleges as the NCAA does not recognize these games on the team's official record.
Missouri Western (7-5 overall): The Lady Griffons opened their season in Pensacola, Fla., last week with three wins before dropping their next three contests. They swept a pair from Bryant College by 4-1 scores, but split with West Liberty the following day. That loss was followed by losses to St. Cloud State (4-3) and New Haven (4-0). MWSC came back to beat New Haven on Day 4 of the spring break trip 10-1, but lost to North Dakota State the same day, 8-0. The Lady Griffons went on another three-game win-streak after wrapping up the Florida Trip with a 6-2 win over Liberty and an 8-0 triumph over Minnesota State Univ., Moorhead, 8-0. The streak continued after returning home to beat Park College in game one of a doubleheader on Tuesday, 8-1. However, the Lady Griffons dropped the second game to Park 4-2.
North Dakota State (14-2 overall): The Bison opened their season in Irving, Texas, on March 1, beating Quincy (Ill.), 10-0. They suffered one of two losses to date that same day after Central Missouri handed NDSU a 5-1 loss. The Bison then began a 13-game win-streak that saw them through the final day of their spring break trip to Pensacola, Fla. The streak began with a 2-1 win over Missouri Southern in Texas and continued six days later in Florida with 2-1 wins over West Florida and Ohio Dominican, 3-2 and 9-0 victories over New Haven, 8-0, 11-0 and 3-2 wins vs. West Liberty (W.V.), a pair of 6-0 wins over Delta State (Miss.), an 8-0 win against Missouri Western and a two-game sweep of Bryant (R.I.), 3-0 and 4-0. On the final day of the Florida trip, NDSU lost a rematch with West Florida 1-0 to end their winning streak. The Bison next appear on the diamond this weekend at the Missouri Western tournament.
Junior center fielder Jess Christensen and freshman outfielder Amanda Frank are hitting .408 and .400, respectively. Christensen has 20 hits in 49 at bats with three doubles and two triples, while Frank has two hits in five at-bats.
Freshman outfielder Joslyn Else is hitting at a .380 clip (19 hits, 50 at bats), while sophomore designated hitter and second baseman Jenny Bakke is hitting .357 (10 hits, 28 at bats).
Sophomore Lindsey Graham is 9-0 on the mound with a 0.34 ERA, while junior Melissa Hobson is 5-2 so far with a .65 ERA.
Injury Report: Courtney Strubel will be out for a while with a sprained knee.
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