Mizzou Rallies Past No. 6 Sooners to Even Series
NORMAN, OK - Ashley Fleming hit her second game-tying home run in as many days and the No. 10 Missouri Tigers pulled out an extra inning win to even the series with the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers improve their record to 34-9 on the season and 11-6 in the Big 12, while dropping the Sooners to 37-7 and 12-4.
A two-out error by the Tigers gifted the Sooners their first run of the game. Thomas set down the first two in order before inducing a ground ball off the bat of Jessica Shults. However, Corrin Genovese's throw pulled first baseman Kelsea Roth off the bag, allowing Shults to reach safely. Keilani Ricketts then reached on a full count walk, and Georgia Casey singled down the third base line to put Oklahoma ahead 1-0.
The Sooners extended their lead in the bottom of the third with a leadoff home run by freshman Lauren Chamberlain. The homer was Chamberlain's 20th of the season and put Oklahoma ahead by a 2-0 margin.
Missouri put base runners on in each of the first five innings but couldn't plate any runs. The Tigers stranded five in the game, but finally struck in the sixth inning, and once again it was Fleming doing the damage. After Jenna Marston took a walk to start the inning, her 36th of the season, Fleming belted her second game-tying home run in as many days. The blast was her 11th of the year and knotted the game at 2-2.
After the home run, the Sooners brought in Keilani Ricketts and the Tigers re-entered Thomas in the circle. The two battled again, as the teams went to extra innings for the second day in a row.
This time, the Tigers were able to strike in the top of the eighth inning. Mackenzie Sykes and Marston took two straight walks to start the inning, and a ground out by Fleming moved them into scoring position. Kelsea Roth then roped a base hit through the right side to score Sykes and give the Tigers their first lead of the weekend. Nicole Hudson then hit a short pop fly to shallow center field to score Marston, who just got her hand in ahead of the tag, and make it 4-2.
Thomas set the Sooners down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning and picked up her 18th win of the season. She pitched six innings, allowing two runs - one earned - on three hits while striking out four. Bailey Erwin pitched two solid innings of relief, issuing just one walk and striking out one. Oklahoma starter Michelle Gascoigne went 5.0 innings, giving up two runs on six hits. Ricketts took the loss in three innings of relief, giving up two runs on one hit, striking out three and walking two.
Missouri looks to win the series tomorrow in the rubber match, beginning at 2:30 p.m.