Josiah Schueneman, 23 Sports

In their third series of SEC play, the Missouri Tigers dropped two out of three games against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Tigers picked up a shutout win in the second game by a score of 3-0, but they struggled in the first game, losing 3-1, and coughed up a four-run lead in a 10-7 loss in the rubber match.

In the series opener, the Tigers leaned on Cayla Kessinger for offense. Kessinger went 2-for-3 with a run and a stolen base. Kolby Romaine also chipped in, going 1-for-3 and driving in the lone run for Missouri. Starter Madi Norman pitched for six innings while giving up four hits and three runs, but only one earned as the other two came from a crucial error which would be the difference in the game.

Autumn Buczek helped carry the load for the Razorbacks, going 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Loren Krzysko was also a big contributor with two hits on the day. Mary Haff got her 14th win of the season, pitching all seven innings, giving up just one run on four hits and two walks, and striking out seven batters.

The Razorbacks scored all three of their runs in the second inning when Haydi Bugarin hit an RBI single and Arkansas’ next two runs were aided by a costly error by the Tigers. Kolby Romaine was able to get Missouri on the board after an RBI single to left field. The Tigers threatened with runners on base in the first three innings, but their offense went ice cold with no hits over their final four turns at the plate in a loss.

Despite the struggles in the first contest, the Tigers’ offense found their footing in the second game of the series. Rylee Pierce led the way, going 2-for-3 with a run. Trenity Edwards and Braxton Burnside each went 1-for-3 with an RBI apiece. Eight of the nine starters for Missouri had a hit in the ballgame. Although, the real story of the game was the dominance of starter Lauren Rice who tossed her second complete game win of the season shutting out the Razorbacks while giving up only four hits and two walks.

Autumn Buczek once again had a productive game for Arkansas, going 2-for-4, while Loren Krzysko and Katie Warrick each recorded a hit. Autumn Storms had a rough outing in seven innings, giving up three runs and two earned runs on nine hits.

The Tigers scored the first run in the second inning after a sacrifice fly by Callie Martin to help bring home Rylee Pierce. In the next inning, Braxton Burnside made contact on an RBI single to center field to make it a two-run lead for Missouri, and in the following inning Trenity Edwards nailed an RBI single down the left field line to extend the lead to 3-0. After that, the Tigers relied on their defense to help Lauren Rice stifle the Razorbacks’ lineup to secure the victory.

After a solid offensive showing to tie the series at one apiece, the Tigers offense exploded in the final game of the series. Amanda Sanchez was the anchor for the Tigers offensively, going 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs, and a homer. Braxton Burnside went 2-for-4 with a run, a double, and an RBI, while Rylee Pierce added a hit, with a double and two RBIs.

As the Tigers were impressive on offense, the Razorbacks were even better in this slugfest. Ashley Diaz was huge for Arkansas, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Kayla Green went 2-for-4 with a run and she also drove in three runs along with a home run. Tori Cooper was 2-for-3 with two runs, an RBI, and had a home run as well. Both teams recorded hits in the double digits in this shootout.

This game was decided in an absolutely wild fifth inning as the score was a 3-1 lead in favor of Arkansas going into the fifth and ended up being a 10-7 Razorbacks lead going into the sixth. It all started when the Tigers rode six runs on seven hits in the top half of the fifth capped off by a Rylee Pierce double down the left field line that scored Burnside and Sanchez. Despite the onslaught, Arkansas answered with seven runs in the bottom half, topped off by Diaz’s single to right field that drove in two runs to help her team win the series. Aside from the high-powered offenses, this game was one to forget for both pitching staffs. Five pitchers between the two teams surrendered three runs or more in the final game of the series.

In the third affair, Amanda Sanchez had her 13th multi-hit game in 33 games this season which leads the team. The seven runs for the Tigers tied an SEC single-game season high, in which they produced the same total in a victory against Mississippi State. With the series loss, the Tigers are still searching for their first series win in the SEC.

The Tigers will return home for a three-game series against No. 10 LSU on Easter weekend and the two teams will play in a doubleheader on Friday.