Missouri softball wins two to start off Mizzou Tournament

Norman started her second home opener, and a combination of Wilmes and Sanchez at the plate provided offensive power for the Tigers.
Maneater File Photo

The Missouri softball team won its first two home games in the Mizzou Tournament on Friday. After beating both Southeastern Louisiana and Drake, the 12-7 team has now won eight of its last 10 games.

“We’ve definitely grown from week one to now, so it’s cool to see us kinda find our stride and get going,” starting pitcher Madi Norman said.

The afternoon started with an 8-0 victory over Southeastern Louisiana in five innings.

“I thought we did well the first game — their pitchers are a little slower, so I was proud to see the girls adjust to timing because I know in the past we’ve had [a] problem with slower pitching,” interim head coach Gina Fogue said.

Missouri’s marketing team must have felt the buzz of the warm weather and excited fans in attendance, as Dubble Bubble gum was handed out in between innings to celebrate any doubles or double plays. Popcorn was thrown to the loudest fans. After 17 games on the road, the home atmosphere was something new for the players.

“Being at home definitely helps, you know, you have the fans that you don’t have on the road,” Norman said. “So that kinda gets you hyped up and gives you more adrenaline, so that was nice.”

Missouri faced Drake in the evening. The bats and weather both got slightly colder, but the team still won 4-3. Freshman Lauren Rice and sophomore Eli Daniel tag-teamed the pitching rubber, pitching 3.1 and 3.2 innings, respectively. Rice left the fourth inning after two walks. “She was missing high, and when she starts missing high and when we’re throwing drops, we want them at the shin and knee,” Fogue said. “And when she’s missing high, then a lot of times she’s kinda done. So we decided to go with someone else.”

Drake threatened the Tigers’ lead in the seventh inning, scoring one. The tying run was at second base when the game ended with on a strikeout looking.

“Pitch selection was our main thing we talked about after the game,” Fogue said about the Drake game.

The team has four games left in the tournament, with the next one — a rematch against Southeastern Louisiana — starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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