The No. 15 Missouri Tigers defeated the No. 3 Florida Gators in a 10-2 run-rule victory on Saturday.
After a 5-2 loss on Friday in the series opener, the Tigers' offense scored on all three Gators pitchers that entered the circle.
"You look at what our offense has been able to do all year long," said head coach Larissa Anderson after the game. "I think our average is over seven runs a game, when you look at our run production within our lineup. So, I'm not surprised that this offense can do it. I'm impressed that we did it against Florida because I have a lot of respect for what they've done this year and how dominant that they have been."
Florida starting pitcher Natalie Lugo suffered just her second loss of the season, allowing four runs across 1 1/3 innings, the most she's allowed in a single appearance this year. First baseman Emma Raabe put the Tigers' first runs on the scoreboard with a two-run home run in the second inning. Left fielder Brooke Wilmes, the last batter Lugo faced, lined a two-run single that came off the glove of Florida third baseman Charla Echols.
"They came out of the chute right away," said Anderson, "and really attacked the part of the plate that they were looking for. They've had great preparation... not having midweeks they really can spend a lot of time in preparing for all the pitchers. They've done a tremendous job in having great discipline, and I really like how they're controlling the strike zone."
Second baseman Kendyll Bailey and right fielder Alex Honnold provided crucial support from the bottom of the order. Bailey went 3-3 at the plate, including a two-run single in the fourth inning, and Honnold went 2-3 on the day. Both scored twice.
"It is so hard, and I can tell you from a pitching standpoint, when I'm calling a game for our pitchers and you can't take a pitch off," said Anderson. "If there's no easy out in the lineup, it is so mentally grueling... that's how it is with our offense. You cannot take a pitch off, there's no easy outs."
Catcher Hatti Moore clinched the victory with a two-run bomb to dead centerfield in the 5th inning, driving in Jenna Laird for her fifteenth home run of the year. She's now tied with Kimberly Wert as the Tigers' top home run hitters.
The Gators jumped out to an early 1-0 with a leadoff home run from Hannah Adams to start the game, but Mizzou starting pitcher Laurin Krings put it behind her and allowed just one more run across all five innings in her eighth win of the year.
Anderson praised the mid-season work Krings put in to improve her release point.
"Her pitching motion, she would start in a very low position," said Anderson. "And she would try to give 100 percent effort on every single pitch, and she'd be so inconsistent with her timing. So now we have her starting in a more upright position so she's looser and more relaxed... mentally, it's allowed her to be more consistent with her timing, which allows the ball to slip out of her hand better."
Casidy Chaumont went hitless but secured the play of the day with a run-saving diving catch in left field in the second inning.
The Tigers improved to 35-12 with a 13-7 SEC record. They will have a chance to win their final home series of the regular season tomorrow when they host the Gators at 11 a.m. at Mizzou Softball Stadium.