Mizzou Falls in Game One at No. 3 Texas
AUSTIN, TX -- The No. 11 Missouri softball team couldn't hang on to a 3-0 lead, as the No. 3 Texas Longhorns rallied by scoring five runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth to take the first game of the series on Thursday night. The Tigers fall to 28-6 on the year and 7-3 in Big 12 play while Texas moves to 32-2 with a 6-0 record in conference.
The Tigers jumped ahead in the third inning, aided by a two-base error by the Longhorn shortstop. Ashtin Stephens led off the frame with a base hit back up the middle and Jenna Marston followed with a single of her own. Stephens moved to third on the play, allowing Marston to take second on the throw. One out later, Nicole Hudson was intentionally walked to load the bases. The Longhorn error came off the bat of Fleming and scored both Stephens and Marston to give Mizzou the early 2-0 lead.
Another unearned run in the fifth helped the Tigers extend their lead, taking advantage of two Longhorn errors. Marston reached on an error by the shortstop to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Corrin Genovese. Hudson then took her third walk of the game and Fleming singled to right field. An error by the right fielder allowed Marston to come in and score, but Hudson was thrown out at the plate on the play to keep the score at 3-0.
The Horns broke through with five runs in their half of the fifth inning to take their first lead of the game. Nadia Taylor started the inning with a base hit through the left side to get things going. After a strikeout, Mandy Ogle doubled to put runners in scoring position, setting up a two-run single down the line in left by Torie Schmidt. Taylor Hoagland then singled, and a sacrifice bunt put Schmidt and Hoagland on second and third. After Lexy Bennett walked, Courtney Craig cleared the bases with a double to left, giving the Longhorns the 5-3 lead.
Texas tacked on four unearned runs in the sixth inning to push their lead to 9-3. A leadoff single by Taylor chased Thomas, bringing in Bailey Erwin out of the pen. After a ground out, Mizzou committed their first error of the game on a grounder to short to put two aboard, setting up an RBI double by Schmidt to make it 6-3. Errors on consecutive plays brought home three more runs.
Mizzou scored twice in the top of the seventh but couldn't overcome the six run deficit. Stephens led off with her second single of the game and Marston walked on four pitches. Two batters later, Hudson singled to load the bases and Fleming knocked a base hit to bring home a pair, making it 9-5. However, Luna got Roth to strike out and Muller to fly out, ending the game.
Thomas took the loss to fall to 14-4 on the year, giving up six runs - five earned - on seven hits while striking out six. Fleming led the offense by going 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Stephens added two hits and scored twice.
Missouri hopes to even the series on Friday with game two, beginning at 7 p.m. CT.