Tiger softball gets shutout by UCLA 8-0

By Ron Davis, 23 Sports

Saturday, Feb. 21-

The No. 18 Missouri women’s softball team lost their second game of the young season to No. 12 UCLA 8-0 at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, California. The Tigers could not complete the complete the back end of the doubleheader after defeating No. 25 Texas 4-3 earlier in the day.

Mizzou starter Tori Finucane went 5.1 innings and only giving up six hits. All eight runs were scored in the 4th and 6th innings with Finucane on the mound, though four of those runs were unearned.

The Bruins led off the fourth with an error from left fielder Kayla Kingsley after she couln’t hang on to a sharp liner, and the runner advanced to second base. After a walk, a sac bunt, and an intentional walk, the bases were loaded with two outs. A tough grounder came third baseman Amanda Sanchez’s way and the freshman couldn’t hang on, scoring two. Another double and the Bruins lead 4-0 after the fourth, and all four runs were unearned.

Missouri had a great chance to cut the lead after they started off the fifth inning runners on first and second with no outs. Bruins pitcher Ali Carda settled herself down and retired the next three Tigers on a strikeout, a fly out, and a ground out to escape the threat.

The Black & Gold had a runner in scoring position again at the top of the sixth when Kirsten Mack made it to second with, but despite another quick start to an inning, the Tigers left Mack stranded.

Finucane gave up the dreaded leadoff walk to start the bottom of the sixth. She then gave up a single and then hit a batter to load the bases. The Bruins hit a two run double to extend the lead to 6-0. Finucane was replaced by Cheyenne Baxter, but UCLA scored two more on a grounder and a single to end the game early 8-0.

Up until the sixth inning, the Tigers had more hits than the Bruins. Carda did a great job of not letting the pressure get to her and getting out of jams. They also took advantage of three Tiger errors in the fourth to capture a commanding lead.

UCLA is a very good team, but if Missouri capitalized on runners in scoring position early on, it could have been a different game. Finucane falls to 2-2 on the year, and the Tigers will conclude the Mary Nutter Classic on Saturday with another tough test against No. 14 Arizona.