No. 15 Missouri takes series from third-ranked Gators with 5-4 victory
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- For the second consecutive day, Mizzouri jumped out to a first-inning 4-0 lead. Unlike Saturday, when the No. 3 Florida Gators rallied for a 9-4 win, the Tigers held on and posted a 5-4 win to take two of three games in the road series. Mizzou improved to 38-13 overall and 14-7 in Southeastern Conference play, while Florida fell to 42-10 and 12-9.
Junior shortstop Corrin Genovese had the big blow as she hit a first-inning grand slam -- her first career grand slam -- to get the Tigers out to a quick lead. With one out in the first, the rally was started by sophomore catcher Sami Fagan, who singled ahead of a single by sophomore outfielder Emily Crane, and a walk to senior outfielder Mackenzie Sykes. Genovese then jumped on the second pitch she saw and drove it just beyond the center field wall, where a leaping attempt by the Gator center fielder was not enough to keep the ball from sailing out.
Freshman designated player Casey Stangel, making her first at bat since April 9, led off the second inning with a long home run to deep right center field to give the Tigers a 5-0 lead in support of freshman RHP Tori Finucane. Finucane improved to 19-5 on the season as she pitched a complete game. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Finucane had a tough second, as she allowed three runs (two earned) without a hit, as Florida got three walks, two wild pitches and a passed ball after an error for a 5-3 Mizzou advantage.
Finucane worked out of bases-loaded jams in both the third and fifth innings, as she stranded 10 Gators on the day. Florida plated a single run in the fifth after three consecutive singles and a walk to start the inning, but a popout to shortstop followed by two strikeouts in a row ended the threat. Finucane struck out 10 Gators in all.
Florida threatened in the bottom of the seventh with a double and in infield single to put runners on the corners with two outs. But Finucane got Florida's last chance to fly out to left to give Mizzou the series win.