Tigers forced to play Aggie ball, Texas A&M issues first series loss

By Barbara Maningat

View this article on KBIA Sports Extra

No. 19 Texas A&M served up some solid competition, defeating No. 10 Missouri softball team in a tight three-game series at College Station. Missouri ended their 17-game winning streak in Game 1 Friday with a 2-1 loss, but hope struck when the Tigers took the 6-5 win in Game 2. Game 3 went seven innings without a run and ended the game with an Aggie run in the bottom of the eighth.

The Tigers simply could not deliver from the plate as Aggie pitcher Mel Dumezich took control of the game.

Dumezich proved to be a threat from the mound and at bat in the first game; she issued seven strikeouts and contributed two runs with the game-winning home run in the first inning. Tiger Kelsea Roth contributed the only run for the Tigers with a double to center, scoring Corrin Genovese. The Tigers managed four hits to counter Dumezich, but it was not enough as they fell 2-1.

Dumezich allowed just enough leeway in Game 2 for the Tigers to capitalize and take the win. After Roth doubled to score Jenna Marston in the first, the game came alive in the second inning as the Tigers added five runs. Genovese doubled to left field, scoring Princess Krebs and pushing Ashtin Stephens to scoring position. Marston then singled and sent Stephens and Genovese home for a 4-0 lead. Later, Roth hit a double to left field and sent Marston home and Ashley Fleming to third base after she drew a walk. Fleming then scored an unearned run to close the inning. Two outs into the second inning, the Aggies sent in Lauren Ainsley to relieve Dumezich. Missouri responded with five runs against Ainsley, ending the second game with a tight 6-0 Tiger victory.

It was the battle of the pitchers in the series closer. Missouri’s Chelsea Thomas threw seven and one-third innings allowing only two hits, one error and the game-winning run, while Dumezich allowed just one hit to Genovese in the third inning. Combined, the pitchers kept the batters quiet for seven full innings until Aggie Jenna Stark hit a double to score Cassie Tysarczyk for the win in the extra inning.

Genovese and Roth led the Tigers in hitting, contributing a combined eight hits on the series – but the team recorded only 11 hits on the series, six of them from game two.

Thomas is now 11-3 on the season and the Tigers fall to 23-5 overall, 4-2 in conference play. Missouri will return to Columbia to host a doubleheader against the Evansville Aces on Wednesday, starting at 3 p.m.

Missouri softball ends Kansas rivalry with three shutout victories

Story by Barbara Maningat

With two wins on Sunday, the No. 12 Missouri softball team took a three-game series from Big 12 rival Kansas by a combined score of 24-0.

The games took the all-time border war record to 63-40 in favor of Missouri. The Tigers have recorded seven straight shutout victories and are on a 14-game winning streak. They have only allowed three runs over the 14 game span.

Overall, the Tigers are satisfied with how they ended the era.

“We definitely wanted to come out and show them how good we are. Go out on a good note,” senior Ashley Fleming said. “I don’t know if they’ll end up playing them in the regular season next year or not, but conference-wise this is the last time, so I don’t think we could’ve done it any better than we did.

Kansas struggled to respond to the 24 Missouri runs on the series and could only deliver 10 hits.

Kelsi Jones and Fleming led the Tigers. Each player recorded game-ending home runs in run-rule victories. Jones finished the series with a team high six RBIs, two runs and two hits. Fleming went 4-for-11 with three runs and three RBIs.

Jones contributions were clear on paper, but her teammates also took notice.

“To come in and pinch hit on Friday and to hit a home run, that’s pretty big and then she came up big again for us today,” Chelsea Thomas said. “So that confidence building, building into the next couple weekends, is going to be huge.”

Doubleheader Game 1, 5-0 Missouri

In the first game of the doubleheader, Chelsea Thomas threw a shutout. The win improved her record to 10-0 on the season. Jenna Marston and Fleming each went 2-for-3 and scored one run each. Lindsey Muller added two RBIs on one hit.

The Tigers took an early three run lead in the first inning. Corrin Genovese drew a walk and advanced to second on a line drive from Fleming. Nicole Hudson then reached first on a fielding error by Jayhawk first baseman Marissa Ingle and advanced to second. Genovese scored an unearned run on the same play to put Missouri on the board. A wild pitch by Alecia Pille allowed Fleming to come home for another unearned Tiger run. The pitch put Hudson in scoring position. Muller closed the inning with a sacrifice ground out to shortstop Mariah Montgomery to score Hudson.

The game slowed down until the bottom of the fourth inning. Marston singled up the middle and advanced to second after Genovese was hit by a pitch. Muller recorded her second RBI scoring Marston with a single to left field.

In the fourth inning, Mackenzie Sykes singled to right field and advanced to third off an Ashtin Stephens double. Sykes added another Tiger run when Jenna Marston grounded out to second base.

Doubleheader Game 2, 9-0 Missouri

Kristin Nottelmann pitched a season high six shutout innings. Nottelman struck out seven batters and allowed only two hits. This win improved her record to 6-2. Fleming and Jones led the game with three RBIs apiece.

