CLEARWATER, Fla. — Mizzou Softball improved to 4-0 with a pair of wins on Saturday. The Tigers are the only undefeated team remaining at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, however both Mississippi State and Kentucky's lone loss came against the US National Team.
The Tigers opened the day with a 9-1 victory over Baylor (2-1) in five innings, and followed up with an eight-inning thriller over No. 8 Minnesota (2-1) in the afternoon.
Mizzou had half of its eight hits leave the yard to give freshman pitcher Emma Nichols the run support needed to defeat Baylor, 9-1.
Jazymn Rollin, Kendyll Bailey and Emma Raabe all hit solo shots, while Cayla Kessinger cleared the bases with a fourth inning grand slam to give the Tigers four home runs on the day. Brooke Wilmes ended the game early in the fifth inning on a RBI single to score Hannah McGivern from second base.
Making her first career appearance, Nichols worked herself into a bases loaded jam in the top of the third inning. After striking out the first two batter, the Bears loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a hit batter.
Nichols induced a ground ball to third, which Kimberly Wert grabbed to make the tag on the advancing runner and keep any run from getting on the board.
- Emma Nichols earned her first career win, striking out six in a complete-game five innings. She allowed zero walks, and added a single at the plate.
- Cayla Kessinger hit her first home run since May 4, 2018 after missing 2019 with an injury. She ended the game 1-for-3 at the plate.
- Jazymn Rollin scored two runs in a 2-for-3 performance.
- The win is Mizzou's first run-rule victory over a Power-5 opponent since defeating Texas A&M in five innings, 8-0 last season (April 19).
- The four home runs are the most Mizzou has had in a single game since hitting four in a win against Wichita State last season (April 3).
- Mizzou has 10 extra-base hits through three games.
In the second game of the day, Mizzou ended up on top in an extra-inning game, defeating No. 8 Minnesota in the eighth inning.
With the score tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh and two runners in scoring position, Eli Daniel struck out the next two batters to send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Imani Myint started the inning on second base due to the international tiebreaker rule. Jazymn Rollin put runners on the corners, and both were brought home on a two-run double from Cayla Kessinger. Kessinger scored on a passed ball to give the Tigers an insurance run.
In the bottom half of the inning, Daniel wouldn't allow another runner on base for the 7-4 win.
- Hatti Moore hit a pair of home runs to bring her season total to three. The junior ended the day 2-for-3 with three RBI.
- Megan Schumacher pitched 4.0 innings of relief, striking out six.
- Jazymn Rollin got a stolen base in the first inning, and scored on a RBI single from Kimberly Wert two batters later.
- Hatti Moore is the first Tiger with multiple home runs in a game since she hit two against Cal State Fullerton in the Los Angeles Regional last season (May 17).
- This Mizzou's first win over a top 10 program since the Tigers defeated No. 9 South Carolina twice last season.
- The Tigers are 7-14 against top 10 opponents under head coach Larissa Anderson.
TOP ARMS: 7 pitchers returning for 2020
- "I couldn't be more proud of this team," head coach Larissa Anderson said. "They showed today how much fight they truly have inside of them. Our freshmen pitchers are getting unbelievable experience in this environment that will prepare them for not only the rest of the year but the rest of their careers. We're getting tremendous leadership from our upperclassmen. That takes the pressure off a young pitching staff that thinks they have to do it all.
Mizzou Softball will close out the weekend on Sunday against Louisville. First pitch will be at 9 a.m. CT.
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