Kirsten Mack's two-run homer got Mizzou on the board first.
May 17, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. – No. 15-seeded Mizzou Softball used two two-run home runs to propel the squad to a 6-3 win over Kansas on Saturday afternoon in the third game of the Columbia Regional of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship. With the win, Missouri (43-16) advanced to Sunday’s Regional Championship game at Noon. The Jayhawks (34-22) play either Bradley or Nebraska at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game.
In the circle, freshman P/OF/1B Casey Stangel improved to 15-9 on the year with her complete game outing, where she scattered seven hits.
Mizzou struck first in the top of the second with the long ball to take a 2-0 edge on the Jayhawks. Senior OF Mackenzie Sykes clocked a double down the left field line, setting the stage for Mack with two outs. The first-year Tiger battled through a 12-pitch at-bat to blast her third home run of the year into the left center bleachers. The bomb was Mack’s first since March 21, when she posted a home run in a win over Ball State.
The Tigers manufactured another run in the top of the third to increase their lead to 3-0. Redshirt sophomore OF Taylor Gadbois led off the inning with a single, then promptly stole her 46th base of the year. With two outs, Randazzo knocked a single to left center, letting Gadbois easily trot home from second.
Another two-run bomb by Randazzo upped the Tiger team’s edge to 5-0 in the top of the fifth inning. With redshirt sophomore SS Sami Fagan stationed on second, Randazzo blasted her team-leading ninth home run of the season for a 5-0 Mizzou lead. Sykes almost tallied the Tigers’ third two-run bomb two batters later but her blast to dead center field hit one foot below the top of the fence for a double. On the play, junior IF Corrin Genovese tried to score from first, but was thrown out on a collision at the plate to end the inning.
Kansas got one back in the bottom of the fifth following a single, an error and a fielder’s choice. With runners on the corners and one out, Jayhawk SS Chaley Brickey hit a fielder’s choice to score the runner on third, but Mizzou got out of the inning to maintain its 5-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kansas loaded the bases with one out following three-straight singles but Stangel got Kansas CF Taylor McElhaney to hit into a double play to end the threat. Genovese fielded the grounded and made the unassisted turn at second base for the throw to junior 1B Kelsea Roth.
Mizzou added an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Fagan scored from second on a single through the left side from Genovese.
Brickey sent a two-run shot over the left center field wall in the bottom of the seventh for a 6-3 game to keep the Kansas hope alive, but the Jayhawks could not add another to seal the win for the Tigers.
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