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Mizzou Classic Preview / Game Thread: Softball welcomes Northwestern, Ball State, Stanford to CoMo

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After sweeping a mid-week Illinois series on the road, Missouri returns home to (hopefully) get in at least 4 games in the Mizzou Classic

Mizzou Athletics

I’m short on time, y’all, so this is going to be a mini-sized preview (by my standards anyway, she says as the story currently sits at 1800 words) for this weekend’s Mizzou Classic. I’m not even going to include my custom team graphics— the horror! But the good news is, I’ll be be testing out doing some game notes within this post on Saturday and the final game on Sunday, so stay tuned! Please?

The weather has already knocked out Mizzou’s slate of games against Northwestern and Ball State on Friday, but hopefully it’ll be okay [fingers crossed] for the remaining 4 game set this weekend. When we last saw the Tigers, they were in scenic Champaign-Urbana, showing their rivals who’s the best team in the region. I did not recap the games — see said “busy” excuse above — but you can read all about it on MUTigers.com and/or press box friend Chris Blake over at the Missourian. Long story short— they swept them, one in extras and one in run-rule fashion, and the second game became basically a home run derby. The Tigers hit eight homers on the day, led by Brooke Wilmes and Kara Daly, who each had multiple long balls. Kara “Long Ball” Daly hit two in the first game — her first career multi-homer game — while Wilmes had one in the first and two in the second.

Missouri Tigers

2021 RECORD: 42-17 (ranked #8 nationally)

2022 RECORD: 18-6

LAST 4 GAMES: Illinois (W 10-2, 5 innings), Illinois (W 7-6, 8 innings), #14 Tennessee (L 5-4), #14 Tennessee (L 14-3, 6 innings)

PROJECTED CONFERENCE FINISH: 5th in SEC

RANKING: #17 (ESPN.com/USA Softball), #16 (D1 Softball), #17 (Softball America), #18 (NFCA), #19 (RPI)

2022 TOP PERFORMERS:

  • Casidy Chaumont, OF: .423 BA / 1.222 OPS / 16 R / 22 H/ 5 2B / 1 3B / 4 HR / 17 RBI / .788 SLG%
  • Brooke Wilmes, OF: .365 BA / 1.196 OPS / 20 R / 27 H / 1 2B / 1 3B / 8 HR / 18 RBI / .730 SLG% / .466 OB%
  • Kim Wert, DP: .358 BA / 1.206 OPS / 15 R / 24 H / 4 2B / 8 HR / 25 RBI / .776 SLG% / .430 OB%
  • Kara Daly, 3B: .356 BA / 1.221 OPS / 11 R / 21 H / 1 2B / 8 HR / 17 RBI / .780 SLG% / .441 OB%
  • Jenna Laird, SS: .342 BA / .856 OPS / 17 R / 26 H / 4 2B / 1 3B / 1 HR / 7 RBI / .461 SLG% / .395 OB% / 13-14 SB
  • Alex Honnold, OF: .333 BA / .990 OPS / 13 R / 22 H / 6 2B / 3 3B / 1 HR / 7 RBI/ .561 SLG% / .429 OB%
  • Jordan Weber, P: 2.09 ERA / 0.95 WHIP / 53.2 IP / 6-1 / 3 CG / 30 H / 16 ER / 21 BB / 49 SO / .168 Opp BA
  • Laurin Krings, P: 2.41 ERA / 1.11 WHIP / 64 IP / 8-3 record / 6 CG / 51 H / 22 ER / 20 BB / 85 SO / .214 Opp BA

Here’s how the teams this weekend match up overall against our Tigers:

And now… let’s look at some specifics.

