Missouri defeats Georgia with walk-off to win series

Trailing one in the final inning, Raabe put the Tigers up over the Bulldogs.

Missouri softball won its first series of the season with a walk-off win over No. 8 Georgia on Sunday.

The Tigers headed into the bottom of the seventh down 6-7. Missouri loaded the bases with only one out. Redshirt freshman Kendyll Bailey, 0-2 so far in the game, came up to the plate, with freshman Emma Raabe waiting behind her on deck. Bailey drew a walk to tie the game.

“Coach has trust in me and I have trust in her,” Bailey said. “She just came up to me and said ‘right person, right time.’ It made me feel comforted that she has trust in me, and my teammates had trust in me. I knew we were gonna come away with it if it was me or Emma behind me.”

With the winning run just 60 feet away, Raabe had a 3-1 count and was anticipating a strike on the inside part of the plate.

“When Kendyll got walked, coach and I just made eye contact,” Raabe said. “We were smiling from ear to ear because we knew this is exactly what scenario I wanted to be in, so that was awesome.”

Raabe got the inside pitch she was expecting and then hit a hard grounder to shortstop, driving in the winning run on an error.

“At that point there’s no pressure to tie the game,” Raabe said. “I had a three-one count with only one out so at that point you know she’s gonna give me a strike because she doesn’t wanna walk two so she’s gonna shoot me inside with a strike and that’s kind of where I was looking.”

Five of Missouri’s eight runs came from homers earlier in the game. Raabe, freshman Jazmyn Rollin and sophomore Hatti Moore all hit solo shots, while sophomore Kimberly Wert had a two-run home run. Senior Regan Nash had an RBI for the Tigers as well. Georgia also had a few long balls, with senior Alyssa DiCarlo hitting both a solo and two-run shot.

“It was great to see power throughout the entire lineup,” coach Larissa Anderson said. “What that does is take the pressure off of one player when you have one player that’s on fire that person feels like they need to hit all the time and when you have people hitting home runs throughout the entire lineup it just allows everybody to relax and just play.”

Junior Eli Daniel got the win for the Tigers, pitching three plus innings in relief of redshirt senior Madi Norman. Daniel held Georgia hitless and struck out six.

“It comes down to our pitchers,” Anderson said. “Eli Daniel just did an unbelievable job throwing those three innings. Having those pitchers keep us in the ballgame gives us an opportunity for our offense to do what they need to do.”

The come-from-behind win over a top-10 team sparks confidence for Anderson’s young team.

“They’re learning the game and they’re learning how to compete,” Anderson said. “ It’s just that belief system and understanding that the game’s not over. There’s no clock in our game and as long as we have one more out we have an opportunity to win. We did that throughout the entire course of the game and to have a freshman up to bat in that situation just shows her composure and her maturity.”

Missouri will host Bradley on Wednesday at 3 p.m., before the Tigers head to Kentucky for another SEC series this weekend.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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