Wilmes’ walks-off, wins series for Missouri against No. 16 South Carolina

Sophomore Brooke Wilmes recorded four hits in the game.
Sophomore Brooke Wilmes hits a walk-off solo home run during the eighth inning in the game against South Carolina on May 5, 2019. Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics

One day after Missouri senior first baseman Kolby Romaine received a Gatorade bath from teammates after her walk-off single, sophomore Brooke Wilmes led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo shot and got a splash of her own.

“It was a little cold but I’ll take that every single day,” Wilmes said.

The homer gave Missouri (32-21, 12-11 SEC) a 7-6 comeback win over No. 16 South Carolina (35-16, 8-14 SEC).

In the top of the first, South Carolina sophomore first baseman Alyssa Kumiyama knocked in two with a single to left field.

The Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom half courtesy of a three-run homer by freshman shortstop Jazmyn Rollin.

“Right off the bat, I knew it was out and it felt great,” Rollin said. “I was just like, ‘thank God I put my team back in the game.’”

The Tigers didn’t have the lead for long. In the top of the second, South Carolina freshman Jordan Fabian tied the game with a solo homer to left field. Starting pitcher sophomore Cassie Gasper exited the game after the homer and junior Eli Daniel entered in relief.

The Gamecocks took a commanding 6-3 lead in the top of the fourth after sophomore Jana Johns hit her third homer of the series on a two-run shot and redshirt junior Lauren Stewart singled to drive in one.

In the bottom half, the Tigers answered again. Senior Regan Nash knocked in two runs with an RBI double to left-center. Senior Madi Norman, who pitched a complete game on Friday, entered in relief of Daniel for the top of the fifth and kept the Gamecocks off the scoreboard.

Sophomore Hatti Moore reached on an error and she came around to score when sophomore third baseman Kim Wert reached on a fielding error by the first baseman.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the eighth as Norman shut down South Carolina for four innings.

“My mindset was just to keep my team in the game,” Norman said. “Obviously, pitching a full game yesterday it’s hard to be as sharp as you can, but I [knew] I was gonna go out and make the pitches I need to induce ground balls.”

Wilmes, the first hitter in the eighth, launched a solo homer over the right field wall for her fourth hit of the day. The hit guaranteed the series win against South Carolina.

“I just put my hand up in the air and I just kept running and the next thing you know I felt like I was at home before everybody else got out of the dugout,” Wilmes said.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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