Posted: Mar 31, 2013 11:33 AM
COLUMBIA - No. 7 Mizzou softball completed its sweep of South Carolina with two-straight, five-inning run-rule wins in its Saturday doubleheader, winning by scores of 12-3 and 8-0 at University Field. The offensive fireworks were provided by sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo, who batted 4-for-6 with three home runs, one double and nine RBI. Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas started and won both games to improve to 12-1, throwing 3.1 innings in the first matchup and throwing the complete game (5.0) to close the evening.
The Tigers' victories improved their record to 20-2 overall, with a 7-1 mark in Southeastern Conference action. The Gamecocks dropped to 18-14 (1-8 SEC) with the losses.
In game one, the Tigers jumped on the Gamecocks in the second and third innings, scoring three runs and five runs, respectively. Sophomore SS Corrin Genovese cleaned the bases in the bottom of the second with her second home run of the season, scoring sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth and junior OF Mackenzie Sykes. Roth had previously doubled to right center, while Sykes dropped a single up the middle.
The third inning started with singles from freshman 2B Emily Crane and senior catcher Jenna Marston, with the second hit bringing home Crane for a 4-0 lead after a South Carolina error. Senior Nicole Hudson drew a walk, which allowed Randazzo to bring them home with her first home run, setting the score at 7-0. Mizzou added its eighth run later in the inning when a slap from sophomore CF Kayla Kingsley was misplayed for an error, allowing Genovese to score.
In the top of the fourth, senior Lindsey Muller came in for work in the circle. Two fielding errors coupled with a hit allowed three runs to score, resulting in Thomas reentering for the final out of the inning.
Randazzo blasted her second long ball after a second Hudson walk in the bottom of the fourth inning to set the Tigers' advantage at 10-3. Pinch hitting senior Rachel Hay kept the scoring going with a two-out double to left center that allowed Genovese and Sykes to cross the plate for a 12-3 lead.
Hudson pitched the top of the fifth to seal the victory, allowing one hit but inducing a double play and final groundout.
Mizzou did the bulk of the work needed in the bottom of the first inning in game two, scoring six runs. The quick start was aided by Randazzo's third home run of the doubleheader, a two-run shot down the left field line to score Hudson, who had previously singled. Marston previously scored after walk, stolen base and muffed throw by the Gamecocks' shortstop. Further runs were fueled by a double from Genovese, a single from freshman OF Sarah Moore and a single from Crane.
The Tigers improved their lead to the final score of 8-0 with more firepower from Randazzo. Hudson and Hay were driven in by Randazzo's fourth hit of the day, a two-out double to right center.
Thomas struck out eight Gamecocks in her complete shutout performance in the second game, scattering four hits and issuing three walks.
Mizzou's second victory marked the sixth-straight win by run-rule for the Tigers. Head coach Ehren Earleywine's squad has won its last 10 games.
The Tigers now hit the road for a mid-week doubleheader at Missouri State on Wednesday, April 3. The Tigers and Bears are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Killian Stadium in Springfield, Missouri.
Mizzou continues on the road from Friday, April 5-Sunday, April 6 at SEC foe Alabama. The Friday and Saturday games (8 p.m. & 2 p.m. CT) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be televised nationally on ESPNU. The Tigers and Crimson Tide finish the series with a noon start on Sunday.