Tigers Split Doubleheader, Win Series Over No. 12 Ducks
EUGENE, OR -- The No. 9 Missouri Tigers split a doubleheader with No. 12 Oregon on Saturday afternoon, helping them take two-of-three in their final non-conference series of the season. Mizzou is now 40-12 on the season, while the Ducks fell to 37-14.
The Tigers managed just one hit in the first game, falling by an 8-3 margin. The bats woke up in game two, as Mizzou scored seven runs on eight hits in a 7-3 victory.
In game one, Oregon put together a great opportunity in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with nobody out, but senior Kristin Nottelmann was able to work out of the jam and keep the game tied. Nottelmann issued a leadoff walk and Christie Nieto blooped a single to center for the first hit of the game. An infield error then loaded the bases, but Nottelmann got Alexa Peterson strike out looking and induced a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.
The Ducks committed errors in each of the first three innings, and Mizzou was finally able to capitalize in the top of the third. Mackenzie Sykes started the inning by reaching on a fielding error by the third baseman. Oregon pitcher Jessica Moore set down the next two Tiger hitters on strikes, but issued a two out walk to Nicole Hudson to set up a line drive single by Kelsea Roth, driving in Sykes to put Missouri up 1-0.
The lead was short-lived, as Oregon tacked on five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Nottelmann gave up a leadoff single to Janie Takeda and walked Kaylan Howard to put the first two aboard. On a full count, Samantha Pappas hit her seventh home run of the season, giving UO a 3-1 advantage. Nottelmann retired the next two batters, but Missouri's second error of the game kept the inning alive and set up a home run by Peterson, pushing Oregon's lead to 5-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Ducks hit their third home run of the game, a two-run shot to left-center field off the bat of Kaylan Howard. Her 11th home run of the season extended Oregon's lead to 7-1.
Missouri cut into the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with no outs despite not recording a hit. Jenna Marston and Ashley Fleming were each hit by pitch to start the inning, and Hudson drew a full count walk to load the bases. Roth took Mizzou's third hit by pitch of the inning, bringing home a run. One out later, Kayla Kingsley grounded out to second, scoring Fleming to make the score 7-3.
Oregon added an eighth run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single off the bat of Kailee Cuico, driving in Pappas who doubled earlier in the frame. Hudson prevented an even bigger inning, making a great diving play with runners on second and third and nobody out, tagging the runner at third while lying on the ground to record the double play.
Roth got the only hit for Missouri and drove in two of the team's three runs. Moore picked up the win, throwing four innings while allowing three runs on one hit with six strikeouts. Nottelmann fell to 12-5, giving up 10 hits and eight runs - six earned - in six innings.
Missouri's offense exploded for five runs in the second inning to take a commanding lead early in game two. Roth led off with a walk and Lindsey Muller followed with a base hit. The Tigers loaded the bases after Genovese reached on a fielder's choice, and Brianna Corwin - pinch running for Roth - scored the first run of the game on a fielding error by Moore.
With the bases still loaded, Ashtin Stephens roped a base hit through the left side to plate two more runs, pushing the MU lead to 3-0. After a fielder's choice put runners on the corners, Marston grounded out to the right side of the infield, bringing in Kayla Kingsley for the unearned run. Fleming tacked on one more with her second double of the game, extending the lead to 5-0.
The Ducks got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two run homer by Kelsey Chambers, cutting the lead to 5-2. Chambers drove in Pappas on the play, who doubled with one out in the inning.
Mizzou tacked on a run in the sixth inning to push their lead to 6-2. Genovese started the inning with a base hit, stole second and moved to third on a ground out. Stephens slapped a grounder to the third baseman, who came home with the throw. Genovese slide into the catcher's glove, knocking the ball out, allowing her to score the run.
The Ducks got that run back in their half of the inning, taking advantage of two walks by Chelsea Thomas. With two down, Christie Nieto hit a grounder into the hole between first and second. Stephens knocked it down but couldn't recover fast enough, as the runner scored from second to bring the lead back down to three.
In the seventh, Fleming tied an NCAA Division I record with her third double of the game, scoring Marston to put Missouri ahead by a 7-3 margin. Marston reached base with a leadoff single, forcing the Ducks to go to the bullpen.
The Ducks brought up the tying run in their half of the seventh, loading the bases with just one out, but Thomas finished the game by getting a ground out and a strikeout to improve to 21-7 on the year. She finished the game with nine strikeouts, allowing three runs on six hits. Fleming led the team with three hits and two RBI.
Missouri closes the regular season next weekend with a three game series with the Oklahoma State Cowgirls. Action gets underway at 6 p.m. CT on Friday.
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