Tigers Improve to 4-0 at Leadoff Classic

MUTIGERS.COM Senior Jana Hainey picked up her first win of the season
Senior Jana Hainey picked up her first win of the season

Feb. 27, 2010

Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The No. 6/4 Missouri softball team (7-2) improved to 4-0 at the 2010 NFCA Leadoff Classic, winning both of their games on Saturday in come-from-behind fashion.  Both of Missouri's Saturday wins were against top 25 programs, as they defeated No. 18/20 Louisiana-Lafayette, 11-6, and No. 20/24 Massachusetts, 2-1.  Through Saturday's second round of games, Missouri is one of five remaining undefeated teams at the Leadoff Classic.

Sophomore Chelsea Thomas (5-1) earned the victory in game one, pitching her fourth complete game of the season.  Thomas struck out eight and didn't walk a single Cajun hitter.

A two-out grand slam by junior Rhea Taylor in the top of the fifth capped Mizzou's comeback effort.  With two outs and nobody on base, junior Marla Schweisberger singled to left.  Freshman Rachel Hay, pinch hitting, drew a walk on five pitches and senior Gina Schneider beat out an infield single on a groundball to the hole at shortstop.  The very next pitch, Taylor crushed a line drive over the right field wall, putting the Tigers back on top for good.



Taylor finished the game going 2-4 at the plate with four RBI and two runs scored.  Sophomore Ashley Fleming went 2-5 with three RBI.

Leading off the game for Missouri, Taylor slapped a double over the third baseman's head and coasted into second for a double.  She would advance to third on a groundout two batters later.  Junior Megan Christopher drew a two-out walk and stole second to put runners on second and third, setting up Fleming's two-run single into center field, putting Mizzou up 2-0.

The Ragin' Cajuns answered right back in their half of the first, however.  A leadoff single to center kicked off the frame, and after back-to-back strikeouts, Louisiana's cleanup hitter Gabriele Bridges delivered a two-run home run to even up the score.  ULL would take the lead in the bottom of the second, using three singles and a fielder's choice to plate their third run of the game.  A home run in the bottom of the third extended the Louisiana lead to 4-2.

From that point on, the Tigers piled on the runs, scoring nine runs in the last four innings of play.  After Taylor's grand slam put Mizzou up 7-4, the Tigers tacked on three more in the sixth.  Mizzou loaded the bases with no outs, setting up an RBI single for freshman Lindsey Muller.  Junior Marla Schweisberger drew a bases loaded walk, and sophomore Jaydee Young drove in a run on a groundout, extending Missouri's lead to 10-4.  In the seventh, Fleming grounded out to bring home Missouri's 11th and final run of the game.

In the second game, UMass held the Tigers scoreless while maintaining a 1-0 lead before Missouri began their comeback in the bottom of the fifth.  Junior Shana White led off the frame with a bloop double into left field.  She would move to third on a wild pitch, while junior Abby Vock walked and then stole second.  Freshman Jenna Marston grounded out to third, scoring White, who took off for home on the throw to first.  Fellow freshman Nicole Hudson singled in Mizzou's second run of the inning, giving them a two-run lead.

Sophomore Kristin Nottelmann started the game for Missouri, going four innings while allowing just the one run.  Senior Jana Hainey (1-0) relieved Nottelmann in the fourth and worked the last three innings, giving up one hit and allowing just one walk on the way to her first victory of the season.

Missouri has one game left at the 2010 NFCA Leadoff Classic, as they'll take on Radford to close out the tournament.  The game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 28, with first pitch coming at 9:00 a.m. CT.


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