On a gray evening at University Field, the No. 9 Missouri Tigers saw their offensive firepower confounded by Texas Tech, losing game one of the weekend series 2-0. The loss, Missouri’s seventh of the year and fourth in Big 12 play, snaps a 22-game winning streak in Columbia.
Red Raider pitcher Brittany Talley dominated in the circle, allowing only one hit and two total base runners over seven innings. From the first to the seventh, Talley retired 19 consecutive Tiger batters en route to the victory.
The only Missouri hit came in the bottom of the first, when freshman third baseman Corrin Genovese belted a triple off the left centerfield wall.
“We were hitting the ball hard a majority of the time, unfortunately it was right to them,” Genovese said. “When you have a game like this, all you can say is that we got to come out stronger tomorrow.”
Redshirt junior pitcher Chelsea Thomas (16-5) picked up her fifth loss despite only allowing two earned runs.
Texas Tech managed to tally runs on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth. The first two batters reached base, and a sacrifice bunt advanced both into scoring position.
An intentional walk loaded the bases, but the gamble paid off when Thomas struck out the next batter. A wild pitch sneaked under the shin guards of junior catcher Jenna Marston and allowed Tech to plate the first run of the game.
Two consecutive walks pushed home another run for the Red Raiders, who needed only two to secure the victory.
Missouri now sits two games behind first-place Oklahoma in the Big 12 Conference standings.
The loss does much to negate some of the momentum the Tigers picked up in winning two of three games against No. 3 Texas last weekend.
“Anytime you have a good game or a good weekend, you have to do everything you can to protect those wins in your next conference matchup because otherwise, it’s for naught,” coach Ehren Earleywine said. “It takes all of the hard work and perseverance and concentration and everything you did down in Austin, and it spits in its face.”
Thomas said the main reason that the Tigers couldn’t manage a win against a lesser opponent was that the team simply came out flat.
“You just have bad days, and this was ours," she said. "That team’s not better than us and we know that. You can’t go back and play that game again. The most important game is tomorrow’s game.”
Genovese echoed the sentiment and said the team needs to focus and come out stronger for the rest of the series.
“We need to be sharper," she said. "There are no excuses for that. We need to communicate more on the field and take ownership of the field."
In the most telling display of the somber attitude after the contest, Earleywine needed a post-game team speech of only three simple words to sum up exactly what his team needed to do to win the series.
“See you tomorrow,” he said.