Marc Poland – 23 Sports

The No. 23 ranked Mizzou Tigers softball team started their season off strong with dominating performances at the Jo’Anne Graf Classic this past weekend. The Lady Tigers saw their first game action in over 11 months as they traveled to Tallahassee to face No. 12 Florida State and unranked Memphis. Hatti Moore and newcomer Cassidy Chaumont helped lead Mizzou to a 3-1 record on the weekend. 

On Day One of the Jo’Anne Graf Classic Mizzou came out swinging in their first matchup of the season against the Memphis Tigers. Sophomore Jordan Weber got the start for the Tigers and was spectacular. Weber pitched a no-hitter through the first five innings of the game, recording three strikeouts along the way. Weber shutdown the Memphis offense and would leave the game in the 6th inning after allowing only two hits and one earned-run on the day. 

The first score of the game came from Mizzou in the 2nd inning. Kimberly Wert was walked to begin the inning and was replaced by Kendal Cook who came in to pinch run. Cook advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch and Kendyll Bailey would double to left centerfield allowing Cook to score from second base and putting Mizzou up 1-0. After a quiet 3rd inning, Hatti Moore would start off the 4th inning with a solo home run to left centerfield which put Mizzou up 2-0. The Tigers would only widen the margin after a big fifth inning which saw them put up a total of five runs and pushed their lead to 7-0. Casidy Chaumont singled to center, stole second base, and would come around to score after three consecutive walks. With the bases loaded Hatti Moore came up to the plate and homered once again, this time to left field. A grand slam if you will, that ultimately put the game out of reach. Memphis’ lone run of the game came in the sixth inning as Sam Ibison scored off of a double to left centerfield by Kendall Lee. Mizzou would score again in the sixth inning as Chaumont homered to left which pushed the Tigers lead to 8-1. 

Freshman Laurin Krings replaced Weber as pitcher in the seventh inning and recorded her first strikeout as a Mizzou Tiger. Krings would give up a hit in the inning but was able to close out the game and record her first career save. Weber was credited with the win, and Mizzou would start the season off 1-0.  

Mizzou carried the momentum from a big upset against No. 12 Florida State earlier in the day into their second matchup with Memphis. Megan Schumacher got the nod for the Tigers in their Day Two matchup versus Memphis. Schumacher would pitch 4 ⅓ innings surrendering three hits and two earned-runs. Schumacher was replaced by Emma Nichols who would give up only one run to Memphis in the fifth inning. 

Similar to their first matchup, Mizzou scored first and would not relinquish the lead. Brooke Wilmes was hit by a pitch to start the game, and stole second. Wilmes would come around to score after a double to left centerfield by Kimberly Wert, which put Mizzou up 1-0. In the second inning Emma Raabe was walked and replaced by Chantice Phillips who entered the game to pinch run for Raabe. Phillips was caught stealing for the first out of the inning. A pair of Tiger freshmen helped put points on the board as Alex Honnold walked and later came around to score after a double to left centerfield by fellow Jenna Laird which gave Mizzou a 2-0 lead. Wert led off the third inning with a single to centerfield, once again Kendal Cook would enter to pinch run for Wert. Cook would advance to second base off a Casidy Chaumont single to left field. Kendyll Bailey laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Cook and Chaumont into scoring position. A walk given up to Raabe would load the bases as Honnold stepped up to the plate. Honnold delivered with a bases clearing double to left centerfield and put Mizzou up 5-0. After a Laird walk, Wilmes singled to centerfield and would come around to score after a series of errors by Memphis. Honnold and Laird would score on the play as well pushing the lead to 8-0. Memphis surrendered another walk this time to Hatti Moore walked their third walk of the inning. Cook singled to left field and scored along with Moore after a single to centerfield by Chaumont. Chaumont stole second base, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and would score on another wild pitch. A crazy sequence which gave the Tigers an 11-0 in only three innings. 

Memphis’ first score of the game came in the third inning as Sam Ibison would score for the second day in a row, this time off a sacrifice fly to left field by Gracie Morton. Mizzou would put up another run in the 5th inning to really put the game out of reach. Lindsey Warick would score off a single down the third base line by Raabe giving Mizzou a 12-1 lead and putting Memphis in danger of being run-ruled.  Memphis had one last opportunity to produce points and try to cut into the lead but was unsuccessful in their efforts. Memphis did produce one run coming from Sam Ibison once again who scored this time on a wild pitch. Due to Memphis’ lack of offense the game was ruled final after five innings played due to the Run-Rule (“a game is finished if one team is ahead by 7 or more runs after 5 innings”). Mizzou’s Schumacher was credited with the victory, her first win of the year. 

The Tigers would finish the Jo’Anne Graf Classic on a high note as their Sunday matchup with Memphis was cancelled due to weather. The Tigers moved to 3-1 on the young season and look to keep things going as they head to Waco to face Baylor, Prairie View A&M, and Northwestern State in the Getterman Classic.  

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