The Tigers churned out six runs in the bottom of the third inning, while the Jayhawks struggled from the mound. Kansas pitcher Morgan Druhan issued a walk to Genovese and pushed Marston to second. Fleming then smacked a line drive double deep into center field, scoring Marston for the first run of the game. Druhan then issued walks to Hudson and Muller that scored Genovese and loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly by Princess Krebs sent Fleming home for a 3-0 lead before Jones homered to right field. Krebs gave Mizzou a 6-0 advantage.

The score would remain at 6-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning. The Tigers looked for just two runs to end the game. Marston added one when she doubled then scored off a hit by Angela Randazzo.

Then, in similar fashion to the game-winning home run by Jones in game one of the series, Fleming homered to right field for two RBIs and closed the game 9-0.

“It felt good. It was good to end the weekend on a hit like that,” Fleming said.

Missouri now sits at a 20-3 and 3-0 in conference play. The Tigers take on Iowa in another doubleheader on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Mizzou defeats Kansas for 13-game winning streak

By Barbara Maningat

Missouri softball kicked off Big 12 conference play with another run-rule victory, defeating rival Kansas 10-0. Chelsea Thomas got the win, giving her a 9-1 record on the season. She pitched four and one-third shutout innings before allowing one hit in the top of the fifth. Lindsey Muller led the team and went 3-for-3 with one RBI while Corrin Genovese and Nicole Hudson each recorded two hits. In the last play of the game, freshman Kelsi Jones drove in three RBIs with her third home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning, helping the Tigers end the Jayhawks’ 20-game winning streak.

Due to Saturday’s weather, the Tigers and Jayhawks will play a double header on Sunday, starting at noon.

No. 12 Missouri softball sweeps Demarini Invitational with six run-rule victories

Story by Barbara Maningat

View this article on KBIA Sports Extra

Power hitting pushed No. 12 Missouri softball to close out an undefeated record at the DeMarini Invitational with its fifth and sixth straight run-rule victories against Alcorn State, 9-0, and Northern Illinois, 8-0. Against the Alcorn State Braves, Kelsi Jones joined Lindsey Ubrun as the second Mizzou player to record at least two home runs in one game. Corrin Genovese hit her second home run of the season against the Braves. Princess Krebs continued the home run trend with one against the Northern Illinois Huskies.

Missouri v. Alcorn State

Genovese started strong in the first, with a home run to give Missouri the 1-0 lead. A Genovese triple in the second scored Jones and Rachel Hay. Kayla Kingsley took her home with a base hit.

Clutch pitching by freshman Bailey Erwin stranded two Braves on base and kept the score at 4-0 at the top of the third. Jones then added the sixth run with her first homer of the day.

In the fourth inning, Jones delivered with a powerful grand slam sending Mackenzie Sykes, Kelsea Roth and Angela Randazzo home. Erwin sealed the shutout in the fifth after striking out a batter with two threatening Braves on base.

Jones also drove in five runs, the most RBIs recorded by a single Tiger in one game this season. Genovese went 2-for-2 with two runs and a career-high three RBIs. The shutout win improved Erwin to a 4-0, with three strikeouts and only four hits.

Missouri v. Northern Illinois

The Tigers and the Huskies put runners on base in the first two innings but did not light up the scoreboard until the bottom of the fourth. The Huskies came close to recording a run when Huskie Jennifer Barnette hit a single with players on first and second. Hudson got the out when the runner tried to run for home, preventing a Tiger deficit. In the bottom of the second, the Tigers struggled to hit players home, leaving six batters stranded.

The game changer came when Krebs hit a line drive to center that put her on base with one out. Mackenzie Sykes then hit a fly ball into right field recording her first career triple, which scored Krebs. Sykes scored after a wild pitch, putting Missouri on the board 2-0.

The Tigers found momentum and batted in six more players in the fifth off of five hits. Defensive errors contributed to three Tiger runs to lead off the inning. Kelsea Roth drew a walk and ran home after Hudson hit a double. A base hit by Angela Randazzo sent Hudson running for third, but Huskie catcher Erika Oswald missed the attempted out at third with a wide throw into left field that helped Hudson contribute a 5-0 cushion.

And then Krebs capitalized. She scored Muller off her first home run of the season. Sykes got on base and advanced to third by the time Ashley Fleming batted her in with a line drive to center.

Krebs finished 3-for-3 with a homer, two runs and two RBIs. This win gave Kristin Nottelmann a 5-2 record with six strikeouts and only three hits.

Missouri softball will head to Fayetteville on Wednesday to face Arkansas at 1 p.m. The Tigers face their first Big 12 competition when they host Kansas in a three game series starting on Friday at 6 p.m.

Information from MU Athletics was used in this report.

Mizzou softball seniors leading the team by example

By Barbara Maningat and Kelsie Heneghan

With 10 freshmen on the Missouri softball team, the Tigers look to seniors Ashley Fleming and Kristin Nottelmann for leadership.

Coach Ehren Earleywine has not asked either of the players to step-up, but his seniors have taken charge with the motto, “lead by example.” As the team’s 2011 top hitter, Fleming leads with her bat and offensive skills. Nottelmann, a pitcher, shows how to have grace and poise as the No. 2 starter.

Freshmen Kelsea Roth and Corrin Genovese have taken notice and hope to help the seniors return to the Women’s College World Series in their final season.

*I took photos, gathered audio, wrote script and edited this piece

[vimeo:http://vimeo.com/36986752%5D

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