Missouri splits Sunday doubleheader against No. 5 Tennessee

The Tigers have won six out of their last seven games against ranked opponents.

After sweeping No. 13 Kentucky on the road last weekend, the Tigers picked up right where they left off.

Despite earning a split in the Sunday doubleheader against No. 5 Tennessee (27-6, 5-3), Missouri (17-13, 6-5) only trailed for one inning on Sunday after winning the first game 5-4 and losing the second 2-1.

In the first game, Madi Norman got the start for the Tigers. She went 5.2 innings, allowed four runs, two earned and struck out five Volunteer hitters.

“The key with her today was that her off speed was so effective,” coach Larissa Anderson said. “It really kept them off-balance and some of her key strikeouts were because of her changeup.”

MU jumped on Tennessee freshman pitcher Ashley Rogers early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. The rally began with a leadoff triple by sophomore Brooke Wilmes, a Regan Nash walk and an RBI single from freshman Jazmyn Rollin. Both Nash and Rollin came around to score later in the first on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice.

The Tigers extended their lead to 4-0 when Wilmes hit an RBI single in the second.

“We’re a very good hitting team and when we make them bring the ball into the zone, we’re gonna crush it,” Wilmes said. “During the first game, that’s what we did and we were able to put up a lot of runs from it.”

Both teams went scoreless in the third and fourth innings. In the fifth, Tennessee got on the board with a single to center field.

Missouri got the run right back after Kimberly Wert hit her team-leading 11th homer of the year in the bottom of the fifth. The Lady Vols did not go down quietly, rallying for three runs in the top of the sixth. Junior Eli Daniel came on in relief and recorded the final out of the inning to escape the jam.

In the top of the seventh, junior Chelsea Seggern led off the the inning with a walk, but Daniel retired the next three Lady Vol hitters to close out the game.

In game two, Tennessee used a late inning rally to defeat the Tigers 2-1.

Both teams were scoreless until sophomore Hatti Moore homered with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Moore’s homer was the only hit that the Tigers scraped across in the game.

“In game two, we were a little overly aggressive,” Anderson said. “We’re such a potent offensive team. Sometimes when the pitch isn’t there you chase pitches out of the zone and that really was the difference.”

The Lady Vols knotted the game up with an RBI double by junior Cailin Hannon in the sixth and took the lead on a Seggern double in the seventh.

Missouri sophomore Cassie Gasper quieted the Volunteers No. 14 ranked offense for the first five innings but took the loss after giving up two runs in six innings of work.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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