Gasper, balanced offensive attack leads Missouri past Pitt

The Tigers scored nine unanswered runs after falling behind 2-0.
Designed by Corey Hadfield

In the bottom of the second inning and with an early 2-0 lead, Pitt coach Jodi Hermanek visited the mound. With two runners on base and only one out, the next at-bat was a big one early in the game. Despite the on-mound consultation from Hermanek, Tiger first baseman Kolby Romaine drove the next pitch over the left field wall and suddenly gave her team a 3-2 lead. The Missouri Tigers (19-14, 6-6 SEC) didn’t look back, scoring nine unanswered runs from that point on to beat Pittsburgh (5-29, 2-10 ACC) by the final score of 9-2.

The Panthers, despite a 5-29 overall record, came to play on Friday. In the top of the first, they connected for back-to-back singles, then drove in the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly. In the second, a bases-loaded walk forced in a second run after two singles and a walk earlier in the frame.

After that, sophomore Cassie Gasper took command, setting down the Panthers in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Meanwhile, her offense gave her lots of support.

First, Romaine’s aforementioned blast gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

Next inning, catcher Hatti Moore brought in two with a double to left-center field. Later that same frame, designated player Kara Decker drove in Moore with an RBI single up the middle. After three, it was 6-2 Tigers.

As Gasper continued to cruise, the Missouri offense kept padding the lead with insurance runs. In the bottom of the fourth, shortstop Jazmyn Rollin drove in a run on a groundout. The next batter, third baseman Kim Wert, cranked her team-leading 14th home run of the season.

In the fifth, center fielder Callie Martin added a solo shot to straight away center field, pushing the lead to 9-2.

Although the Panthers put runners on base in the sixth and seventh, Gasper was able to work around them and finish what she started.

“We played well tonight, but the game tomorrow doesn’t care what the score was today. We have to be ready to come out and compete,” coach Larissa Anderson said.

The Tigers had a quick turnaround, with another matchup against Pitt scheduled for 1.30 p.m. CDT the following day, followed by a contest against the Oregon at 4 p.m. CDT.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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