Northwestern

WHEN: Saturday 3/19 at 3pm

TV/STREAMING: SEC Network+2021 RECORD: 30-17

2022 RECORD: 15-4LAST 4 GAMES: Northern Kentucky (W 7-2), Ball State (W 10-4), SIU-C (W 1-0), Murray State (W 7-0)

RANKING: #12 (ESPN.com/USA Softball), #9 (D1 Softball), #7 (Softball America), #14 (NFCA), #16 (RPI)

PROJECTED CONFERENCE FINISH: 2nd in Big Ten

2022 TOP PERFORMERS:

  • Nikki Cuchran: .356 BA / .940 OPS / 7 R / 21 H / 4 2B / 2 HR / 15 RBI / .525 SLG% / .415 OB%
  • Skyler Shellmyer: .348 BA / .799 OPS / 16 R / 24 H / 3 2B / 6 RBI / .391 SLG% / 10-12 SB-ATT
  • Jordyn Rudd: .333 BA / .939 OPS / 8 R / 18 H / 4 2B / 1 3B / 1 HR / 20 RBI / .500 SLG%
  • Rachel Lewis: .321 BA / 1.159 OPS / 19 R / 18 H / 2 2B / 6 HR / 13 RBI / .679 SLG% / 11-12 SB
  • Danielle Williams, P: 0.96 ERA / 0.73 WHIP / 9-1 record / 8 CG / 5 SHO / 73 IP / 35 H / 10 ER / 18 BB / 101 SO / 15 XBH / 6 HR / .146 Opp BA
  • Lauren Boyd, P: .78 ERA / 1.22 WHIP / 1-1 record / 1 CG / 1 SHO / 18 IP / 16 H / 2 ER / 6 BB / 25 SO / 4 XBH / 1 HR / .232 Opp BA

ACCOLADES/NOTES:

  • D1 Softball Preseason Big Ten player rankings: No. 6 Danielle Williams, no. 11 Rachel Lewis, No. 13 Skyler Shellmyer, no. 18 Jordyn Rudd
  • 2021 First Team All-Big Ten Honorees: Skyler Shellmyer, Rachel Lewis (unanimous), Danielle Williams, Jordyn Rudd
  • 2021 Defensive All-Big Ten: Rachel Lewis, Jordyn Rudd
  • Danielle Williams was the 2019 NFCA National Freshman of the Year and named to the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List, and has the tools to wreak havoc upon any opposing offense. Last season, she led the team in ERA (2.21), wins (17), WHIP (0.94), innings pitched (158.1), and strikeouts (191).
  • FUN FACT: I did a double-take when looking at the Wildcats’ coaching staff, as their head coach and associate head coach are twins?!? Kate and Caryl (assoc) have been with the program since the early 2000s, with Kate taking over at the helm in 2001. Caryl arrived in 2002 from Hofstra (Coach Anderson’s former school) . Another fun fact? The Wildcats’ TOO have an all-female staff, just like Mizzou.
  • From the Northwestern Fall Report, on the awesomeness of P, Danielle Williams:

“People really don’t understand how dominant Danielle Williams been. Our last complete full season, we were two wins away from the World Series. And that’s in large part because of Williams’ freshman year. … I think she’s really excited to play nationally and prove what we are about. She’s got great command, she’s an incredible competitor and the team loves playing behind her. Most of all, she’s so unselfish. She’s a great teammate and a joy to work with.” — Kate Drohan

Stanford

WHEN: Saturday 3/19 at 5:30pm and Sunday 3/20 at 5:30pm

TV/STREAMING: SEC Network

2021 RECORD: 33-22

2022 RECORD: 18-4

LAST 5 GAMES: Minnesota (W 11-3, 6 innings), Tulsa (W 1-0), DePaul (L 5-6, 9 innings), #8/10 OK State (W 5-1), #8/10 OK State (L 1-6)

RANKING: #27 (ESPN.com/USA Softball) #7 (Softball America), #40 (RPI)

