No. 17 Missouri Softball runs away with game one of California trip
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Chloe Rathburn hit two home runs and added seven RBI, while Sami Fagan collected four hits, including a home run with four RBI as No. 17 Missouri (7-0) defeated North Carolina State (5-5) 17-2 in a five-inning, run-rule victory at the 2016 Mary Nutter Classic.
Mizzou took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning when Amanda Sanchez hit an RBI single to score Rylee Pierce, Fagan also scored on an NC State error.
NC State responded with a leadoff home run by Meredith Burroughs, which was the only run allowed by Tigers sophomore starting pitcher Paige Lowary. Lowary (4-0) picked up the win in an abbreviated outing in the circle, pitching 2.0 innings allowing two hits and one earned run with four strikeouts.
The game was blown open in the bottom of the second when Mizzou struck for 10 runs, beginning with the first of Rathburn's two home runs in the inning, a two-run shot over the left field fence to make it 4-1 Tigers. Fagan pushed the lead to 7-1 when she launched a three-run home run, her second long ball of the season, to chase NC State starter Courtney Mirabella.
Harli Hubbard came on in relief for the Wolfpack, but struggled, allowing a walk and two straight singles, including an RBI hit by Emily Crane to make it 8-1. Hubbard then walked Kirsten Mack to load the bases for Rathburn who hit a grand slam to cap the 10-run Mizzou inning.
Rathburn, a transfer from South Alabama, is batting .556 with four home runs, 15 RBI and four runs over the first seven games of the season.
Junior pitcher Cheyenne Baxter came on in relief of Lowary to start the third inning for the Tigers and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. The Mizzou bats added five more runs in the bottom of the inning to put the Tigers up 17-1.
Tyler Ross hit NC State's second leadoff home run of the game to start the fourth inning, but that wasn't enough to prevent the run-rule to be put in effect after five innings with Mizzou leading by more than eight.
The Tigers play Stanford later Thursday night in game two of the five-game invitational, they also play Colorado State, No. 7 Oregon and BYU later in the weekend.
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