April 9, 2014
No. 16 Mizzou 4, Western Illinois 2
|W - Finucane (13-5)||7.0||5||2||1||2||5|
|L - Bickford (4-7)||6.0||6||4||4||6||4|
|MIZ - Sykes (2-for-2)||2||1||2||1||1||0|
|WIU - Walsh (2-for-2)||2||0||2||2||1||0|
#16 Mizzou 5, Western Illinois 0
|W - Stangel (13-5)||7.0||3||0||0||0||3|
|L - Kirkpatrick (6-4)||6.0||8||5||3||1||1|
|MIZ - Schkade (3-for-4)||4||1||3||2||0||0|
|MIZ - Sykes (2-for-3)||3||0||2||1||0||0|
COLUMBIA, Mo.– Mizzou Softball head coach Ehren Earleywine earned his 500th career victory in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, a 4-2 win over Western Illinois, and the No. 16 Tigers finished the sweep at University Field with a 5-0 shutout in the second game. Standout pitching performances from freshmen pitchers Tori Finucane (Germantown, Md.) and Casey Stangel (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) and timely hitting was the recipe for success.
The Leathernecks (18-16-1) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one after WIU shortstop Sammy Marshall, NCAA Division I Softball’s leading batter entering the doubleheader, singled and came around to score. The Tiger offense was unable to find its groove and land a hit through the first three innings.
Hits were not a requirement for scoring runs as Mizzou picked up an unearned run in the second inning after a pair of walks and some quality base running. With senior OF Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.) and junior 1B Kelsea Roth (Yorba Linda, Calif.) on the corners, Earleywine put on the double steal and it was executed perfectly, tying the game at 1-1.
Finucane started in the circle for the Tigers and cruised after allowing her only earned run in the first. From the second through the fourth inning, only two runners made it on base, both from walks, while Finucane struck out three in the three-inning stretch. She finished the day pitching a complete game (7.0 IP), her team-high 12th of the year, allowing the one earned run on five hits and two walks while striking out five to improve her record to 13-5.
The Tigers picked up a run in the fourth after their first three hits, all consecutive, brought freshman 3B/2B Natalie Fleming (Silex, Mo.) in to score on a single by junior IF Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.). In the fifth, Sykes picked up right where they left off, bringing in another run on her second hit of the day, a single scoring redshirt sophomore SS Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fl.). Redshirt sophomore C/OF Carlie Rose (Nixa, Mo.) and freshman IF/OF Kelli Schkade (Albany, Texas) teamed up to finish the scoring for the Tigers in the initial game with a pair of singles that brought Rose in to score.
The Tiger batters found their rhythm in the second game. Junior 3B/C Angela Randazzo (Poway, Calif.) knocked in Schkade who led off the first with a single to go up 1-0 early. The hits kept coming in the second and once again Schkade was involved, this time doubling in Genovese for the 2-0 lead.
Stangel was in the circle in the second game for the Tigers and continued the pitching dominance that Finucane had started. Another complete game brought Stangel’s total up to 11 on the season and the shutout was her third of 2014. Her line finished as 7.0 innings pitched, allowing zero runs on three hits, while striking out three and walking none.
Schkade was not satisfied with a single and double in her first two at bats, so in the fourth inning she slammed a triple to the right center gap to bring in her second RBI. The 3-for-4 performance in game two was a career-best for Schkade. Mizzou added two more insurance runs, one in the fifth and one in the sixth to finish off the Leathernecks, 5-0.
The Tigers are back in action at No. 20 Auburn in Auburn, Ala., to kick off a three-game series from Friday, April 11-Sunday, April 13. Mizzou and Auburn start the series with a 6 p.m. start on Friday, before FSN SportsSouth televises Saturday’s game (Noon). The series closes with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday.
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