Missouri softball enters homestretch of the season with series finale win against LSU

Cheyenne Baxter pitches her second complete game of the series, ending the team’s five-game losing streak.
Maneater File Photo

After being swept last weekend at home against the University of Kentucky, the Missouri softball team (28-23) traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, looking to turn things around against No.17 LSU (37-15).

While the Tigers only came away with one win and took the series loss, the pitching staff proved to be the highlight of the weekend. Senior Cheyenne Baxter tossed two complete games, giving up just four runs over the two starts.

“Cheyenne [Baxter] did a great job in the circle and gave us a chance all night,” sophomore Regan Nash said after the team’s 3-2 loss on Friday. “We just have to do a better job of giving her more run support.”

On Friday, the Tigers jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning. Freshman shortstop Braxton Burnside singled to score Nash; senior catcher Kirsten Mack scored after a series of fielder’s choices and an error by the LSU third baseman allowed her to advance to third.

After that, the scoring stopped. Mizzou didn’t score again until the third inning of the second game of the series. LSU scored two in the third inning to tie the game, and one inning later, LSU took the lead when a wild pitch, sacrifice fly and single sent sophomore third baseman Shemiah Sanchez home.

“We did a great job in that first inning but couldn’t keep that momentum going the rest of the night,” Nash said.

The story repeated itself the next day. In the first game on Saturday, Mizzou scored first, but LSU answered in the same inning, tying the score at one run apiece. The deciding runs did not come until the sixth inning, when LSU secured the 3-1 win with a two-run home run.

Although she took the loss, redshirt sophomore Madi Norman starred in the game. In her longest start since March 8, she struck out six batters and let up only four hits.

Norman returned this season after making only two appearances last year due to injury. She transferred to Missouri this year from Louisville.

“I’ve had ups and downs, which is probably normal for someone who just took a redshirt, but I feel like I’m very in control,” Norman said March 9.

After two losses to LSU, the Tigers entered the series finale on a five-game losing streak in dire need of win. Baxter pitched her second complete game of the weekend and kept LSU from scoring until the seventh inning to lead Missouri to a 3-1 victory. The win was Baxter’s sixth SEC win against a nationally ranked top-25 opponent, according to a press release.

The team will play two more regular-season series before the SEC tournament, the first being a midweek doubleheader against Wichita State this Wednesday.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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