Mizzou Opens Five-Game Road Stint at Nebraska

MUTIGERS.COM Senior Erin Erickson
Senior Erin Erickson

April 11, 2002

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Mizzou Opens Five-Game Road Stint at Nebraska

The University of Missouri softball team travels to the land of corn and...well more corn (Lincoln, Neb.), this weekend to begin a five-game road stretch. Mizzou will clash with the No. 4 Huskers at 1 pm on Saturday and 1 pm on Sunday. Mizzou enters the series with a 23-27 overall mark and a 1-10 Big 12 Conference mark.

Mizzou will play seven of its remaining 11 regular season contest on the road including trips to No. 4 Nebraska, UMKC, KU and No. 24 Texas A & M. After winning 10 straight games in the middle of March, the Tigers have fallen upon some tough times dropping 11 of their last 15 contests.

A Look at the No. 4 Huskers

After splitting series with No. 24 Baylor and No. 20 Texas, the Huskers cannot afford to stumble this week if they hope to contend for the Big 12 Conference regular-season title. Nebraska, which defeated Iowa State, 2-0, Tuesday, sits in third in the league standings, behind Oklahoma (7-0) and Texas (7-1).

The fourth-ranked Huskers (34-7, 5-2) are in the midst of a three-game home stand. Nebraska, which opened the season with 30 straight road games, will play nine of its next 11 at Bowlin Stadium, its new stadium finished for the opening of the 2002 season.

Coached by 10th year head coach Rhonda Revelle, the Huskers bring a 35-7 mark into the contest. NU holds a 40-23 advantage in the all-time series.

Who's En Fuego

* Junior Heather Allister enteres Saturday's contest with on a two-game hit streak

* Senior Erin Erickson has recorded a hit in each of the Tigers last two contests

* Junior designated player Melanie Fisher has recorded a hit in 13 of the 21 games she has played in.

* Sophomore Morgan LeCluyse has registered a hit in 12 of the Tigers last 14 contests.

* Sophomore Daisy Mettlach has belted three hits in the Tigers last three contests.

* Freshman Heather Kunkel continues to impress at the plate. She has recorded a hit in eight of Mizzou last 10 games.

A Black and Golden Opportunity

The Tigers are currently in 10th place in the Big 12 with a 1-10 league mark heading into this weekend's series against the Huskers. However, the Tigers are only fives games in the loss column behind the fifth place team in the league, the No. 24 Texas A & M Aggies, whom the Tigers face in the final weekend of the season. Mizzou also has a weekend home series on April 20-21 with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who are in ninth place in the conference and a road game with Kansas, who the Tigers beat earlier this season in Columbia and who currently are in eighth place.

If Mizzou wants to make a run at improving its seed in the Big 12 Conference Tournament next month, now is definitely the time.

Sounds Like a Hit

Sophomore Rachael McGinnis, who currently ranks sixth in single season home runs at MU with six, has slowed down some during the Big 12 portion of the Tigers season. Trying telling that to opposing Big 12 pitchers. She continues to lead the league in hitting (.407), hits (58), triples (5, tied with senior teammate Lindsey Jacoby) and total bases (94).

McGinnis has recorded two or more hits in 17 games this season and recorded a 13-game hit streak earlier in the year. If the season were to end today, McGinnis' .407 batting average would rank third on the MU single season charts.

E-Squared Seeing DoubleL

Senior Erin Erickson recorded her-team leading ninth double on Wednesday in the Tigers second game against Oklahoma. E has slammed 32 career two-baggers in her four-year career at Mizzou ranking her sixth on the all-time charts. She needs just two doubles to move into fifth, three more to move into fourth and six more doubles to move into third.

Erickson has also moved into 10th on the career RBI's chart with 88 (12 in 2002).

Another Day at the Office

Although official records are recorded in the areas of consecutive assists and putouts in a game aren't kept (I know, I am a slacker), it is probable that Huntsville, Mo. native Lindsey Jacoby had to be knocking on the doorstep on last Saturday against Baylor. Jacoby had a hand in six consecutive plays, 4-3 or second base to first base. On the night she had an assist or a putout in 11 of the 21 outs the Tigers recorded.

Good Starts...Tough Endings

The Tigers have jumped all over their opponents this season in the early innings of games. However, in mid and late innings of games, their offensive production has diminished immensely. Below is a inning by inning break down of the Tigers scoring so far in 2002.

	        1	2	3	4	5	6	7
Tigers	        43	27	31	35	23	13	13
Opponents	23	18	14	33	32	35	3

Last Time Out...

Tiger Softball Drops Two to No. 9 Oklahoma

Mizzou travels to Nebraska this weekend for two-game series

Columbia, Mo.-The University of Missouri softball team dropped both games of a doubleheader to No. 9 Oklahoma on Wednesday in Columbia, 8-1 and 3-1. The Tigers fall to 23-27 overall and 1-10 in the Big 12 while OU improves to 35-8 overall and 9-0 in the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners, who led the conference in hitting, slugging percentage, runs, doubles and home runs heading into the contests, definitely put their power on display against the Tigers out-hitting Mizzou 22-10 recording three home runs in the two games.

In Game 1, the Sooners would register runs in five of the seven runs they came to bat in while holding Mizzou to a single run in the second inning. The lone Tiger run came on a single by senior Erin Erickson who drove in freshman Heather Kunkel, who had doubled earlier in the inning. Freshmen Erin Kalka (10-11), who started the game, and Veronica Flournoy combined to give up 11 hits and eight runs to the high-powered Sooners. Six different Tigers recorded hits in the contest. Mizzou would play much better in the second game, thanks in a large part to the pitching of junior Ingrid Werner. She scattered nine hits in 6.0 innings of work striking out one. After two scoreless innings to open the contest, the Sooners would get on the board when their leading hitter, Christina Enea, doubled to right center scoring Christy Ring. The Sooners would record their second run when Heather Scaglione hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth to give OU a 2-0 lead. The Sooners would score one more run in the top of the seventh to take a 3-0 lead with Mizzou coming to bat.

Kunkel would begin the Tiger rally reaching on an error by the shortstop. Senior Heather Allister would then record her eighth double of the year down the right field line advancing Kunkel to third and then to home on an errant throw by the first baseman. Senior Erin Erickson would then walk to put runners on first and second with the tying run coming to the plate. However, OU pitcher Jennifer Stewart, who picked up the complete-game victory, would close the door on the Tigers getting Kristen Burke to pop out to second and Sara Vassmer to ground out to first base to end the threat and the game.

Erickson had a solid day going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs while Kunkel went 1-for-5 with two runs scored. Sophomore Daisy Mettlach also slated a good effort going 2-for-4 while stealing a base.



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