PROJECTED CONFERENCE FINISH: 6th in PAC-12

2022 TOP PERFORMERS:

  • Taylor Gindlesperger: .481 BA / 1.230 OPS / 16 R / 26 H / 4 2B / 3 3B / 1 HR / 12 RBI / .722SLG% / .508 OB% 7-8 SB-ATT
  • Sydnee Huff: .400 BA / 1.075 OPS / 21 R / 28 H / 5 2B / 3 3B / 1 HR / 9 RBI / .600 SLG% / .475 OB%
  • Emily Young: .391 BA / 1.071 OPS / 13 R / 27 H / 6 2B / 3 3B / 2 HR / 25 RBI / .652 SLG% / .419 OB%
  • Kaitlyn Lim: .367 BA / 1.184 OPS / 11 R / 18 H / 4 2B / 5 HR / 18 RBI / .755 SLG% / .429 OB%
  • Regan Krause, P: 1.09 ERA / 0.98 WHIP / 5-1 record / 2 CG / 2 SHO / 38.2 IP / 24 H / 6 ER / 14 BB / 34 SO / 9 XBH / 0 HR / .162 Opp BA
  • Alana Vawter, P: 1.41 ERA / 0.73 WHIP / 10-2 record / 8 CG / 4 SHO / 69. 2 IP / 46 H / 14 ER / 5 BB / 64 SO / 9 XBH / 1 HR / .180 Opp BA
  • Molly Millar, P: 1.59 ERA / 0.55 WHIP / 2-1 record / 1 CG / 1 SHO / 22 IP / 8 H / 5 ER / 4 BB / 35 SO / 2 XBH / 1 HR / .111 Opp BA

ACCOLADES/NOTES:

  • Senior Emily Young was voted Third Team All-PAC 12 in 2019 & 2021. She was honored as a member of the All-PAC 12 Freshman Team in 2019.
  • The Cardinal didn’t add a transfer in the offseason, surprisingly enough, and instead added six freshmen, including Ella Nadeau and Johnna Schroeder, whose parents are former college softball/baseball players. In regards to Nadeau, Coach Allister said:

“She’s a great defender, great speed, triple threat offensively. She’s working at second base, a bit at third base, and playing outfield if need be. Just a really versatile defender.”

  • The Cardinal pitching is just... fire emojis. Just look at the stats above to see how it’s going so far. KCMO (Staley HS) native/All-PAC 12 First Teamer (as a RS-frosh, mind you) Alana Vawter ranked near the top in most of the PAC-12’s pitching categories last season: fourth in ERA (1.54), tied for second in wins (22) and sixth in strikeouts (155). Regan Krause, now a sophomore, figures to be another star in the making after being tossed to the wolves after only 10 days on campus. Lauren (Tatum) Boyd is just another piece of the Wildcats’ pitching puzzle, and she’s back to form after an injury took her out most of last season. In 2020, she had a 0.85 ERA, and it appears she’s on that same track this season, posting sizzling stats (0.78 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 16 H, 2 ER, 25 SO in 18 IP).
  • Stanford was idle this past week, so all of their results are from the first full week in March.

Ball State

WHEN: Sunday 3/20 at 12:30pm

TV/STREAMING: SEC Network +

2021 RECORD: 37-18

2022 RECORD: 6-13

RANKINGS: #204 (RPI)

LAST 4 GAMES: #23 AZ State (L 2-9, 6 innings), Grand Canyon (W 5-1), BYU (L 5-14), New Mexico St (L 7-11)

PROJECTED CONFERENCE FINISH: 3rd in MAC

2022 TOP PERFORMERS:

  • Faith Hensley: .393 BA / 1.239 OPS / 12 R / 22 H / 1 2B / 6 HR / 14 RBI / .732 SLG% / .507 OB% / 2-4 SB-ATT
  • Haley Wynn: .338 BA / .888 OPS / 10 R / 22 H / 5 2B / 2 HR / 7 RBI / .508 SLG% / .380 OB% / 2-5 SB-ATT
  • Kayla Lissy: .313 BA / .777 OPS / 15 R / 20 H / 4 2B / 1 3B / 1 HR / 7 RBI / .453 SLG% / .324 OB% / 5-6 SB-ATT
  • Deborah Jones, P: 3.11 ERA / 1.44 WHIP / 1-4 record / 2 CG / 36 IP / 33 H / 16 ER / 19 BB / 41 SO / 6 XBH / .236 Opp BA
  • Angelina Russo, P: 5.17 ERA / 1.84 WHIP / 3-3 record / 1 CG / 44.2 IP / 59 H / 33 ER / 23 BB / 26 SO / 18 XBH / 2 HR / .306 Opp BA

ACCOLADES/NOTES:

  • Faith Hensley was voted 2021 First Team All-MAC and NFCA All-Great Lakes Region
  • Deborah Jones was voted 2021 Second Team All-MAC
  • Kayla Lissy was voted 2021 Second Team All-MAC and NFCA All-Great Lakes Region
  • Kennedy Wynn was voted to the 2021 MAC All-Defense team
  • A year ago, Ball State had a program-record 31 conference wins. However, they return just five position starters and one pitcher from last year’s roster.

