Missouri softball goes 3-1 in weekend tournament

Missouri drove in 16 runs with two outs over the weekend and put together three shut-down pitching performances.

Missouri softball won three games after dropping their first game of the weekend at FAU’s “Strike Out Cancer” tournament after its starting pitching improved quickly.

Sophomore Jordan Weber opened the weekend for the Tigers’ against Iowa and lasted only two innings, giving up several hard-hit doubles. Sophomore Megan Schumacher replaced Weber in the third inning after she gave up another double and hard hit single without registering an out.

Schumacher walked the first batter she faced and placed herself in a bases-loaded jam. Iowa then forced Missouri to make plays in the infield, which it did not — the Hawkeyes drove in runs through fielder’s choices, ground-outs and errors.

This rally continued into the fourth inning, as a base hit, a hit batter and a walk allowed Iowa to produce a five-run inning, on its way to a 9-8 victory over the Tigers.

Whether through Coach Larissa Anderson’s words or the bitter taste of a poor loss, the Tigers’ pitching staff put together three quality starts following the Iowa loss. During these three games, Missouri limited baserunners — allowing fewer than seven baserunners a game, which forced hitters to advance runners and score runs by sacrificing outs.

Weber made up for her poor outing on Saturday by throwing a six-inning complete game while allowing only one baserunner in a 9-0 Missouri victory, closing out the doubleheader against Florida Atlantic for Missouri’s third win of the weekend.

She struck out six batters, and forced Florida Atlantic to hit by filling up the strike zone and dominating their offense.

Freshman Laurin Krings also shined, earning her first career win on four strikeouts and two runs over six innings of work in Saturday’s second game against Ole Miss.

While she allowed her fair share of baserunners, surrendering five hits, with two walks and two hit-by-pitches, none of them were able to start a rally. Krings’ performance stumped the Rebels, as Ole Miss had just one extra-base hit against Missouri.

Ole Miss and Florida Atlantic both produced one-run innings only a couple times in their respective games, never getting runners into scoring position on a consistent basis.

Missouri’s offense, however, remained consistent throughout the entire weekend. The Tigers showed their firepower in all four games, but crucially drove in runs with two outs.

Of their 34 runs scored, 16 of them came with two outs.

Against Ole Miss, senior Brooke Wilmes’ singled up the middle to drive in two runs in the third inning to put the Tigers up 3-0. In the bottom of the fourth inning, she doubled to center field to extend the Tigers lead to 4-0, and senior Cayla Kessinger capped the second two-out rally by driving in Wilmes with a single to left field to make it 5-0.

In the final game against Florida Atlantic, senior Kimberly Wert capped the shutout with a two-out, two-run blast to center, sealing the game for the Tigers.

Even down 9-6 against Iowa, Missouri rallied in the top of the seventh. Freshman Jenna Laird started the inning with a single, and moved to third on a double by Wilmes. Iowa put away the next two batters, but senior Hatti Moore singled to right and drove in two runs to bring the Tigers within one run of victory.

Missouri pushed their record on the season to 6-2. The Tigers will face UCF on Wednesday night, then travel to Alabama for the South Alabama Invitational.

Edited by Jack Soble | jsoble@themaneater.com

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