The thrice-delayed Missouri Tigers finally took the field at Mizzou Softball Stadium in front of a crowd of just over 2,000 fans (including ME!) at 8:35pm Friday evening to take on the Horizon League Champion, Illinois-Chicago Flames, and the Tigers promptly extinguished them on masterful pitching by Jordan Weber and stellar hitting by a whole slew of Tigers.
my heart is so full. It’s us against the world MIZ Nation, let’s have some fun pic.twitter.com/qJ0sUOlxng— caykess (@caylakessinger) May 22, 2021
Y’all, I think this Jordan Weber girl might be pretty good at pitching. Lest you forget, Jordan’s last time out resulted in a complete game one-hitter against LSU in the SEC Tournament. This time? Hot damn. A complete game, a shut out, seven strikeouts (2 each in the 1st, 2nd & 4th innings, and another in the 5th) and only one hit allowed. Hell, she only allowed four baserunners the entire game in the form of two walks, a HBP, and a measly bloop single that was almost an out.
I mean… come on. Just filthy.
Offensively, the Tigers were firing on all cylinders, and got started immediately with a monster solo homer by lead off hitter Brooke Wilmes in the Tigers’ very first at bat. WOAH. [insert giant eyes emoji]
But the Tigers were just getting started against UIC starter, Marley Hanlon. After Brooke’s gargantuan home run, Hatti Moore, who was a perfect four-for-four on the night, hit a single straight up the middle. Kim Wert then advanced the runners on a hard hit single to left, and Moore scored on a hard hit line drive from Cayla Kessinger. After one inning, Missouri was up 2-0, and they would need no other run production in the game. Apparently, no one told them that, though, because it just got more wild from there.
In the third inning, some weird stuff happened. So weird, in fact, that as I was jotting down notes on my phone, I actually wrote, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.” First, All-World player Jenna Laird singled to right center. Then Hatti Moore singled, bringing Jenna to second. Casidy Chaumont added a single, forcing Hatti out at second. Casidy then stole second on some smart base running, and Kim Wert came up up to the plate, obviously saying, “Don’t you forget about me, y’all” and proceeded to hit a huge double to left, which scored a run. Chaumont tried to extend the play by taking off for home from second base, but was thrown out at the plate. Then, Cayla Kessinger came up and pulled out some Little League style stuff, because she hit what should have been a single, and ended up SCORING FROM FIRST BASE ON TWO THROWING ERRORS on the play. It was a comedy of errors, and it all happened so fast, I couldn’t figure out what had even occurred immediately. Neither could Hanlon, apparently, as this drove her right out of the game for the Flames. By the end of the third inning, the Tigers were up 5-0.
In the fourth inning, Kendyll Bailey got in on the action with a walk, followed by a single by Abby George, which was notable… because no one was covering first base. With two runners on, Brooke Wilmes struck out, then Jenna Laird singled. A fielder’s choice got Abby out at second, while Kendyll advanced to third. Then came Hatti, who just couldn’t miss on Friday. She lined a single to right, which actually was a nice grab by the fielder, but another run scored and it was 6-0 at the end of the inning.
Nothing came of the fifth inning, though the Tigers did eke out two more singles. A double play ended the inning, however, and onto the 6th they went, needing just two more runs to end the game early. With Jordan still in the game, the Flames got their first hit, but clearly nothing came of it, and back to the Tigers it went for the bottom of the 6th. Abby got on base with a single in what should have an easy out, but - in what seemed to be a common occurrence for the Flames - someone overthrew the base and she was safe by a mile. Brooke then singled, which sent Abby to third, and wow, that girl’s got some wheels on her. Jenna then singled and made it to second on a fielder’s choice that ultimately got Abby out at home, but a bloop single from Hatti sealed the deal. Two runs came in and the Tigers run-ruled the Flames.
Check out the highlights!
The Tigers are back at it today at 1pm to face Northern Iowa, who run-ruled Iowa State 8-0 in the game right before Missouri on Friday. Here’s the schedule, which gets kinda confusing come Sunday.
(By the way, if anyone is located in CoMo and wants a ticket to Sunday’s game, I have one that I can’t use and will gladly leave it for you at Will Call)
This was a great game and this team is so, so, so, so, so fun to watch. I absolutely cannot wait to see what they do next, and I’m super pumped to get them see play today again. The atmosphere was electric and loud and perfect. It was a perfect night.
Disclaimer: Karen is not a professional softball writer. She stopped playing softball in 8th grade. So while she enjoys watching it from time to time, and has enjoyed writing about it because this team kicks ass, it’s possible some terminology may not be the best.