The Maneater

Missouri softball rides four-game win streak in first tournament of the season

After a loss in their first game, the Tigers won four straight with timely hitting and pitching.

Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics Mizzou Athletics

One hit, one run, one tournament down for the Missouri softball team (4-1), which began its season at the Charleston Southern Tournament in South Carolina from Feb. 10-12.

The tournament ended with a win against USC Upstate (4-2) in a close 1-0 game Sunday. The single run came in the third inning on the Tigers’ one hit of the game, a home run to left field by third baseman Paige Bange.

The Tigers went 4-1 at this past weekend’s competition, losing only to No. 14 James Madison (3-1) 6-0 on the first day of the tournament. They went on to win their next four games, outscoring their opponents 16-7 in the team’s four wins.

What stood out in the tournament — and was showcased especially in Sunday’s game — was the Tigers’ pitching. Redshirt sophomore Madi Norman, who appeared in each game of the tournament, pitched a complete game shutout with six strikeouts in the win against USC Upstate, retiring the final 10 batters in succession.

Offensively, freshman Braxton Burnside stood out with four hits in the tournament, including two hits in her first start at leadoff in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Charleston Southern. Burnside also scored on a sacrifice fly from right fielder Anna Reed in the sixth inning of a tight game, providing the second run and insulation for Norman to earn her first save of the season.

The team’s most productive game offensively was the Tigers’ rematch against JMU on Saturday; as the home team, Mizzou scored in five of their six innings. The team showed a diverse lineup of power with three doubles and two home runs, each from five different hitters.

The Tigers committed three errors in their 8-4 win over JMU. Both were in the infield, with two by Burnside and another by second baseman Kolby Romaine. The defense proved more solid in the closing games of the tournament, with a total of just two errors over the last four games.

Next up, Missouri will compete in the Arizona State University Littlewood Classic in Tempe starting with a game against South Dakota on Feb. 17.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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