Aaron Carter, 23 Sports Reporter
Mizzou softball defeated No. 7 Auburn in the opening game of the series on Friday night, winning 6-1. This season, Mizzou has played to its level of competition, losing to bad teams such as UC Santa Barbara and Maryland but beating some of the top teams in the conference (Auburn and Alabama).
Friday’s win marked Mizzou’s fifth win over a top-10 opponent this year and its seventh over top-25 opponents. This was largely due to three home runs and excellent pitching.
Two of the home runs came from senior catcher Kristen Mack and the other came from freshman shortstop Braxton Burnside.
Mack’s sixth and seventh home runs of the year were crucial to the Tigers’ success early in the game. Mack’s first home run tied up the game at 1-1 in the second inning, and then she gave her team a 2-1 lead with her second home run in the fourth inning.
Chloe Rathburn added to the Mizzou lead in the sixth inning with an RBI double, making it 3-1, and that was followed by a throwing error by the Auburn Tigers shortstop, which scored a run.
Burnside’s seventh inning home run was merely insurance, increasing the lead to five runs. It was Burnside’s 10th tater of the year, good for first on the team.
Senior Cheyenne Baxter, freshman Parker Conrad and sophomore Madi Norris dominated the circle.
The trio only allowed five hits and one run throughout the seven innings. The starter, Baxter, was awarded her team-best 12th victory of the year. Baxter yielded a solo homer to Auburn’s Kasey Cooper, but that would be the only run Mizzou yielded.
Baxter went 4 2/3 innings strong before Conrad relieved her in the fifth inning. Conrad pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings before Norman stormed in and shut the door on Auburn and the game.
Auburn and Mizzou will play game two on Saturday at 6 p.m.