Missouri struggles in Starkville, swept in three game set

Mississippi State scored 15 combined runs in the fourth inning during the series.

After winning six consecutive games, Missouri (29-21, 10-11 SEC) lost all three games against Mississippi State (30-19, 7-14 SEC) in Starkville, Mississippi over the weekend.

In game one, Missouri began the scoring in the third inning after a single by sophomore Hatti Moore drove in sophomore Brooke Wilmes. Wilmes extended the lead with an RBI single in the fourth. Two batters later, freshman Jazmyn Rollin walked, scoring another.

Mississippi State answered in a major way in the bottom of the fourth. The Bulldogs scored seven runs after eight consecutive batters reached base. Redshirt senior Madi Norman allowed five of the seven runs in the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, Mississippi State tacked on another run on an RBI double by senior Sarai Niu. Missouri could not get a run across in the sixth or seventh and fell 8-3.

"We came in complacent [Friday]," coach Larissa Anderson said in a press release. "In this league, you can't overlook a team because of their record. I thought we did that, and a good team made us pay for it."

On Saturday, both teams remained scoreless until the bottom of the third when senior Kat Moore hit a two-run homer for the Bulldogs. Missouri responded with back-to-back home runs by Moore and sophomore Kim Wert in the top of the fourth. Mississippi State answered with four runs in the bottom half with a three-run homer by sophomore Mia Davidson. She leads the nation with 25 homers on the year.

"I thought our fight was better [Saturday]," Anderson said in a press release. "For the second day, though, we left a lot of people on base, and our pitching wasn't as good as it has been. Hard to win when those two things don't go your way. These last two games haven't been us. We need to get back to being us."

Redshirt freshman Kendyll Bailey got one run back in the top of the fifth with a solo home run to center field. Missouri would continue the rally but left the bases loaded to end the inning. The Tigers would not manage to get another run across and lost the second game 6-3.

In the series finale, Missouri struck first with a solo homer from freshman Jazmyn Rollin in the top of the third. After the Bulldogs grabbed the lead on a two-run homer in the bottom half, freshman Emma Raabe knotted the game at two with a solo homer of her own in the top of the fourth.

Mississippi State again crushed Missouri’s hopes in the fourth inning, scoring four runs off of sophomore pitcher Cassie Gasper. The Bulldogs scored a total of 15 combined runs in the fourth inning in the series. Missouri allowed four more runs in the bottom of the fifth and lost 10-2 in five innings.

Missouri will head home and take on University of Missouri-Kansas City on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CDT before concluding SEC regular-season play at home against South Carolina over the weekend.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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