May 21, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 4 Missouri softball team lost for the first time at the NCAA Columbia Regional on Saturday in heartbreaking fashion, falling 2-1 in 11 innings to the DePaul Blue Demons. DePaul advances to tomorrow's NCAA Regional Championship, while Mizzou will face the winner of Illinois State and Indiana tonight in an elimination game.
DePaul 2, No. 4 Mizzou 1 (11)
|W - Brown (7-4)||6.1||2||0||0||2||3|
|L - Thomas (27-6)||10.2||5||2||2||0||11|
|MU - Lee||3||1||1||1||0||1|
|MU - Taylor||5||0||2||0||0||0|
DePaul finally broke through and ended the game in the bottom half of that inning, taking advantage of a throwing error to lead off the inning before scoring on a wild last play. Katelyn Braget hit a grounder to Jenna Marston at shortstop whose throw took Catherine Lee off the bag at first. A sacrifice bunt moved Braget to second, and a base hit by Brittney Yniguez put runners on the corners. After a stolen base, Ali Warren hit a grounder to Marston at short who threw Braget out at the plate. However, on the play, Megan Christopher started walking the ball back towards Chelsea Thomas in the circle, and Yniguez, who moved to third on the ground out, came in and scored to win the game.
Bree Brown got the win for DePaul in relief to move to 7-4, throwing 6.1 shutout innings while giving up just two hits and two walks while striking out three. Thomas was the tough-luck loser, throwing 10.2 innings, scattering five hits while giving up two runs and striking out 11.
A two out rally by DePaul in the bottom of the second inning put the first run of the game on the board, as they connected on three straight singles off Thomas. Lindsey Dean kept the inning alive and jump-started the rally with a line drive single off Thomas. Megan Coronado then hit a base hit into left-center, and Brittney Yniguez roped one down the left field line, plating Dean.
Missouri had a chance to get that one back in the top of the third but ultimately came up short. Megan Christopher led off the inning with a double into right-center field, while Abby Vock drew a walk. However, Vock was retired on the following play, as Jenna Marston hit a liner right to the first base bag for a double play. Rhea Taylor then singled into right field, but Brianna Corwin, who was running for Christopher, was thrown out at the plate trying to score.
The Tigers finally broke through and tied up the game on a solo home run by Catherine Lee, her seventh of the season, making it 1-1.
After giving up the two runs in the second, Thomas settled in by retiring the next 15 batters she faced, eight of which were down by strikeout. That streak was eventually snapped in the bottom of the seventh on a two out infield single.
A two out single and wild pitch put Nicole Hudson on second base for the Tigers in the eighth, but DePaul's Bree Brown got Ashley Fleming to pop out and end the inning.
Missouri's next chance came in the top of the 11th, when Taylor led off the inning with a single into center field and a stolen base. The Tigers put a second runner on when Fleming drew a one out walk, but DePaul got out of the inning when Maddison Ruggeberg flew out to center and Taylor was thrown out after traveling too far off second base.
The Tigers look to keep their season alive at 8 p.m. against the winner of Illinois State and Indiana.
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