Feb. 13, 2010

Courtesy of Missouri

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 9 Missouri Tigers (1-1) opened their season by splitting Saturday's doubleheader against the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (1-1). Mizzou won game one with a dramatic late-inning 2-1 victory, while the Crimson Tide came out red hot and cruised to a 9-0 win in five innings in game two.

Freshman Nicole Hudson hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 7th inning of game one. With two outs in the inning, the Webb City, Mo., native connected on a deep shot over the right field fence to give the Tigers the lead and eventually the win.

Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Thomas (1-0) got the victory for Missouri, giving up just one run in a complete game effort, while striking out 11 and giving up just two hits.

The Crimson Tide put together the first threat of the game in the bottom half of the first, when Alabama's leadoff hitter Jennifer Fenton drew a leadoff walk and then stole second. After a strikeout, first baseman Charlotte Morgan sent a deep drive into left center that was run down and caught at the wall by Missouri junior Jaydee Young. Alabama drew another walk, but Thomas was able to get out of the inning unscathed.

After two hitless, scoreless innings by both pitchers, Young got the Tigers' offense rolling with a one out single followed by a stolen base in the top of the third. Two batters later, junior Rhea Taylor would drive her home with an RBI single to right, giving Missouri the 1-0 lead.

Thomas would settle down after the first and sit down 12 of Alabama's next 14 hitters.

Alabama was hitless until the bottom of the sixth, when Kayla Braud ripped a single to break up Thomas' no hit bid. Following a walk, Cassie Reilly-Boccia singled in Alabama's first run of the game, tying the game at one apiece.

Thomas was able to record the last two outs of the inning, setting up Hudson's eventual winning home run. Alabama went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the seventh to end the game.

Alabama's bats came alive in game two, as the Crimson Tide connected on three homers for six runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Tide would add three more in the bottom of the fourth. Missouri was only able to muster three hits in the game while committing three errors in the field.

The rubber-match between these two squads will take place Sunday, Feb. 14, with first pitch scheduled at Noon CT.