April 2, 2011
WACO, Texas – The No. 11 Missouri softball team couldn’t hang on to an early 2-0 advantage, as the No. 17 Baylor Bears rallied back to defeat the Tigers for the first time in Big 12 play. In a battle of redshirt sophomores, Baylor’s Whitney Canion (15-4) outlasted Mizzou’s Chelsea Thomas (13-3), as Thomas lost her first game in 14 starts. Missouri drops to 27-5 and 4-1 in the Big 12 while Baylor improves to 28-6 and 2-1 in the league.
No. 17 Baylor 3, No. 11 Missouri 2
|W - Canion (15-4)||7.0||6||2||0||3||10|
|L - Thomas (13-3)||6.1||10||3||2||2||8|
|MU - Lee||3||0||1||2||0||0|
|MU - Christopher||3||0||2||0||0||0|
Two straight singles in the bottom of the third kicked off a Baylor rally, as they added a run to cut the Tiger lead in half. Thomas was able to retire the next two batters, as KJ Freeland was called out for stepping on home plate while attempting to bunt and Megan Turk grounded out to first, moving the runners up a base. The Tigers then opted to intentionally walk Holly Holl, who was batting .354 on the year coming into today, and Baylor countered with a move to the bench, bringing Dani Leal to the plate. Leal drew a full count walk to shrink the Missouri lead to 2-1 before Thomas got a strike out to end the threat.
The Bears picked up an opportunity to tie it up after a leadoff double started the bottom of the fourth, as Clare Hosack ripped a double off the glove of a diving Nicole Hudson at third. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third with one out, but Thomas worked a strikeout and got a ground out to get out of it.
Missouri had a chance to add some insurance in the top of the fifth, as they put their first two batters on base. Marston led off by ripping a single through the right side on the first pitch, and moved over to second when Fleming drew a walk. Ruggeberg flew out deep to right, allowing Marston to tag to third. Fleming stole second a few pitches later, but Baylor got a strikeout and a pop out to leave the Tiger runners in scoring position.
Baylor tied the game in the bottom half of the inning following a leadoff single by Freeland. She’d move over to second on a sacrifice bunt, and advanced to third after a wild pitch. Thomas worked a strikeout for the second out, but Kayce Walker slapped an infield single to even the score at 2-2.
A walk off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh won it for the Bears, as Turk drove a ball into right field which allowed Kathy Shelton to score the winning run. Shelton beat out an infield single to second base to start the inning, and moved to second when Freeland slapped an infield single over the head of a drawn in infield. A passed ball allowed the runners to move up a base, setting up Turk’s RBI.
Mizzou looks to salvage a split tomorrow in the series finale, beginning at Noon CT.
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