Mizzou’s offense leads the way in doubleheader sweep

Mizzou's offense leads the way in doubleheader sweep

Photo courtesy of The Maneater

Justin Bjorseth, 23 Sports Reporter

Missouri softball came to life Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader in more impressive fashion than they have all season. The Tigers took the field for their third and fourth games of the weekend in Clearwater, Florida. After splitting on Friday night, Missouri responded emphatically, beating North Dakota State 16-6 and handling South Florida 13-4. Missouri is now 16-11 on the year, qa season-high five games over .500.

Danielle Baumgartner picked up the win in the first game of the day to improve to 4-4 on the year, but the story was all offense, and the offense was all Braxton Burnside. Burnside went deep in both the fifth and sixth innings, and both were grand slams. She totaled 10 of the Tigers’ 16 RBIs on the day, adding a two-RBI triple in the seventh.

After Reagan Nash scored on a wild pitch in the first, the Tigers were held scoreless until she notched an RBI single in the fifth. The next eight runs came courtesy of Burnside and her multiple grand slam performance.

With Mizzou up 10-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the Bison would hang a six-spot and find themselves one more big inning away from grabbing the game. Missouri matched it though, using seventh inning RBIs from Paige Bange, Cayla Kessinger, Gabby Garrison, Braxton Burnside and Jolie Duffer to collect six runs in a true team effort. The 16-6 score would be final.

Game two of the day lasted just six innings, and the offensive explosion was more evenly distributed across the team. Missouri struck early, crossing the plate five times in the fifth inning. It was a collective effort, as four different players brought runs home, including Kolby Romaine, who came around to score on a wild pitch.

Natalie Fleming and Kristen Mack both went yard for Mizzou in the 13-run outing. Mack led the team on the day with four RBIs, still six short of the total Burnside posted in the first game.

Cheyenne Baxter picked up the victory, tossing 4 1/3 innings and allowing four runs. All four runs came through a pair of two run home runs from the Bulls. Danielle Baumgartner would shut the door, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings and allowing no hits and just one walk.

The Tigers will look to sleep easily following the sweep tonight. Their final contest in Clearwater is tomorrow at 8 a.m. against Monmouth.