SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Freshman Alyson Clemente (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley) hit a pair of home runs to highlight a 6-1 Bradley victory at Missouri State in the opener of a doubleheader, but the Lady Bears rallied for a 4-2 victory in the nightcap Friday afternoon at Killian Stadium.
Bradley (14-20 overall, 4-7 MVC) roughed up 2011 First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference pitcher Natalie Rose for three homers in the opener, with Clemente hitting a two-run homer in the third and a solo blast in the sixth to help power the Braves to the 6-1 win.
Clemente is the first BU player with a multi-homer game since Alycia Bachkora hit a pair at Northern Iowa on April 1, 2009 and the Braves had three home runs in a game for the first time since belting three dingers at Loyola-Chicago on March 29, 2006.
Sophomore Madeline Lynch-Crumrine (Sedro-Woolley, Wash./Sedro-Woolley) carried a shutout into the seventh and limited Missouri State to three hits in the first six innings of the 6-1 win. She struck out six and walked none in the complete game victory.
The Braves scored three runs on just two hits in the top of the third. Senior Julie Sherman (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) led off the frame with a walk and stole second for her team leading 16th steal of the year. She later scored on a single by Lynch-Crumrine and Clemente had the big hit in the inning with her first career home run to give BU a 3-0 lead.
Clemente gave Bradley a 4-0 lead with a solo home run to open the sixth and sophomore Alex Chandler (Needles, Calif./Needles) homered for the second consecutive game, hitting a solo shot with two outs later in the frame to push the Braves advantage to 5-0. BU added another run in the top of the seventh on a RBI groundout by Lynch-Crumrine, who improved to 8-11 with the victory.
Missouri State (17-14 overall, 5-6 MVC) struck for a run on two hits in the bottom of the seventh before Lynch-Crumrine closed out the victory.
Bradley scored in the top of the first of the second game, but Missouri State answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning and led 3-1 after two full innings of play.
Lynch-Crumrine, who started both games in the circle for the Braves, helped her own cause again with a RBI single to center in the top of the first to drive in Sherman after a leadoff single.
Back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the first started a four-hit inning for the Lady Bears and Heather Duckworth put her team in front with a two-run double to left center. Missouri State tallied three more hits in the bottom of the second and Ashley Brentz drove in a run with a single to left as the Bears took a 3-1 lead.
Duckworth drove in another run in the bottom of the fifth with a single to right following a hit batter and wild pitch as the Lady Bears pushed the advantage to 4-1.
Senior Jackie Roth (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) singled to lead off the top of the sixth and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and groundout as the Braves mounted a late rally attempt. Clemente drew a walk to put runners at the corners and a Shannon King (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) single drove Roth in from third. Missouri State pitcher Chelsea Jones retired the next batter she faced, however, to end the sixth and pitched around a pair of walks in the seventh in the complete game victory.
Bradley and Missouri State close out the three-game series Saturday with a noon game in Springfield, Mo.