Posted: Apr 29, 2012 6:46 PM
AMES, IA -- The No. 10 Missouri Tigers fought off an upset-minded Iowa State team on Sunday afternoon, holding on for a 6-5 to complete the three-game sweep. The Cyclones scored five runs in the last two innings but the Tigers picked up the win to improve to 37-10 on the year and 14-7 in the Big 12.
Freshman pitcher Bailey Erwin, getting her first start since March 11, picked up the victory in her first career conference start. Erwin tossed four innings without giving up a run while striking out a pair. Erwin is 6-0 on the year.
The Tigers jumped on the Cyclones in the first inning for the third straight day, scoring three runs to take the early lead. Mackenzie Sykes led off with a walk and stole second base to get in scoring position. With one out, Ashley Fleming blooped a single over the head of the pitcher to put runners on the corners. A double in to the right-center gap off the bat of Kelsea Roth plated both runners, and Roth would come in to score on a sacrifice fly by Corrin Genovese later in the inning.
Iowa State put the leadoff batter on base in the second, third and fourth innings, but Erwin and the Tigers worked out of it by inducing double players in all three frames to keep the Cyclones off the board. In the second, Tori Torrescano led off with a base hit to right, but 4-3 double play turned by Ashtin Stephens cleared the bases.
In the third, Amber Ewert led off with a single, but she got too far off the base on a line out to Stephens by the following batter, allowing Stephens to pick her off for the double play. Erica Miller started the fourth with another single, but Erwin struck out Torrescano and then got Dalyn Varela to ground into the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Mizzou was kept off the scoreboard until the sixth inning, when they added three runs to push their lead to 6-0. Genovese started the inning with a triple to right field. Two batters later, with a pair of runners in scoring position, Kayla Kingsley lined a single to center field to bring in Genovese. Later in the inning, Kingsley and Princess Krebs were plated on a two-run double to Mackenzie Sykes.
The three insurance runs proved to be big, as Iowa State finally broke through with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to 6-4. With the bases loaded and one out, Torrescano crushed a grand slam to left-center field, giving the Cyclones their first runs of the weekend.
The Cyclones added a run in the seventh and put the winning run on second base, but Kristin Nottelmann got Torrescano to ground into a fielder's choice and end the game. Anna Cole led off the inning with a pinch hit single, and back-to-back base hits with one out brought her home to make it 6-5. After a walk to Miller loaded the bases, Nottelmann got Torrescano to ground out.
Sykes and Roth led the Tiger offense with two RBI each, while Hudson was tops on the team with two hits.
Missouri returns home on Wednesday to begin a week long stretch of non-conference games, starting with Murray State at 3 p.m. CT. The Tigers will then travel to No. 16 Oregon next weekend for a three-game series.