Chelsea Roemer, 23 Sports

Friday, February 24–

No. 20 Missouri softball put on a show against No. 7 Washington on Friday, making a thrilling 9-5 comeback in day two of the 2017 Mary Nutter Classic preseason tournament. The Huskies jumped on the Tigers early, earning five runs in their first at-bat. Mizzou did not let up, scoring nine runs to earn the team’s second top 25 victory this season.

Redshirt sophomore Madi Norman produced her third complete game of the season, dominating after the first inning. Washington’s five-run lead in the first inning included just one run that was charged to Norman’s pitching. It was a Mizzou fielding error that gave the Huskies the opportunity to score the other four runs.

Norman began her dominance by striking out the final two batters of the first inning. Through Norman’s final six innings on the mound, she only allowed three hits and no runs, while earning eight additional strikeouts. Norman completed the game with ten K’s, making this her second consecutive start with double digit strikeouts.

The Tigers answered back after facing a 5-0 deficit after the first, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Senior Kirsten Mack and freshman Braxton Burnside hit back-to-back home runs, getting the Tigers on the board 5-2. In the bottom of the third, Burnside hit a second home run to even the score at five. The freshman recorded her first career multi-homer game.

Mizzou’s bats went quiet during the next two innings as both the Huskies pitcher and Norman started to pick up speed on the mound. Norman retired 11 consecutive Huskies to keep the game tied at five. Sophomore Rylee Pierce hit a double in the bottom of the sixth, setting up the Tigers’ first lead of the game. Freshman Cayla Kissinger earned her biggest hit of the season with an RBI single to centerfield.

The Tigers secured the win, starting with a one-run advantage that soon grew to a four-run advantage deeper in the inning. Senior Natalie Fleming hit her first home run of the season, a three-run homer that traveled over the left field fence to end the game.

The Tigers will close out the Mary Nutter Classic on Saturday, Feb. 25. Mizzou will play their fifth doubleheader of the season against Nebraska and UC Santa Barbara. First pitch at the Big League Dreams Complex is set for 7:30 p.m and 10 p.m. CST.