June 3, 2010
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Missouri Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning but couldn’t hold it, as a two-run blast in the top of the inning lifted Hawaii over Mizzou by a 3-2 final.
Kristin Nottelmann took the loss, her first in almost three weeks, to drop to 24-8 on the season. Rhea Taylor went 2-for-4 with two runs, a home run and an RBI.
Nottelmann opened up the first inning with a perfect 1-2-3 frame, getting two strikeouts and a flyout on 16 pitches.
The Tigers were given a golden opportunity in the first but Hawaii worked out of the jam. With one out, Jenna Marston singled to the right side, and back-to-back walks to Nicole Hudson and Ashley Fleming followed, loading the bases. However, Hawaii’s Stephanie Ricketts worked two consecutive strikeouts to keep Missouri off the board.
Hawaii got the scoring going in the second inning, beginning with a solo home run by Alexandra Aguirre. Nottelmann got ahead of Aguirre 0-2 before Aguirre worked the count back to even before blasting the 2-2 pitch to right-center field. Kanani Pu’u-Warren followed with a double to left, but Nottelmann worked around it by getting a strikeout and a foul out to get out of the inning.
Missouri evened the score in the bottom half of the third, getting an unearned run. Rhea Taylor led off the inning by hitting a slow roller right down the first base line. Hawaii’s first baseman Amanda Taualii fielded the ball, but Taylor beat it out for a single. On the play, Taualii threw it past the covering second baseman and into right fielder, allowing Taylor to advance to second. Two batters later, Hudson ripped a double over the right fielder’s head to score Taylor, tying the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, a solo home run by Rhea Taylor gave the Missouri squad their first lead of the game. Down 1-2 in the count, Taylor roped her pitch to the opposite field and over the fence in left field, giving Missouri the 2-1 lead. The home run was Taylor’s eighth of the year, while her second run of the game puts her in a tie for most runs scored in a single season. Taylor’s 64th run of the season matches her 2008 total.
Both teams went scoreless in the sixth, so the Tigers would take their 2-1 lead to the top of the seventh. Hawaii’s Katie Grimes led off with a single, setting up a two-run blast by Traci Yoshikawa to give the Rainbow Wahine the lead at 3-2.
Hawaii would take that lead into the bottom of the seventh, and Ricketts would set the Tigers down 1-2-3 to send Missouri to the elimination game.
The Tigers will play the loser of the Florida/UCLA game on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. Stay tuned to mutigers.com for more information.