Tigers Split First Two Games of Mary Nutter Classic

Emerson Stephens, 23 Sports

The Mizzou softball team continued their busy start to the season on Thursday, doing battle with both BYU and Arizona. The games had their ups and downs, and the Tigers managed to earn a split.

The Tigers took a four run lead into the seventh against BYU and, despite a rally effort from the Cougars, were able to escape with an 8-6 win. The late inning bullpen problems continued in the second game. While clinging to one run lead in the seventh, the bullpen imploded, allowing six to score, and eventually losing 9-4 to the No. 12 Wildcats.

Amanda Sanchez was dialed in all day long at the plate, collecting five hits over two games, including her first home run of the season. Cayla Kessinger and Kara Decker also hit their first home runs of the season against Arizona. For the Wildcats, Jessie Harper provided much of the offense, with a two-run triple early on and the game tying hit in the top of the seventh.

Eli Daniel got the ball to pitch in game one and threw four innings, allowing only three hits, but one of them cost her, leaving the yard for a three-run homer. Madi Norman took the final three innings of that game as the Tigers grabbed the win. Lauren Rice pitched very well in her game through six innings, allowing only three runs and holding onto a lead. The seventh inning plagued the Tigers all day, a trend which the team hopes won’t continue.

This weekend is packed full of games for Mizzou softball, who will finish off this tournament playing North Carolina on Friday, Wisconsin and Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, and finally the No. 3 ranked UCLA on Sunday.