Posted: May 12, 2012 7:02 PM
COLUMBIA -- The No. 9 Missouri softball team took game two of the series with Oklahoma State Cowgirls on Saturday, holding off OSU by a 5-3 final. The Tigers got four solid innings from Bailey Erwin before she handed the ball off to Chelsea Thomas for the save, and home runs by Ashley Fleming and Lindsey Muller paced the offense. Missouri is 42-12 overall and 16-7 in the Big 12.
Mizzou scored twice in the second inning to jump ahead for the second straight day. Lindsey Muller was hit by a pitch on a 2-2 count and gave way to pinch runner Brianna Corwin. Corwin took second on a ground out and moved to third on a single by Kayla Kingsley, giving the Tigers runners on the corners with one away. After Kingsley stole second, Corrin Genovese roped a bases clearing double into the left-center field gap, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Another two-spot in the third helped Missouri extend their lead to 4-0, coming off the bat of Fleming. Jenna Marston singled to lead things off and Fleming followed by blasting her 15th home run of the season, a new personal best.
Erwin was strong for four innings but ran into a little trouble in the fifth. Amy Graham started off the frame with a base hit and Gessenia DeLaCruz hit a two run homer over the wall in center field to cut the Missouri lead in half. After a strikeout for the first out, Ari Morrison walked and Shelby Davis singled to put two more aboard. Following another strikeout, Erwin issued her first walk of the game to load the bases, forcing the Tigers to bring Thomas in out of the bullpen.
Thomas was shaky to start her relief outing, walking the first two batters she saw on eight pitches, helping OSU trim the lead to 4-3. However, she bounced back with a strikeout to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the sixth, Muller gave the Tigers a little insurance with her second home run in as many days, putting Mizzou ahead 5-3. It was Muller's sixth home run of the season.
After the shaky fifth, Thomas set down the Cowgirl offense 1-2-3 in both the sixth and seventh innings to record her third save of the season. Erwin got the win to move to 8-0 on the year, giving up three runs on five hits in 4.2 innings of work while matching her career high with eight strikeouts. Thomas allowed no runs on no hits in 2.1 innings, walking two and striking out five.
Mizzou looks for a sweep and the opportunity to clinch second place in the Big 12 on Sunday with the regular season finale. The game will be televised on Metro Sports, beginning at Noon CT.