Too much drama for Missouri softball in Murray State doubleheader

Photos by Barbara Maningat

Story by Alex Silverman

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

‘Heat and Cheese’ pair fire up Mizzou softball crowd

By Barbara Maningat

Tim Muller, Mark Hay

Photo by Kelsie Heneghan
Tim Muller (in yellow shirt on left) and Mark Hay (in yellow shirt on right) yell across University Field after a good play by Missouri during a softball game on March 19.

They are the loudest fans in the crowd at any Missouri softball game at University Field. Known as the “Heat and the Cheese Guys,” Tim Muller and Mark Hay have amplified the stands with their notable cheers for the past three years — the amount of time their daughters have played for the Tigers. Designated hitter/first baseman Lindsey Muller and catcher Rachel Hay are not the only ones who appreciate the enthusiasm.

View this story on KBIA Sports Extra

No. 10 Mizzou softball blasts a 7-0 win over No. 18 Baylor for series sweep

By Barbara Maningat

Missouri Tiger bats were slow to make noise this series – but they wasted no time in Game 3. The Tigers blasted seven straight unanswered runs in the first two innings, completing the series sweep with a shutout over the Baylor Bears on Sunday, 7-0. This game extended Missouri’s home winning streak to 21 straight and moved the team to a 28-5 record on the season, 7-2 in Big 12 play.

The Tigers managed a 4-2 win on Saturday and ended Game 2 eager for offensive contact earlier in the game.

Freshman Kelsea Roth said Missouri batters modified their approach for Game 3.

“We came up with a better plan today and we came out knowing what we need to hit and how to adjust, the adjustments we didn’t make for yesterday’s game,” Roth said.

Roth went 2-for-7 with no runs and no RBIs in the first two games of the series, so she made some adjustments for Game 3 as she went.

“They’ve been throwing me inside for most of the series, so I was just looking for the inside,” Roth said. “It definitely felt a lot better because I wasn’t doing too hot this series.”

The adjustments were obvious from the first at-bat.

Ashley Fleming began the four-run rally with a one-run double to right field to score Corrin Genovese. Roth then struck her fourth home run of the season to score Fleming.

Lindsey Muller and Kelsea Jones finished the first inning with back-to-back singles. Muller scored on a throwing error.

The Tigers loaded the bases again in the second inning and added three more runs for the early 7-0 lead. Jenna Marston, Genovese and Nicole Hudson were on base when Fleming singled for an RBI. Genovese later scored on a walk by Roth and Muller reached on a fielder’s choice to contribute the last RBI of the game.

While Missouri batters kept swinging, pitcher Chelsea Thomas kept Baylor batters idle. She shut out the Bears with 10 strikeouts and allowed only two hits, improving to 14-3 on the season.

“We cut back on the changeup and tried to get easy outs,” Thomas said. “And it worked out. That was our only adjustment from yesterday’s game for pitching.”

Tiger heads now turn to a big three-game series against the No. 6 Texas Longhorns in Austin, beginning Thursday, April 5.

Hudson’s grand slam adds second Missouri win over Baylor

By Barbara Maningat

Before the sixth inning, the Missouri Tigers only had two hits – until their bats came alive. Hudson hit a grand slam that swung the Tigers ahead to a 4-2 victory in Game 2 over the Baylor Bears.

The Bears scored first with a two-run homer by pinch hitter Shelbi Redfearn in the top of the fifth inning. The Tigers closed the inning scoreless, leaving them anxious to retaliate.

Then the Tigers responded.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ashtin Stephens sparked some hope with a single to left field. Corrin Genovese then struck out swinging, but back-to-back walks by Jenna Marston and Ashley Fleming loaded the bases for Hudson’s grand slam.

“I was right in the spot that I wanted to be and she left me something out there I could get a hold of,” Hudson said. “I think I’ve hit the outside pitch well and the inside pitch well, but I’m feeling pretty confident at this point.”

She also said the Tiger offense needs improvement for Sunday’s game.

“I think everyone wants to come out swinging and come out with a plan and jump on them a lot earlier. We should have hit a lot better than we did today, but I think we’ll make up for it tomorrow,” Hudson said.

Kristin Nottelmann started off for the Tigers on the mound and threw little for the Bears to bite.

“One of Baylor’s general weaknesses was hitting the change-up and I think it worked perfectly today,” Nottelmann said.

She pitched five and one-third innings and struck out four, allowing four hits and two earned runs. Bailey Erwin relieved Nottelmann to close the sixth and allowed only one hit. Chelsea Thomas then came in for the save in the seventh.

With two wins in the three-game series, the Tigers look to complete the sweep over Baylor in Game 3, Sunday at noon.

“Anything less [than a sweep] is a disappointment,” Hudson said.

If Missouri takes the third win, they would extend their home winning streak to 21-straight and bolster momentum into a pivotal series against No. 6 Texas starting April 5.

Three home runs propel Missouri Tigers to Game 1 win over Baylor

 

By Barbara Maningat

Two Missouri Tiger home runs and a Lindsay Muller grand slam lit up the scoreboard in Game 1 of the three-game series against Baylor, Friday, March 30. The Tigers took the 6-1 win, scoring all runs off the bats of Nicole Hudson, Corrin Genovese and Muller.

After a quiet first inning, Hudson and Genovese put Missouri on the board each with one-run homers in back-to-back innings. Both scored their third home runs of the season. They made their hits count as Hudson went 1-for-3 with one run and one RBI and Genovese went 1-for-2 with two runs and an RBI. 

Muller blasted her fourth season home run with a grand slam in the sixth inning. A Genovese walk, followed by singles by Jenna Marston and Kelsea Roth loaded the bases for the four-run streak. Muller went 1-for-3 on the game.

Chelsea Thomas delivered from the mound with seven strikeouts and allowed only three hits in five innings. Bailey Erwin relieved Thomas in the sixth inning and allowed one unearned run in two innings. She closed the game with three hits and one strikeout. 

The Tigers improved to a 5-2 record in conference play and a 26-5 record overall. Game 2 starts at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at University Field.