Tiger softball closes out Dot Richardson Invite with blowout win

By Ben Burke, 23 Sports

Sunday, Feb. 15 –

The Missouri softball team finished off their strong opening weekend on a high note Sunday by throttling the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 13-0.

Five of the 13 Tiger runs were driven in by junior second baseman Sami Fagan. The Florida transfer, who was celebrating her birthday, kicked off the Missouri scoring with a three run bomb in the first inning. She added a two run homer in the seventh.

Even more impressive than the Tiger bats in this one was their dominance on the mound. Sophomores Cheyenne Baxter and Tori Finucane, as well as freshman Paige Lowary, combined to only allow two Jackrabbit hits all game.

Baxter got the start, her first as a Tiger, and did not disappoint. The righty went 4.1 innings, allowed just one hit, and struck out five on her way to the win.

Finucane and Lowary both figure to be major parts of the Missouri rotation this season as well. Lowary had an impressive opening weekend in which she picked up two wins, while Finucane had one of her own.

After Fagan’s first inning home run, the Tigers were held in check until the fifth inning, when right fielder Emily Crane drove in center fielder Taylor Gadbois with an RBI single. The hit was one of three on the day for the junior from Troy, Missouri. Gadbois also had three hits.

Later in the inning, Missouri decided to play a little small ball. Freshman Paige Bange picked up an RBI on a sacrifice groundout to make the score 5-0. It was the first RBI of Bange’s young career.

The game really got out of hand in the seventh inning, as the Tigers scored seven times. Kristen Mack followed up Fagan’s second home run with a solo shot of her own on the very next at bat, and shortstop Corrin Genovese drove in three with a bases clearing triple.

Genovese, a senior, looks to build off of last season’s performance that landed her on the All-SEC First Team.

After the win, the Tigers improve to 4-1 on the season, while South Dakota State drops to 4-5. Missouri now has to make the cross-country travel to the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, California. The first game is Thursday at 7:30 p.m., when the Tigers take on the Cal State Fullerton Titans.