No. 24 Missouri softball headed south this past weekend to open up conference play in Gainesville, Florida, against the No. 1 Florida Gators.
Missouri had a rough go of things over the two games, failing to put a runner across home plate in either one of the outings. The Tigers dropped the Saturday contest 6-0 and wasted a stellar start from senior Cheyenne Baxter when they were defeated 1-0 on Sunday.
The offensive struggles were apparent on Saturday, as the Tigers had just three baserunners all afternoon and did not tally a hit until the final inning of play. Florida’s starting pitcher Delanie Gourley went the distance and picked up 10 strikeouts against the slumping Mizzou offense.
Despite keeping Florida off the board for the first two innings of play, redshirt sophomore Madi Norman would last just 3.1 innings. She allowed eight hits, four walks and six earned runs. She did not have her full command on the day, and the Gators made Norman pay for giving them free baserunners.
The lone bright spot for Mizzou on Saturday came from sophomore Danielle Baumgartner, who relieved Norman on the mound and would keep Florida from scoring for the remaining 2.2 innings, allowing just one hit over that time.
The offense remained silent on Sunday, and the Tigers lost 1-0. The loss brought the Tigers’ record on the season to 11-10, hovering far closer to .500 than many would have anticipated coming into the season.
Missouri followed its one-hit performance on offense Saturday with a three-hit day on Sunday. It was the second time in as many days that the opposing starter would go the distance and have a strikeout total in the double digits (12). Shutouts seem to be a pattern for the Tigers, who have now been held scoreless in eight of their 10 losses this season.
The Tigers allowed their only run of the day in the first inning, which allowed them to remain within striking distance at each at-bat. But despite the opportunity, they were unable to get any runs on the board. The Tigers are still in search of a true leader on offense to break through in big situations.
Baxter's dominance on the mound was the lone positive on the day. She now has a team-leading 2.71 ERA and has allowed one run or fewer in five of her past six outings.
The final game of the series was postponed on Monday due to inclement weather. The game will not be rescheduled.
The Tigers will look to rebound this Wednesday when they return home to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a double header at Mizzou Stadium.
Edited by Eli Lederman | firstname.lastname@example.org