Softball splits opening day
CHARLESTON, S.C. - No. 17 Missouri softball opened the 2017 season Friday with a doubleheader split against No. 14 James Madison and Charleston Southern.
James Madison shutout the Tigers (1-1) in game one, earning a 6-0 victory. It was a different story in game two, as Mizzou won 4-3 against the host Buccaneers.
Against James Madison (2-0) in game one, new Tiger ace Danielle Baumgartner got through a clean two innings, but only recorded one out in the third, giving up four hits and two runs, before getting pulled.
Madi Norman came on in relief of Baumgartner, closed out the third and fourth, but in the fifth gave up four runs. Three of them came off the biggest hit of the game, a three-run homer off the bat of senior outfielder Taylor Newton that put the game away.
James Madison received a complete game effort from junior starter and reigning NFCA First Team All-American Megan Good. Good allowed only three base runners all game and tallied 10 strikeouts en route to her first shutout and win of the season.
In the second match of the day, against Charleston Southern, the Tigers and Buccaneers exchanged first-inning runs. The scoring halted until the fourth, when Rylee Pierce drove in Lexi Rampetsreiter with a bases-loaded single to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
The Buccaneers (2-1) countered in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of its own. A two-run home run from freshman first-baseman Mallory Kasinger erased the deficit and gave Charleston Southern a 3-2 advantage.
The hit also the final straw for freshman starter Parker Conrad of Missouri. Conrad went 3.2 innings in her first career start, giving up up three runs.
Mizzou would be the only team to score for the remainder of the game. the Tigers quickly tied it again in the next half inning with a sacrifice fly from third-baseman Jolie Duffner. Then, in the seventh, Natalie Fleming drove in pinch-runner Raime Cohen with a double down the left-field line.
Norman came in for her second relief appearance of the day after Conrad was pulled, and she would pick up her first win of the season as well. Norman went 3.1 of scoreless work to close the game.
Mizzou will face off against both James Madison and Charleston Southern again Saturday.