MU softball set to take on Crimson Tide, kicking off SEC play

The Tigers will face the undefeated Crimson Tide on the weekend of March 8.
Designed by Corey Hadfield

Missouri softball will start a three-game road series against Alabama to begin conference play on Friday.

In her first season as the Missouri coach, Larissa Anderson said she wants her team to attack every series aggressively.

“I want them to have a mentality that we are looking to win every series,” Anderson said. “I want them to give forth that effort and feel that they can be in every game and that they do have the ability to be able to win every series.”

Alabama pitchers have a combined 1.59 earned run average this season which ranks fourth in the SEC. The Tigers understand the importance of paying careful attention to every at-bat.

“You have to be focused every pitch, in practice and in the game,” sophomore Hatti Moore said. “The second that you lose focus is the second that things can go wrong. This week we have been very focused and preparing for Alabama.”

In nonconference play, the Tigers faced four nationally ranked programs — No. 16 Arizona State, No. 24 Oregon, No. 2 UCLA and No. 6 Washington. Despite MU’s 1-3 record against them, Moore said those games helped prepare her and teammates for the SEC gauntlet ahead.

“Going into SEC play, teams like that prepare us, but it’s a whole different ball game with the fans and the atmosphere and we are excited to see how that is going to be,” she said. “We just know that we can hang and even beat teams that are of that caliber.”

As a catcher and outfielder, Moore has not recorded an error and has one passed ball through the season’s start. At the plate, she has improved as a hitter. She is two hits away from matching last year’s hit total for the 2018 season.

“Our hitting coach, Chris [Malveaux], has done a very good job,” Moore said. “He has made an incredible impact on me as a hitter.”

Alabama is one of two remaining unbeaten teams this season. In its history, the Crimson Tide has won one national championship and finished a runner-up in 2014. In the March 5 USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, Alabama ranks No. 5 in the country. Missouri did not receive any votes for the top-25.

“No one really thinks that we are going to do well this year,” Moore said. “We are always picked last for everything. With all of the drama that has gone on for the last two years, that has always been motivation for us to compete and do really well.”

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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