Tigers tame Demons with Fleming walk-off home run in extras

By Barbara Maningat

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Mizzou and DePaul faced off in eight innings of scoreless play in Game 3 of the 2012 NCAA softball Columbia Regional – until Ashley Fleming finally broke the silence with the game-ending home run in the bottom of the ninth. Fleming went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI.

Change up pitching by Demons Kristen Verdun kept the Tigers adjusting, but Fleming was prepared.

“The hit I got earlier in the game was on a hard pitch so I figured she’d probably come with the change up, but I didn’t know when,” Fleming said. “It was just the perfect spot to hit. It felt good obviously.”

The Tigers had seven hits on Verdun off of five batters. Fleming, Jenna Marston and Kayla Kingsley each picked up two hits and Nicole Hudson contributed one hit on the game.

But coach Ehren Earleywine said the Tiger offense should have had a higher hit count.

“Last night we went from one of the best offensive performances that we’ve had this season and then today, not the worst, but definitely in that category we did not make adjustments soon enough,” Earleywine said.

From the mound, Missouri’s Chelsea Thomas kept the Tigers in contention with strategic pitching of her own.

“We were mixing pitches well and the change up was working well today and I kept my pitch count low,” Thomas said.

Thomas issued 100 pitches in nine scoreless innings, allowing five hits.

The Tigers move on to Game 6 on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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