GAME ONE LINEUP

Mizzou vs Northwestern

TOP ONE:

Specs starts out strong with a strikeout, but subsequently gives up a solo shot to Rachel Lewis. A double by Jordyn Rudd follows, and the Mizzou outfielder loses the ball in the sun. A soft grounder to short, and the Tigers have two away. Daly tags out the lead runner at third. A grounder up the center and there’s runners on second and third. Krings needs to get an out here to prevent additional damage. Krings gets second K to end the inning. 1-0 Northwestern.

BOTTOM ONE:

Brooke Wilmes leads things off with a walk. Jenna Laird lines out and Wert grounds out to first for the second out. Daly strikes out, and the Tigers leave one on base.

TOP TWO:

Krings gets a leadoff grounder to second, and there’s one out. A grounder to short isn’t fielded well, and a runner is on first. Krings gets her third and fourth K to end the threat. Still 1-0 Northwestern.

BOTTOM TWO:

Chaumont leads things off for the Tigers with a hard hit grounder up the center. A Bailey bunt advances the runner before she’s called out at first. Moore out at first, but Chaumont is at third. Raabe walks and there’s runners on first and third with two outs. Honnold singles up through the left side and the Tigers have tied it up. Wilmes walks and the bases are loaded. Laird is thrown out at first and the inning is over. 1-1 ballgame.

TOP THREE:

Raabe drops a towering infield popup — thought that was foul — and the Wildcats have a runner on first. Some intriguing fielding going on here, as Daly bobbles a ground ball to third. Can’t get a double play but gets the runner at first. Krings walks the next two batters, and the Wildcats have the bases loaded. A single to right and botched throw brings home two runs, and a sac fly gets another as Chaumont’s throw home isn’t in time. It’s 4-1 Northwestern with two out. Kara Daly gets the final out, but the damage is done.

BOTTOM THREE:

Chaumont’s hard-hit grounder bounces off the glove of the SS, and there’s a runner aboard with two outs. Bailey grounds out to end the inning. Mizzou leaves one runner on, and it’s still 4-1 Wildcats.

TOP FOUR:

Wildcats lead off the inning with a ground out, and then follow it up with a single up the middle, and they’ve got a runner on. A popup to shallow center and another shallow pop fly to first ends the inning.

BOTTOM FOUR:

Hatti Moore gets things going for the Tigers with a liner to center, good for a double. Megan Moll enters the game, PH for Emma Raabe, and strikes out. There’s one away for Alex Honnold. Honnold’s double brings home Moore and it’s 4-2. Wilmes and Laird strike out and the Tigers leave one on.

TOP FIVE:

Three fly outs and the Wildcats still lead 4-2.

BOTTOM FIVE:

Kim Wert and Kara Daly — homerless so far today — strike out to lead off the inning. Chaumont also strikes out, ending the inning.

TOP SIX:

A liner to right gets the first out, and a grounder to Laird gets the second out. Krings walks a batter, but Daly ends the inning on a play at first.

BOTTOM SIX:

Kendyll Bailey leads off with a rocket down the left field line. She’s on second, and Maddie Snider takes over for her at second. Deters pops out for the first out, and Raabe walks. Honnold hits a grounder to the second baseman and she’s unable to make a play. The bases are loaded with one out. Wilmes drops in a single, scoring Snider, and the Tigers are within one.

THE TIGERS take the lead on a Laird single, scoring Honnold and Kendal Cook [pr]! It’s 5-4.

TOP SEVEN:

Just kidding. It’s tied again as Lewis hits her second solo shot of the day. It’s 5-5 and Emma Nichols is in to pitch. Nichols gets two quick outs on a ground out and fly out, and then makes the last play herself, as a ball comes right back at her. Still tied, 5-5.

