No. 6 Missouri Tigers dominate South Carolina Gamecocks in weekend series

Randazzo produced three home runs, one double and nine RBI in Saturday's doubleheader.

Sophomore Kelsea Roth fields from first base at the Missouri softball Black and Gold game in February. Roth hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning on Friday against South Carolina.

The No. 6 Missouri Tigers (20-2) put on an offensive showcase in their weekend series against the South Carolina Gamecocks (18-14) at University Field. Missouri swept the three -game series with scores of 10-2, 12-3 and 8-0, respectively.

In Friday’s game, the Tigers drove in 10 runs in six innings and cut the game short due to the NCAA eight-run mercy rule. Sophomore first baseman Kelsea Roth started the offensive with a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning, her second slam of the season. Roth brought in junior left fielder Mackenzie Sykes, sophomore third baseman Angela Randazzo and senior catcher Jenna Marston.

In the bottom of the second, the Tigers tacked on two more runs. Sophomore shortstop Corrin Genovese singled up the middle, bringing in freshman right fielder Sarah Moore, who was walked at the start of the inning. Later Marston hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Genovese, who reached third on a passed ball.

The Tigers added on four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to achieve the mercy rule. An error in the left field by the Gamecocks on a single by freshman second baseman Emily Crane allowed redshirt freshman center fielder Taylor Gadbois to score from second base. Crane’s single also brought in sophomore right fielder Kayla Kingsley. After one out, senior third baseman Princess Krebs grounded out to shortstop, allowing sophomore pinch hitter Kelsi Jones to score. Sykes followed with a single to bring in Crane.

Senior redshirt pitcher Chelsea Thomas pitched four innings, striking out seven and allowing zero hits. Senior pitcher Nicole Hudson closed out the game for Thomas. In the three-game series, Thomas had 19 strikeouts and allowed no earned runs.

Saturday’s doubleheader was delayed a couple hours due to rainy conditions, but that did not dampen the Tigers’ offense. Randazzo produced three home runs, one double and nine RBI in the two games. Both games were ended after five innings due to the mercy rule.

In the first game, the Tigers scored early in the top second. A single by Sykes and a two-run homerun by Genovese banked in three runs. In the bottom third, the Tigers went on a five-run streak, with Randazzo’s three-run home run making up the bulk of the runs. In the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers banked in four more runs on a two-run home run by Randazzo and a double to left center by senior pinch hitter Rachel Hay, which brought in two runs.

Thomas pitched 3.1 innings, with senior pitcher Lindsey Muller and Hudson relieving. Muller relieved Thomas in the top of the fourth inning due to two fielding errors and a hit by the Gamecocks that scored three runs.

In the second game, the Tigers exploded with six runs in the bottom of the first inning. Randazzo contributed with a two-run home run, while the other runs came from a muffed throw by the Gamecocks shortstop Samie Garcia, a double from Genovese, and two singles by Moore and Crane.

The Tigers chipped in two more runs in the bottom of the third with a double by Randazzo that brought in Hudson and Hay. Thomas earned the victory with her complete shutout, improving her record to 12-1.

Missouri will play a doubleheader at Missouri State at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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