Softball Team Suffers First Loss, Splits Doubleheader

Saturday, Feb. 24

After starting off the season 8-0 and defeating the No. 5 Florida Gators on Friday, things were looking up for the No. 7 Missouri softball team. But Cal State Fullerton put a blemish on the Tigers’ early season success by taking the upset victory 5-4 in the first game of a double-header. The Tigers (9-1) bounced back in the second game though, easily defeating the Titans (5-8) 7-0.

The Titans were the first team on the board in the first matchup of the day, when Ariel Tsuchiyama singled in Tiffany Sheffler from second base in the bottom of the third. Emily Crane put the Tigers ahead in a big way, hitting a three-run home run to left field off Jasmine Antunez.

The Tigers held the lead until the bottom of the fifth when Desiree Ybarra hit a two run blast over the left field wall that drove in Tsuchiyama to give the Titans a 4-3 advantage. Nichole Hudson knotted it up 4-4 when she hit a solo shot over the right field fence.

The Titans would reclaim the lead for good when Lauren Mario advanced from third to home on a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth. Ybarra finished off the Tigers on the mound and earned the win for the Titans, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out two batters in two innings of work.

Ybarra (1-4) was not as successful in the second game of the day. She allowed two runs and nine hits in four innings.

The Tigers’ offense was persistent throughout the second game, increasing their lead to 6-0 after an explosive fifth inning in which Kelsi Jones and Emily Crane scored on fly outs by Lindsey Mueller and Kayla Kingsley. Taylor Gadbois and Hudson also scored on singles by Rose and Randazzo.

The Tiger offense made the final blow to the Titans in the top of the seventh when Kingsley scored on a Princess Krebs single.

Hudson (3-0) was dominant on the mound, striking out four and only allowing two hits in a complete game shutout.

The Tigers continue action when they travel to Southeastern Missouri for the Missouri Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament, where they take on host team St. Louis on Friday.

-Mitch Urban
23 Sports
Staff Writer