Missouri overmatched in midweek showdown with Bradley

The Tigers made three costly errors in the field.

One tough hop was all it took to change the momentum of the game for good.

Tiger shortstop Jazmyn Rollin was positioned perfectly to field a sharply hit ground ball up the middle, but the ball bounced up and hit her in the chin rather than glide gracefully into her glove.

The tough error set the stage for a three-run homer by the next Braves batter, and with that, Bradley opened up a 5-1 lead and didn’t look back. The Braves (13-11, 2-1 Missouri Valley Conference) beat the Tigers (13-11, 2-4 SEC) by the score of 8-1. Three Tiger errors along with three Bradley home runs set up the commanding victory.

Missouri got off to a quick start offensively, as Rollin went deep in the bottom of the first to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. However, it was the last time the Tigers would score all day. Including Rollin’s blast, Missouri tallied just five hits on the afternoon — two of which were infield hits that didn’t travel as far as the pitcher’s mound.

Sophomore Cassie Gasper got the start for the Tigers, and ran into trouble quickly. After retiring the side in short order in the first, she quickly relinquished the 1-0 lead by giving up a two-run shot in the top of the second. After a scoreless third frame, she walked the leadoff batter in the fourth and was pulled in favor of junior Eli Daniel.

Daniel struck out the first two Braves she faced, but then Rollin’s aforementioned miscue set the stage for a three-run homer to extend the Bradley lead to 5-1.

In the fifth, things got worse for the Tigers, as defensive replacement Regan Nash let a ball through her legs in centerfield. The Braves manufactured two more runs thanks to a couple of base hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. The visitors led 7-1 after five.

Sophomore Summer Shockley came in on mop-up duty in the sixth and surrendered a solo shot.

Now facing a seven run deficit, the Tigers were able to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but the threat ended harmlessly when first baseman Emma Raabe struck out on a full count pitch. The Tigers went down quietly in the seventh and dropped the contest by the final score of 8-1.

SEC play resumes this weekend as the Tigers travel to No. 13 Kentucky for a three game set scheduled to start Friday at 5 p.m. CDT.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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