Posted: Feb 17, 2013 9:16 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2013 11:18 PM
SANTA BARBARA, CA - The No. 8/7 Mizzou softball team finished off UCSB's Gaucho Classic with a 12-1 win over UCSB at Campus Diamond on Sunday. The Tigers improved to 5-0 with the victory, using a 4-for-4 performance from senior 1B Lindsey Muller to power the offensive showcase. Muller sliced three singles and a booming two-run home run to pace the Tigers.
Standout senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas earned the win (2-0) from the circle with 7.0 innings of work, allowing just three hits. The Gauchos' lone run was unearned. Thomas retired the entire Gaucho batting order her first time through, notching seven strikeouts along the way. She finished the game with 10 strikeouts.
Muller tied for the team-high with three RBI and fellow senior Nicole Hudson, batting from the designated player spot, also matched that total. Hudson finished the five-game tournament with 11 RBI from seven hits, including five home runs.
Mizzou jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a four-run outburst in the third inning, with sophomore SS Corrin Genovese, senior catcher Jenna Marston, Hudson, Muller and redshirt freshman Carlie Rose notching singles to help the Tigers' efforts.
UCSB scored two hits in the fourth inning, first from leadoff batter Jessica Soria. A fielding error at second base allowed the Gauchos' Arianna Palomares to reach base safely, but the Tigers' responded defensively with a double-play turned by Genovese and sophomore Emily Crane. UCSB's Keilani Jennings poked a ball into the outfield that scored Soria.
The Tigers improved their lead to 7-1 in the fifth inning with Muller's two-run shot, which scored sophomore CF Kayla Kingsley, who reached base after a bunt was mishandled by UCSB.
Mizzou closed out the victory with five additional runs in the seventh inning. Thomas forced three ground outs from the Gauchos in their final chance at offense.
Mizzou continues its West Coast trip with the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., from Thursday, Feb. 21 - Friday, Feb. 22. The Tigers will face Maryland (3 p.m. CT) and San Diego State (7:30 p.m.) in the first day of competition before matching up with Florida on Friday at 12:30 p.m.