By Barbara Maningat
Before the sixth inning, the Missouri Tigers only had two hits – until their bats came alive. Hudson hit a grand slam that swung the Tigers ahead to a 4-2 victory in Game 2 over the Baylor Bears.
The Bears scored first with a two-run homer by pinch hitter Shelbi Redfearn in the top of the fifth inning. The Tigers closed the inning scoreless, leaving them anxious to retaliate.
Then the Tigers responded.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ashtin Stephens sparked some hope with a single to left field. Corrin Genovese then struck out swinging, but back-to-back walks by Jenna Marston and Ashley Fleming loaded the bases for Hudson’s grand slam.
“I was right in the spot that I wanted to be and she left me something out there I could get a hold of,” Hudson said. “I think I’ve hit the outside pitch well and the inside pitch well, but I’m feeling pretty confident at this point.”
She also said the Tiger offense needs improvement for Sunday’s game.
“I think everyone wants to come out swinging and come out with a plan and jump on them a lot earlier. We should have hit a lot better than we did today, but I think we’ll make up for it tomorrow,” Hudson said.
Kristin Nottelmann started off for the Tigers on the mound and threw little for the Bears to bite.
“One of Baylor’s general weaknesses was hitting the change-up and I think it worked perfectly today,” Nottelmann said.
She pitched five and one-third innings and struck out four, allowing four hits and two earned runs. Bailey Erwin relieved Nottelmann to close the sixth and allowed only one hit. Chelsea Thomas then came in for the save in the seventh.
With two wins in the three-game series, the Tigers look to complete the sweep over Baylor in Game 3, Sunday at noon.
“Anything less [than a sweep] is a disappointment,” Hudson said.
If Missouri takes the third win, they would extend their home winning streak to 21-straight and bolster momentum into a pivotal series against No. 6 Texas starting April 5.