March 12, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The No. 14 Tiger softball team hit three home runs to run-rule Illinois State and rallied past the Illinois Fighting Illini on the first day of the DeMarini Invitational on Saturday. Missouri blew past the Redbirds in five innings, winning by a 9-0 score, and then rallied back against Illinois, winning 4-2.
The Tigers have run their winning streak to 11 straight games now, their longest streak since Feb. 21-March 19 of last season when they won 17 straight.
No. 14 Mizzou 9, Illinois State 0 (5)
|W - Thomas (5-2)||5.0||4||0||0||1||8|
|L - Warner (5-4)||4.2||6||6||4||2||1|
|MU - Lee||3||1||1||3||0||1|
|MU - Ruggeberg||3||1||1||2||0||1|
No. 14 Mizzou 4, Illinois 3
|W - Nottelmann (7-0)||6.0||5||3||3||2||6|
|L - Gay (5-4)||5.0||4||4||4||3||7|
|S - Thomas (1)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1|
|MU - Taylor||4||1||2||0||0||0|
|MU - Lee||2||1||1||2||1||1|
Chelsea Thomas threw her fourth complete game shutout of the season while winning her fifth in a row, improving to 5-2 on the year. In her five innings she scattered four hits, walked one and struck out eight. She is now tied for tenth all-time at Missouri with 17 career solo shutouts, and has not allowed a run in her last 31.2 innings pitched.
The Tigers jumped ahead in the bottom of the first frame on a couple of unearned runs to make it 2-0. With two outs, Jenna Marston doubled to center field and Ashley Fleming followed by reaching on a fielding error on the shortstop. On a double steal attempt, the Illinois State catcher overthrew the cutoff attempt, allowing both Marston and Fleming to score on the play.
In the third, senior Megan Christopher hit her first home run of the season, sending an 0-1 pitch off the video board in straight away center field to make it 3-0.
Missouri ended the game early in the bottom of the fifth inning, as they pushed across six runs on six hits to run-rule the Redbirds. Abby Vock singled to lead off the frame and Marla Schweisberger reached on an error, putting runners on the corners. Vock would touch home on an infield single by Marston to make it 4-0, and two batters later Catherine Lee smashed her first home run of the year, a three run shot, to clear the bases. After Nicole Hudson doubled, Maddison Ruggeberg ended the game with a walk off two run blast to left field.
Marston went 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI, Lee drove in three and Ruggeberg plated two. Six other Tigers collected hits on the afternoon. Ruggeberg is now tied with Hudson and Fleming for the team lead in home runs with three.
Missouri 4, Illinois 3
Illinois had gotten on the board first in the third inning after drawing a leadoff walk and a bunt single. Both runners came home to score on a one out single back up the middle.
Down 2-0 with two outs in the top of the fourth, Lee hit her second home run of the afternoon to even the score. The home run scored Fleming, who had walked one batter earlier.
Missouri took their first lead of the game in the fifth on a two run double by Marston. With a runner aboard, Rhea Taylor laid down a perfectly placed bunt single to put two on. After a sacrifice bunt by Ruggeberg put runners on second and third, Marston drove them home by doubling to right center field, putting the Tigers ahead 4-2.
Illinois cut the lead to one with a solo home run off the bat of Meredith Hackett in the bottom of the sixth, but Thomas shut down the Illini, throwing a perfect seventh inning in relief to earn her first career save.
Junior Kristin Nottelmann picked up the win, improving to 7-0 on the season. The righty tossed six innings of five hit ball, giving up the three runs, walking two and striking out six. Taylor led all Tigers with two hits. Marston, Lee and Hudson each collected a hit, with Marston and Lee driving in two each.
Mizzou will be back in action tomorrow against these same two squads. The Tigers and Redbirds will rematch at Noon CT, while Missouri and the Illini play immediately after at 2:30 p.m.
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