Missouri freshman third baseman Natalie Fleming swings in Game 1 of the Tigers doubleheader sweep of Creighton on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Fleming had two hits in the game.
Missouri junior infielder Angela Randazzo reaches first base on an error in Game 1 against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Randazoo pushed her season RBI total to 36, which ranks third on the Tigers.
Missouri freshman second baseman Kelli Schkade laughs with freshman pitcher Tori Finucane and junior shortstop Corrin Genovese after hitting a home run in Game 1 on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. It was her third home run of the season.
Missouri freshman pitcher Casey Stangel watches freshman third baseman Natalie Fleming field a ball in the Tigers’ two-game sweep of Creighton on April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Stangel pitched five scoreless innings in Game 1.
Missouri sophomore outfield Taylor Gadbois steals second in the Tigers’ doubleheader sweep of the Blue Jays on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. She has a team-leading 44 steals this season.
Photos by Sam Richmond
Story by Sam Hustis
COLUMBIA – On a cold and rainy Columbia afternoon, the University of Missouri softball team swept the Creighton Bluejays in a doubleheader on Tuesday. The fifteenth-ranked Tigers moved to 40-13 on the year, and 26-6 at home.
The temperature may have been cold, but the bats were hot for the Tigers in Game 1 of the doubleheader. Missouri scored 11 runs en route to a 11-6 win. The offense cooled with the weather for Game 2, and Missouri escaped a pitching duel with a 2-1 win.
The Bluejays jumped out to an early lead in Game 1 with five unearned runs in the first inning. Bluejay designated player Blake Ringle singled to drive in one run, first baseman Jen Daro was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Bri Lingl had a bases clearing single to put the visitors up by five.
“I knew it was gonna start off bad,” Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine said. “Just the way our girls were warming up, and all the talk in the locker room was either about ROARS (an MU athletics department award ceremony) or the weather.”
Undaunted by the early outburst for Creighton, the Tigers answered with five runs of their own in the second inning. Corrin Genovese got the inning started with a leadoff single, padding her .430 batting average on the season. She was brought home with a double down the line from Angela Randazzo, who then scored when designated player Natalie Fleming singled. A pair of two out hits from Sami Fagan and Emily Crane later and the game was knotted at five.
Game 2 had a strong pitching performance from Tiger freshman Tori Finucane. She gave up one earned run on the afternoon, along with one hit, one walk and 10 strikeouts.
Missouri put together a rally in the fourth and scored two runs on a poor throw from the CU third baseman. That would be all the runs they needed as Finucane took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but gave up a solo home run to Alexis Cantu. She then retired the next three batters to capture win No. 20 on the year.
Finucane’s hot streak continues with the win over Creighton — her tenth straight decision. She captured both national player of the week awards Tuesday, winning both the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I National Player of the Week as well as the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week award.
Missouri will start a pivotal three game series against Southeastern Conference-leading Alabama at home with a nationally televised game on Thursday. Currently the Tigers are tied for second in the SEC with Tennessee, three games behind the Crimson Tide.