Thomas Carries Tigers to 12-Inning Victory

Friday, Feb. 22-

While most of the University of Missouri was trying to find its way around in the snow, the No. 7 Mizzou softball team was winning a 4-3, 12-inning thriller in the California sun over No. 5 Florida.

One day after sweeping its doubleheader to start the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., Florida proved to be the toughest test so far in the young season for the Tigers.

The two top 10 teams were evenly matched nearly right away. After two and a half uneventful innings, Missouri broke through in the bottom of the fourth with a Sarah Moore home run to lead off the inning and an RBI double by Nicole Hudson to take a 2-0 lead. The Gators immediately answered with a two-run inning in the top of the fourth to tie things up.

After that, the game returned to a pitchers duel as Missouri’s Chelsea Thomas struck out nine batters through the rest of regulation and Florida’s Hannah Rogers caused seven whiffs of her own and the game went into extras.

The 10th inning saw one intentional walk but no hits for each side and things moved on to the 11th.

Florida was able to back the Tigers into a wall as a Corrin Genovese error allowed Rogers to score from third and Mizzou went into the bottom half in need of a run. However, Emily Crane’s sacrifice fly scored Ashtin Stephens to tie it again and the game continued into the 12th and final frame.

Thomas was perfect even in her 12th inning of the day, getting two strikeouts and a groundout to give Missouri a chance to win it in the bottom half. It looked good for the Tigers as Kayla Kingsley was advanced to third with one out but catcher Aubree Munro then picked her off. When things looked down though, Missouri responded with three straight hits, ending with Nicole Hudson’s walk off double that scored Mackenzie Sykes.

Missouri is 8-0 so far this season and they Tigers will try to remain undefeated when they participate in a doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton starting at 4 p.m. Saturday.

-Mike Bonomo
23 Sports
Staff Writer