No. 5 Mizzou Softball Wins a Pair on Opening Day
TROY, AL -- The No. 6/5 Missouri Tigers opened up their 2012 season with two wins on Friday at the Quality Inn Classic, hosted by the Troy Trojans.
The Tigers started the day with a 3-2 victory over the Ball State Cardinals, before shutting out the Trojans by a 4-0 final later in the evening. Senior Kristin Nottelmann and redshirt junior Chelsea Thomas each earned victories on the day to improve to 1-0, while Ashley Fleming belted her first home run of the year in the contest against Troy.
Mizzou 3, Ball State 2
Both Fleming and freshman Kayla Kingsley led the squad with two RBI on the day. Ball State saw opportunities to score in their first three innings, but Nottelmann was able to work in-and-out of jams to keep the game scoreless.
The game remained at 3-0 into the top of the sixth, when Ball State put together another threat following a leadoff double and a walk. However, Nottelmann got out of it again, getting Taylor Cox to line out.
The Cardinals kept the pressure on in the top of the seventh, drawing three walks in the inning while pushing across two runs. After a one out walk, Ball State got a base hit and took another walk to load the bases. Audrey Bickel then lifted a deep fly ball to center field that was dropped, allowing two runs to score to cut the lead to 3-2. Nottelmann was able to secure the victory with two straight strikeouts to end the game.
Nottelmann allowed five hits, one earned run and issued nine walks while striking out seven.
Mizzou 4, Troy 0
Thomas took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fourth, but it was broken up on a one out single to center by Nikki Hollett. Troy wasn't able to take advantage, however, as Thomas struck out the next hitter and Marston threw out the runner trying to steal second.
Mizzou gained a big lead in the top half of the next inning, as Fleming blasted the first Tiger home run of the season. Fleming, who led the team last year with 14 home runs, delivered a 1-0 pitch deep over the wall in center field to make it 4-0.
Thomas earned the victory to move to 1-0 on the season with a complete game, two-hit shutout. She struck out five while issuing two walks.
Fleming led the Tigers with two hits, while Kingsley's two RBI were tops on the squad. The Tigers continue action at the Quality Inn Classic Saturday morning. The original schedule has been altered due to expected rain in the area. Initially scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CT, the Tigers will now play Eastern Kentucky at 8:30 a.m. Their 9 p.m. game against East Tennessee State was moved into that 1:30 p.m. slot. Sunday's game against Nicholls State was also moved up to 9 a.m.