Tiger Softball Loses Opener against Texas

By Kelsie Heneghan

Coming off a five-game winning streak, the No. 11 Missouri Tiger softball team hoped to carry its momentum into Austin, but the No. 3 Texas Longhorns had other plans. The Longhorns beat the Tigers 9-5 in a competitive opener of a three-game series.

Big 12 Pitcher of the Week recipient Chelsea Thomas allowed only two base runners in the first four innings, but her dominance ended there. She gave up six runs, five unearned, on seven hits in five innings. She gave up her seventh hit to start the bottom of the sixth and coach Ehren Earleywine had seen enough, bringing in Bailey Erwin in relief. Erwin gave up three runs on two hits in her one inning of work.

Mizzou’s offense started when Ashton Stephens led off the third with a single and Jenna Marston followed with a hit of her own. The runners advanced to second and third on the throw by the Longhorn’s left fielder. Texas pitcher Blaine Luna later issued an intentional walk to Nicole Hudson to load the bases. Ashley Fleming then reached on an erroneous throw by Texas shortstop Taylor Thom, resulting in two Tiger runs scored by Stephens and Marston.

The Longhorn errors continued in the fifth inning when Marston reached on Thom’s second error of the game. Marston was able to reach third after a sacrifice bunt by Corrin Genovese. A walk by Hudson set up Fleming with two on and one out. With a single to right field by Fleming, Marston was able to score her second unearned run of the game. The Tigers stretched its lead to 3-0, but the Longhorns would respond with five runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to take a 9-3 lead.

Mizzou was able to get the bases loaded in the seventh with just one out for Fleming. She singled to left, scoring Marston and Stephens; however, the Tiger rally was short-lived as Kelsea Roth struck out and Lindsey Muller flied out to end the game.

Mizzou is now 4-3 on the road this season and 7-3 in conference games. The Tigers look to even the score against Texas in Game 2, Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Information from MU athletics was used in this report.

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