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Dominant pitching leads to big Sunday in softball, baseball

Here are today’s Mizzou links.

Softball no-no’s Oregon, Sikkema dominates in Kentucky whoopin’

When it comes to baseball and softball, you’re only ever as good as your pitching. Yes, your offense can score double-digit runs per game, but you’ll never win if your pitching is tossing watermelons over the plate.

Lucky for Mizzou diamond sports, strong pitching wasn’t an issue on Sunday.

Starting in softball, senior Madi Norman led the way as the Tigers run-ruled the Oregon Ducks, splitting the overall weekend at 2-2. Norman walked three and retired the rest, recording the first no-hitter for the program since 2017. However, Coach Anderson was just as complementary of the team behind her as she was of Norman.

“Madi was unbelievable today, but you don’t get the no-no without great defense. I thought the girls played really well behind her. When you do that and get some production at the plate, you become hard to beat. Great team win today.”

The general rule of thumb in all (well, most) no-hitters is that there’s at least one amazing defensive play that saves the best chance the other team had at breaking it up. The below play qualifies, as it is truly one of the most impressive catches this writer has seen in quite some time.

Wert, just a sophomore, also contributed with the bat, going 2-3 with a grand slam on the afternoon.

For the men, it was another upperclassmen who turned in a stellar performance from the bump. TJ Sikkema has teased fans with dominant stuff ever since his other-worldly freshman year, and Sunday’s victory might have been a major step forward.

Sikkema was electric, striking out 11 in seven innings of work, allowing only four hits and two walks. That’ll keep your team in the game on the slowest of offensive days, but Missouri’s offense did its part, capitalizing on four Kentucky errors to put up a nine-spot and move to 22-11-1 on the season.

Head coach Steve Bieser was most impressed with Sikkema’s command, attributing the few runs he did give up to bad planning.

“I thought he competed well. The home runs he gave up, when you ambush someone like that in the first at bat then that might happen. With the second home run that pitch was something we shouldn’t have been throwing to that guy.”

Like Norman, Sikkema was backed up by a power surge from the lineup, capped by back-to-back moonshots from Kameron Misner and Peter Zimmerman.

Spring is here and both Tiger teams are heating up. Maybe a good time to catch a game or two in Columbia?

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Drew Lock continues to make the rounds before the NFL Draft, as a report has him placed on a visit to Denver this week. Denver has been the team most linked to Lock throughout the pre-draft process.
  • At PowerMizzou, Sean Williams profiled the latest Mizzou offer to a 2021 offensive lineman ($$) and Gabe talked to Angel Matute, one of the latecomers in the 2019 class.
  • Not much of a surprise, but one of Mizzou’s biggest 2020 targets came off the board this weekend.
  • Speaking of recruiting, Alex Schiffer’s weekly recruiting roundup is chock full of tidbits about recruits Cuonzo Martin is keeping an eye on — including a transfer who committed to him once before.
  • Missouri tennis is still looking for its first match win in SEC play after it was swept by Georgia this weekend.