BOTTOM SEVEN:

Daly strikes out again — she’s having a rough day — and Chaumont is up with one out to try and end this one. She walks and they’ve got the go ahead run on. Tigers aren’t able to manufacture any other runs, and we’re getting free softball.

THE TIGERS HEAD TO EXTRAS TIED 5-5.

TOP EIGHT:

Chaumont gets the first out, running in for a line drive out to left. Two groundouts end the inning.

BOTTOM EIGHT:

Riley Frizell and Alex Honnold strike out, but Brooke Wilmes gets on base with a walk. Jenna Laird gets aboard with a walk, and there’s two on for Kim Wert. She smacks a ground ball up the left side, but Wilmes is thrown out at the plate and we’re headed to the ninth.

TOP NINE:

Nichols strikes out Nieto, and then again makes her own play, as the ball comes right back at her. She makes the play at first, and there’s two away with Rachel Lewis — two homers on the day, both off Krings — at the plate. She strikes out Lewis and the Tigers have a chance to walk it off again in THE LONGEST GAME EVER.

BOTTOM NINE:

Chaumont walks and the go-ahead run is on base AGAIN. Chaumont gets caught stealing, and the inning ends.

TOP TEN:

And now we’re suddenly utilizing the international tie-breaker? Northwestern starts the inning with a runner on second. Rudd singles to short and they’ve got runners on first and third. A single up the right side brings in a run, and the Wildcats are back on top, 6-5. They add two more on another single up the right side. TOP TEN: And now we’re suddenly utilizing the international tie-breaker? Northwestern starts the inning with a runner on second. The wheels kinda come off a bit, and consecutive singles lead to several runs scoring before Honnold’s great catch in right and throw to home stops another run from coming in. It’s 9-5 and the Tigers have work to do.

BOTTOM TEN:

Tigers are able to add a run to make it 9-6 on a Riley Frizell single to left, but that’s all they get. Mizzou’s loses this one, and they’ve got another game coming up in 30-45 mins.

GAME TWO

Mizzou vs. Stanford

LINE UP the same as Game One. Jordan Weber on the mound.

TOP ONE:

Weber strikes out the lead off batter and then gets a fly out to right. Stanford gets their first runner aboard on a single through the left side, but they get out of the inning with a fly out to center.

BOTTOM TWO:

After a Chaumont single, Bailey hits into a double play and Moore grounds out. Nothing for the Tigers.

TOP THREE:

A leadoff single gets a runner aboard. A bunt takes out the lead runner, and then a strike out ends the inning.

BOTTOM THREE:

A bunch of stuff happened, but no runs get on the board. Raabe walks and is replaced by Snider. After a Wilmes fly out, Jenna Laird “the speedster” turns a single into a double. The threat ends though on a Wert fly out.

TOP THREE:

A couple more pop ups — there’s been a ton — and Jordan Weber has her fourth K of the night.

BOTTOM FOUR:

THE TIGERS ARE ON THE BOARD! Chaumont singles to center, and Kendyll Bailey follows it up with a two run bomb. Hatti Moore, the next batter, also goes the distance, and the Tigers are up 3-0.

TOP FIVE:

Weber induces a popup, works around a single, and there’s yet another fly out to end the inning.

BOTTOM FIVE:

Laird strikes out, but Wert singles to left and then Daly reaches on an error. This is the first time Kara has been on base today. Chaumont flies out to end the inning, and the Tigers can’t plate another run.

TOP SIX:

Weber induces a shallow infield pop out and there’s two outs. She walks the next batter, and Gindlesperger ties it up with a liner into left-center. She’s replaced by by Megan Schumacher, who gets a groundout to her, and saves the game from being broken wide open. The throw is good to first and the two runs coming in don’t count.

BOTTOM SIX:

Bailey strikes out and Moore sends a shot to center, but it’s ultimately caught at the warning track. Raabe pops out, and the Tigers can’t retake the lead.

TOP SEVEN:

Schumacher allows a double, but gets a strikeout to end the inning and it’s still tied.

