Missouri Softball Wins Pair on Friday

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COLUMBIA - The No. 13 Missouri softball team opened the Wilson Classic with a pair of wins on Friday, beating North Dakota State by a 4-3 score before run-ruling Western Michigan 10-0 in five innings. Junior pitcher Kristin Nottelmann was one out away from her second no hitter of the year while the Tigers hit four home runs on the afternoon. Missouri is now 19-3 on the season, running their winning streak to 16 straight games.

Missouri 4, North Dakota State 3
The Tigers struck first in this one with a four-spot in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Catherine Lee and sophomore Nicole Hudson hit back-to-back home runs, Lee's a three-run and Hudson's a solo, to put Mizzou ahead. It was the first back-to-back homers by a pair of Tigers since April 28 of last season when Jenna Marston and Ashley Fleming accomplished the feat.

North Dakota State answered back with three in the top of the second, two of which were unearned. The Bisons singled three straight times to start the inning, and a throwing error on the last single scored their first run of the frame. With two outs, Katie Tamayo drove two home on a single, with the second run aided by another Mizzou error.

That was it for the scoring on the day, as the Tigers managed just five hits to North Dakota State's six. Lisa Simmons got the win in her first appearance of the year, throwing two innings of relief while allowing just one hit with two strikeouts. Hudson started the game, throwing three innings while allowing the three runs. Chelsea Thomas threw seven pitches in the seventh with two strikeouts to earn her second save of the season.

Rhea Taylor hit her second triple of the season, giving her 17 for her career. Hudson's home run was her fifth of the year, most on the team, while Lee hit her third. Maddison Ruggeberg and Megan Christopher also picked up hits for the Tigers. North Dakota State outhit Mizzou by a 6-5 margin, but the Tigers drew six walks while the Bison didn't walk once.

Missouri 10, Western Michigan 0 (5 inn.)
Missouri came out swinging again, scoring five runs in the first inning of game two. Taylor led off with a walk, stole second and eventually scored on a pair of illegal pitches. Lee and Marston each walked, as did Hudson a few batters later, setting up Princess Krebs' RBI single with the bases loaded. Simmons followed with a single, driving home a pair and making it 5-0.

Nottelmann worked around four walks in the first three innings, leaving the Broncos off the board. Ashley Fleming's two-run, two out double in the top of the fourth extended the Mizzou lead to 7-0. Fleming scored freshman Taylor Duplechain and senior Shana White on the play, who each singled at the start of the inning. Sophomore Lindsey Muller followed by blasting her second home run of the season to push the lead to 9-0.

In the top of the fifth, sophomore Rachel Hay led off the inning with her first career home run, making it 10-0 Mizzou with a blast off the center field scoreboard.

Nottelmann gave up her lone hit with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, when Courtney Rousseau singled into left field to break up the bid. Nottelmann got two strikes on Rousseau, but the Bronco ripped one just out of the reach of Mackenzie Sykes at third. The Tiger junior struck out the side in the inning, giving her eight for the game as she improved to 9-0 on the year.

Fleming led the team with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, driving in three. Muller and Simmons plated two runs apiece, while White recorded two hits.

The Tigers will play these two squads again on Saturday, beginning with North Dakota State at 1:30 p.m. CT.