Missouri softball ends Kansas rivalry with three shutout victories

Story by Barbara Maningat
Photos by Kelsie Heneghan

With two wins on Sunday, the No. 12 Missouri softball team took a three-game series from Big 12 rival Kansas by a combined score of 24-0.

Kelsi Jones scores

Mackenzie Sykes (4) Lindsey Muller (22) and Nicole Hudson (8) congratulate designated player Kelsi Jones after she hit her second home run of the series.

The games took the all-time border war record to 63-40 in favor of Missouri. The Tigers have recorded seven straight shutout victories and are on a 14-game winning streak. They have only allowed three runs over the 14 game span.

Overall, the Tigers are satisfied with how they ended the era.

“We definitely wanted to come out and show them how good we are. Go out on a good note,” senior Ashley Fleming said. “I don’t know if they’ll end up playing them in the regular season next year or not, but conference-wise this is the last time, so I don’t think we could’ve done it any better than we did.

Kansas struggled to respond to the 24 Missouri runs on the series and could only deliver 10 hits.

Kelsi Jones and Fleming led the Tigers. Each player recorded game-ending home runs in run-rule victories. Jones finished the series with a team high six RBIs, two runs and two hits. Fleming went 4-for-11 with three runs and three RBIs.

Jones contributions were clear on paper, but her teammates also took notice.

“To come in and pinch hit on Friday and to hit a home run, that’s pretty big and then she came up big again for us today,” Chelsea Thomas said. “So that confidence building, building into the next couple weekends, is going to be huge.”

Doubleheader Game 1, 5-0 Missouri

In the first game of the doubleheader, Chelsea Thomas threw a shutout. The win improved her record to 10-0 on the season. Jenna Marston and Fleming each went 2-for-3 and scored one run each. Lindsey Muller added two RBIs on one hit.

The Tigers took an early three run lead in the first inning. Corrin Genovese drew a walk and advanced to second on a line drive from Fleming. Nicole Hudson then reached first on a fielding error by Jayhawk first baseman Marissa Ingle and advanced to second. Genovese scored an unearned run on the same play to put Missouri on the board. A wild pitch by Alecia Pille allowed Fleming to come home for another unearned Tiger run. The pitch put Hudson in scoring position. Muller closed the inning with a sacrifice ground out to shortstop Mariah Montgomery to score Hudson.

The game slowed down until the bottom of the fourth inning. Marston singled up the middle and advanced to second after Genovese was hit by a pitch. Muller recorded her second RBI scoring Marston with a single to left field.

In the fourth inning, Mackenzie Sykes singled to right field and advanced to third off an Ashtin Stephens double. Sykes added another Tiger run when Jenna Marston grounded out to second base.

Doubleheader Game 2, 9-0 Missouri

Kristin Nottelmann pitched a season high six shutout innings. Nottelman struck out seven batters and allowed only two hits. This win improved her record to 6-2. Fleming and Jones led the game with three RBIs apiece.

The Tigers churned out six runs in the bottom of the third inning, while the Jayhawks struggled from the mound. Kansas pitcher Morgan Druhan issued a walk to Genovese and pushed Marston to second. Fleming then smacked a line drive double deep into center field, scoring Marston for the first run of the game. Druhan then issued walks to Hudson and Muller that scored Genovese and loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly by Princess Krebs sent Fleming home for a 3-0 lead before Jones homered to right field. Krebs gave Mizzou a 6-0 advantage.

The score would remain at 6-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning. The Tigers looked for just two runs to end the game. Marston added one when she doubled then scored off a hit by Angela Randazzo.

Then, in similar fashion to the game-winning home run by Jones in game one of the series, Fleming homered to right field for two RBIs and closed the game 9-0.

“It felt good. It was good to end the weekend on a hit like that,” Fleming said.

Missouri now sits at a 20-3 and 3-0 in conference play. The Tigers take on Iowa in another doubleheader on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

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