Missouri Softball comes away 3-3 at Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

This weekend wraps up 6,196 miles of travel for the Tigers before their official start of the 2021 season.

After going 4-2 last week at the St.Pete/Clearwater Invitational, No.18 Missouri Softball (12-5) traveled to Cathedral City,California, for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Tigers managed to break even, ending the tournament 3-3.

The Tigers’ opening game was against No. 5 Arizona (12-3) on Feb. 20. Struggles at bat caused the Tigers to go scoreless, but a glimmer of hope came in the top of the seventh. Taking the Wildcats all the way to the last pitch with two runners in scoring position, junior Brooke Wilmes went up to bat. Wilmes battled her way to a full count and the last pitch flew out to left field to end the game 2-0, Arizona.

“We can’t have six of nine batters strike out. That turns it into a five inning game which is very hard to win,” coach Larissa Anderson said. “I know this team can compete with any team in the country regardless of the rankings.”

With a new day ahead of them, the Missouri squad set to redeem itself on Saturday in matches against Oregon State (10-5) and UC Davis (7-7). In a walk-off single in the ninth inning, they defeated Oregon State for the first time in program history. Entering the inning tied at 4-4, junior Hatti Moore delivered a much needed hit, getting fellow junior Imani Myint off of third base and home, finishing 4-5. As the Saturday afternoon continued, the Tigers lost their spunk, losing to UC Davis 11-3 in the sixth inning. Freshman Megan Moll and junior Kimberly Wert both hit solo home runs, showcasing improvement at bat despite dropping one game.

Bounce back was the theme of the third day at the Classic for Missouri. Facing off against another pair of teams in New Mexico (6-8) and Cal (9-6). The Tigers opened up the evening with a 5-0 win over New Mexico. Freshman pitcher Jordan Weber improved to 3-0 with her gem, striking out nine batters in a one-hit gem.

In its second match against the Bears, the Tigers jumped out ahead with a 6-0 lead in the first two innings. Contributors to this fiery offensive performance for the evening were sophomore Jazymn Rollin with a two-run home run. Along with redshirt junior Cayla Kessinger who scored off of a single RBI from Moore and batted in Moll and Rollin. For a finale score of 11-7, bouncing back was exactly what this Missouri squad did winning both games of the day.

“It was great to bounce back with two wins after a tough day yesterday,” Anderson said. “We had great offensive production all the way through the lineup, and we had some great, key RBI hits with two outs.”

To close out Mary Nutter, Missouri dropped its final game against Seattle University (5-10), 3-1 Sunday morning. Despite allowing the Redhawks batters to go 3-for-8 the first time through their lineup, freshman pitcher Emma Nicholas held them 2-for-16 in the final go rounds. After all was said and done in Cathedral City, California, Missouri extended its record to 12-5 for the season.

Next weekend, the Tigers will play at home for the first time this season and will be hosting their own tournament. With two games against Nebraska (6-8) and Wichita State (7-9), this will kick off eight-straight home games for Missouri.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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