Tigers Split Doubleheader with Texas Tech
COLUMBIA -- The No. 9 Missouri Tigers split a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon with Texas Tech, dropping a 5-4 decision in the opener before closing the series with a 4-1 win in eight innings to salvage a victory in the series. Mizzou is 32-8 on the season and 10-5 in conference play.
In game one Missouri was able to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, kick-started by an RBI double by Ashley Fleming, scoring Jenna Marston with one out. Nicole Hudson followed with a base hit of her own, moving Fleming to third. Hudson then stole second and Fleming came in to score on a throwing error by the Red Raider catcher.
Texas Tech took the lead in the second, scoring three times to go ahead 3-2. The Red Raiders took two straight walks to start the inning, and Emily Cooper doubled to left field to score Texas Tech's first run of the game. Raven Richardson then laid down a bunt for a base hit to score another run. Later in the inning, Texas Tech executed a double steal to perfection, plating a third run.
In the third, the Red Raiders cushioned their lead with a two run homer by Cydney Allen, putting them up 5-2. After a leadoff walk, Allen lifted a fly ball into the wind in right field that just got over the wall in left.
Missouri got back in the game with a two run homer by Fleming in the fifth inning, cutting the lead to 5-4. With two outs and Marston aboard, Fleming hit her ninth of the season, roping a liner over the wall in right field on a 1-1 count.
That would be all of the offense for Mizzou, though, as they were retired in order in the sixth and seventh innings. Kristin Nottelmann took the loss, lasting just 1.1 innings while giving up three runs and issuing three walks. Fleming and Hudson combined for two of the team's three hits, while Fleming drove in three of the team's four runs.
With inclement weather expected for Sunday, the two teams agreed to finish the series with a second game on Saturday afternoon.
The teams traded scoreless innings until the fourth, when Texas Tech added an unearned run to take the 1-0 lead. Missouri committed two errors in the inning, including one that allowed leadoff hitter Mikey Kenney to reach first. After moving to second on a passed ball, Kenney stole third and scored on another error.
Missouri evened the score in the sixth inning on Nicole Hudson's fifth home run of the season. Hudson led off the inning by sending the second pitch she saw over the wall in right, tying the game at 1-1.
Neither team would push a run across in the seventh, sending the game to extra innings. After Chelsea Thomas set the Red Raiders down in order in the eighth, Missouri was able to win it in the bottom half on a three-run walk off homer by Mackenzie Sykes. Marston took a leadoff walk and Fleming followed with a base hit back up the middle. One out later, Sykes delivered her first home run of the season to win the game for the Tigers.
Once again, Thomas was brilliant, throwing a complete game, allowing just the one unearned run on two hits while striking out 11 without issuing a walk to move to 16-5 on the year. Sykes and Marston led the team with two hits each.
Missouri closes out their five-game home stand on Wednesday with a matchup against Western Illinois. The Tigers and Leathernecks will face off at 4 p.m. CT from University Field.