BOTTOM SEVEN:

Honnold and Wilmes get consecutive ground outs and there’s two away. The Tigers can’t get anything going and we are headed to extras… again. We are delirious in the Press Box at this point.

TOP EIGHT:

And… The Cardinal score on a close play at the plate as Emily Young reaches on a fielders choice. And…. they’ve now scored three. Extra innings have not been kind to the Tigers today. Lim reaches on a fielders choice, scoring Huff. Kaneshiro hits a sac fly, which brings in Young. Stanford takes a 6-3 lead. They add another run, and then in a weird twist of events, the lights went out at 10, and for a good 20 minutes, we sat in darkness. The lights came back on eventually, and Schumacher was able to get out of the inning.

BOTTOM EIGHT:

Kara Daly hits a solo shot — her ninth of the season — but that’s all the Tigers can get, as they fall 7-4.

GAME THREE

Mizzou vs. Ball State

[disclaimer: I just arrived from work in time to catch the bottom of the inning]

BOTTOM SEVEN

Wert walks to lead off the inning. Bailey advances the runner on a fielder’s choice, but the Tigers can’t plate any runs as Honnold walks and Deters lines out. Missouri loses to Ball State, 4-3.

GAME FOUR

Mizzou vs. Stanford, Round Two

LINEUP: Wilmes / Laird / Wert /Daly / Bailey / Honnold / Raabe / Deters / Phillips

Krings on the mound. No Casidy Chaumont again. It appears she’s not dressed.

TOP ONE:

KKrings does all the work herself to start things off, striking out the leadoff batter, then inducing a ground out to herself, and then striking out the last one. Excellent start for Specs.

BOTTOM ONE:

Brooke Wilmes fouls out, and Jenna Laird follows it up with a single to second. Kim Wert — we’re still on Wert Alert at the ballpark for that homerun — reaches on a fielders choice, but Laird is out at second. Daly hits a little grounder to the pitcher, but she’s unable to make a play. With runners on second and third, Kendyll Bailey walks, and an Alex Honnold brings in two runs. Bailey tries to get to third but is thrown out.

Mizzou up 2-0.

TOP TWO:

KKKKKrings sends the Cardinal down in order on three more strikeouts. She’s got five… hence the five K’s.

BOTTOM TWO:

Emma Raabe singles to center, and Maddie Snider enters as a pinch runner. Deters strikes out, and Snider is caught stealing, getting two quick outs. Chantice Phillips grounds out to the pitcher, and the inning is over.

TOP THREE:

Koch singles to lead off the inning, but KKKKKKrings gets another K. Steele reaches on a FC, but the lead runner is out. Huff flies out to left, and Phillips’ smart play gets them out of the inning unscathed.

BOTTOM THREE:

Wilmes fouls out — it’s deja vu — and Laird is hit by a pitch. The inning ends on a Wert lining into a double play.

TOP FOUR:

A blooper to shallow right gets a runner on second to start the inning, but the next batter lines into a DP and she’s caught off the bag. A fly out ends the inning.

BOTTOM FOUR:

Quick inning for the Cardinal, as the pitcher Tatum Boyd induces three groundouts.

TOP FIVE:

A pop out and grounder get two quick outs before a single gets through on the left side. Honnold ends the threat with a MONSTER diving grab in right to save a run from coming in.

BOTTOM FIVE:

Megan Moll smacks her first homer since 2020, and Tatum Boyd is taken out the game. She’s replaced by Regan Krause, who strikes out Phillips. Laird lines out.

Mizzou up 3-0.

TOP SIX:

KKKKKKKrings gets another— her seventh of the night. Two fly outs end the inning.

BOTTOM SIX:

Wert lines out to second, and Daly hits a little pop out to the catcher. Bailey walks and Honnold smashes a home run, her second of the year, and it’s now 5-0.

Mizzou up 5-0.

TOP SEVEN:

The single prior to the eighth K was erased on a DP to end the inning. THE END.

TIGERS WIN!

As always, stay up to date on all things Mizzou Softball this season by following me, @KarenSteger, and @RockMNation. I’ll have previews for each of Missouri’s series, as well as recaps when available. When I’m at the ballpark, I’ll also be firing off some tweets from both accounts.