Starting pitching carries Missouri past SEMO in doubleheader

Both Tiger starters went six innings and settled in after rough first innings.

After sweeping an SEC series last weekend at home against the Texas A&M Aggies, Missouri softball looked to keep the momentum going with a doubleheader against Southeast Missouri State, an Ohio Valley Conference foe. The Tigers did just that, coming from behind in both games to win 4-3 and 4-1, respectively.

The Redhawks (35-12, 12-4 OVC) came into Wednesday with a potent lineup looking to show they could compete with state flagship Missouri (27-18, 10-8 SEC). They proved that early, getting a hit and a walk off Tiger ace and redshirt senior Madi Norman before launching a three-run shot to get out to an early 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, designated player Kara Decker got on base with an infield single that drove in a run to cut the SEMO lead to 3-1.

After that, both starting pitchers settled in. The Tigers went hitless for the next four innings, while Norman would allow just two baserunners, one on a walk and the other a hit by pitch, for the next five.

In the bottom of the sixth, Tiger shortstop Jazmyn Rollin led off with a home run to cut the lead to 3-2. The very next batter, catcher Hatti Moore, singled up the middle, and then third baseman Kim Wert crushed a go-ahead home run to suddenly give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.

Junior Eli Daniel quickly shut the door in the top of the seventh, and the Tigers took game one by the score of 4-3.

In game two, the visitors from Cape Girardeau, Missouri again jumped out to an early lead. The SEMO leadoff hitter doubled, was moved over to third on a groundout, and came around to score on an error by Rollin.

In the bottom half of the frame, the Tigers fought back. Designated player Emma Raabe came through with an infield single to knot the score at 1.

The Tigers would put runners on base in each of the next three frames, but were unable to drive any of them in, stranding seven through the first four innings of the contest.

As sophomore Cassie Gasper settled in on the mound after a rocky first inning, the Tiger bats woke up.

In the bottom of the fifth, first baseman Kolby Romaine came through with a run-scoring single to put the Tigers ahead. Second baseman Kendyll Bailey followed with an infield single to push the lead to 3-1.

Center fielder Brooke Wilmes gave the home team an insurance run with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth, but thanks to another lockdown performance by Daniel in the final frame, it wasn’t needed.

The Tigers won 4-1, as Daniel nailed down her eighth save of the season.

“I was really happy to see Madi settle down after the first,”said coach Larissa Anderson in an interview after the second game.

“No one on this team gets rattled after a rough start. We just keep working and make adjustments.”

This weekend, the Tigers hit the road for a three-game series at Mississippi State, starting with a matchup Friday at 6 p.m. CDT.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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