April 24, 2010
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 11 Missouri softball team scored early and often on Saturday, hitting a season-best five home runs and scoring a season-high 14 runs on their way to an impressive 14-1 win over No. 22 Texas A&M in five innings to open the pivotal series. The 14 Tiger runs came on 10 hits, and extended the Missouri winning streak to nine in a row.
Missouri improves to 36-8 on the season and 6-5 in conference play, while Texas A&M drops to 35-13 and 6-6 in the Big 12.
Senior Jana Hainey extended her perfect record to 7-0 after throwing all five innings. The lefty allowed just one run on four hits and one walk while striking out three.
Junior Rhea Taylor extended her hitting streak to 10 games with a 2-for-4 day at the plate which included two runs and three driven in – all coming on her fifth home run of the season. Freshman Lindsey Muller added a three-run blast of her own in her only at-bat. Missouri also got home runs off the bat of juniors Catherine Lee and Marla Schweisberger, along with sophomore Ashley Fleming.
The Mizzou offense came out with two of their home runs in the first inning to get on the board early and set the pace for the rest of the game. With one out in the inning, Lee belted her second home run in as many games, and fourth of the season, to put the Tigers up 1-0. Lee connected on the 2-1 pitch, sending it deep to right-center and over the Texas A&M scoreboard. Two batters later, sophomore Ashley Fleming did the same thing, sending a solo shot of her own over the Aggie scoreboard and extending the Mizzou lead to 2-0.
The Aggies cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first with an RBI double into the gap by Rhiannon Kliesing to make it 2-1.
A pair of back-to-back home runs in the fourth extended the Missouri lead to 6-1. Freshman Jenna Marston got things going with a leadoff walk, and Nicole Hudson singled to put two on with just one out. After a wild pitch advanced runners to second and third, Muller, in as a pinch hitter, hit a rocket over the right field fence for a three-run shot. Junior Marla Schweisberger followed with a home run to dead center field, marking the first time Missouri has gone back-to-back this season.
Fleming and Schweisberger are now both tied for the team lead in home runs with six apiece.
In the fifth, a leadoff single by junior Rhea Taylor extended her hitting streak to 10 games. Taylor would advance to second on her 29th stolen base of the year, and move over to third on a throwing error by the catcher. After Lee walked, Marston hit the first triple of the year into the left-center field gap, just past the reach of a diving Kelsea Orsak, to extend the lead to 8-1. Two batters later, Hudson singled through the right side to plate Marston. A walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for senior Michaele Vock, who delivered a single off the third base bag, scoring Schneider and Abby Vock. Taylor then followed with her second hit of the inning, connecting on her fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot, to put Missouri up 14-1.
The Tigers look for the sweep tomorrow in the finale, which begins at 2 p.m. CT. The game will be aired nationally on ESPN, while also appearing online at ESPN3.com. Stay tuned to mutigers.com for more information.