Mizzou softball wins three of four games to open South Florida Tournament

Braxton Burnside drove in 10 RBIs against North Dakota State, setting a program record.

Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics Mizzou Athletics

A powerful offensive attack led Missouri softball to three out of four wins to begin the South Florida Tournament this weekend. Mizzou split its opening doubleheader on Friday and won both games on Saturday to improve to 16-11 on the season.

On Friday, the Tigers dropped their first game to Ohio State 5-4 in nine innings, but they bounced back by defeating Rutgers 9-1 in five innings due to the mercy rule.

Mizzou rallied in the bottom of the sixth against Ohio State, taking a 4-3 lead off freshman Braxton Burnside’s RBI single that scored two. Ohio State then tied the game in the seventh inning, sending the game to extra innings, where the Buckeyes won 5-4 on an RBI triple.

Mizzou rebounded against Rutgers, winning 9-1 in five innings. Senior Cheyenne Baxter started on the mound for the Tigers, and she improved to 4-2 on the season in three innings of work with no earned runs and four strikeouts.

The Tigers offense exploded in the second inning as sophomore Regan Nash drove in two runs and redshirt junior Anna Reed drove in another run. Burnside capped off the rally with a two-run home run. Mizzou tacked on four runs in the third inning to extend the lead to eight.

On Saturday, Mizzou defeated North Dakota State 16-6 and then took down South Florida 14-4 in six innings. Sophomore Danielle Baumgartner improved to 4-4 on the season with her win over North Dakota State, allowing three runs in four innings pitched.

The Tigers scored five runs in the fifth inning, with a Burnside grand slam providing most of the damage. Burnside blasted another grand slam in the sixth inning, and Mizzou entered the seventh inning leading 11-6.

Burnside tripled and drove in two more runs in the seventh.

The Tigers beat South Florida in six innings due to the mercy rule. Burnside drove in another run, while senior Kirsten Mack drove in four runs with an RBI double and a three-run home run. Senior Natalie Fleming homered as well, her fifth of the season.

Baxter improved to 5-2 on the season against USF, pitching four and one-third innings and allowing four earned runs.

Burnside was the name on the tips of everyone’s tongues Saturday as her 10 RBIs against NDSU set a single-game record for Mizzou. Her RBIs also tied her for the Southeastern Conference record for a single game. Burnside was pleased with her performance after the game.

“I was seeing the ball well, and I’m glad I was able to help the team get the runs we needed to win,” said Burnside. “The records I accomplished today are nice, but there is still a lot of the season left. I’m just trying to focus on each opponent one game at a time and continue to contribute to our team’s success.”

Mizzou finishes the South Florida Tournament on Sunday against Monmouth, with first pitch set for 8 a.m.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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