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SOFTBALL RECAP: “Who do you pitch to if you’re getting production from everybody?”

Opponent’s Answer: You hope like hell you can get ‘em out. (This didn’t work for SLU)

Mizzou Athletics

Welcome! I’m making this a one-stop shop for a mini SLU preview, a game thread, and a recap with some quotes afterwards. Sound good? Let’s get started.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 27 at 4pm

WHERE: Mizzou Softball Stadium, Columbia, Mo.

TV/STREAMING: SEC+

STATS: Live on StatBroadcast (just scroll down to the event)

HISTORY: Mizzou leads the series all-time 64-3.

Missouri Tigers

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

2022 RECORD: 28-17 (8-9 in SEC)

PROJECTED CONFERENCE FINISH: 5th in SEC

RANKING: #25 (ESPN.com/USA Softball), #26 (USA Today/NFCA), NR (D1 Softball), NR (Softball America), , #23 (current RPI)

LAST 7 GAMES: @ #9/12 Kentucky (W 9-1, 5in | W 8-7 | W 13-0, 5 in), #14/13 Georgia (L 3-1 | W 6-2 | L 4-3)

Saint Louis University Billikens

2021 RECORD: 19-27 (10-12 in A10, 6th place)

2022 RECORD: 20-21 (12-5 in A10, currently 2nd place)

LAST 4 GAMES: @St. Bonaventure (W 9-1 in 6in | W 6-1 | W 3-0), Louisiana (L 19-0, 5in)

PROJECTED CONFERENCE FINISH: 7th in Atlantic 10

RANKING: #156 (current RPI)

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

  • Gabbie Kowalik (no relation to Kayla from UK): .398 BA | 1.289 OPS | 35 R | 47 H | 10 HR | 36 RBI | .814 SLG%
  • Kat Lane: .372 BA | .896 OPS | 41 R | 55 H | 6 RBI | 21 BB | .446 SLG% | 13-18 SB-ATT
  • Sadie Wise: .358 BA | 1.035 OPS | 31 R | 53 H | 6 HR | 36 RBI | .608 SLG% | 16 BB
  • Chloe Wendling, SP: 3.83 ERA | 1.44 WHIP | 9-8 | 8 CG | 2 SHO | 115 IP | 133 H | 63 ER | 33 BB | 65 K | 35 XBH | 12 HR | .284 Opp BA
  • Aubrey Hacke, SP: 3.95 ERA | 1.57 WHIP | 7-10 | 6 CG | 1 SHO | 101 IP | 127 H | 57 ER | 32 BB | 67 K | 29 XBH | 13 HR | .311 Opp BA

OVERALL TEAM COMPARISONS:

Wednesday’s Lineup:

Game Thread:

FIRST INNING

T1: three-up, three-down for Schumacher to start things off, including two ground outs and a strikeout

B1: Laird grounds out, and both Wilmes and Bailey fly out

SECOND INNING

T2: Schu allows a walk, but a nice double play by Laird and Bailey end the inning.

B2: Wert lines out to right. Casidy is on first with a hard-hit grounder to left. Honnold and Daly both ground out.

THIRD INNING

T3: The leadoff batter is aboard after the ball appears to hit 2B Kendyll Bailey. Kara Daly makes a nice play for the first out, and two ground outs end the inning. 0-0

B3: The Emma Raabe hit spree continues, and the Tigers are on the board with a deep shot to left. It’s 1-0 Tigers. Moore grounds out, and Laird singles and Brooke Wilmes launches a 2-run shot to right. It’s 3-0 now. Brooke, as Paul tells us, is now Mizzou’s all-time XBH leader. The inning ends on a line out by Kendyll Bailey (great diving play by SLU’s Natalie Sullivan) and a ground out by Wert.

FOURTH INNING

T4: Gabbie Kowalik (no relation that we are away of to Tiger killer Kayla Kowalik at UK), grounds out. Consecutive singles put runners on first and second for SLU. Casidy isn’t able to make a grab on a play to deep left over her head, and SLU scores. It’s 3-1. Schu gets out of the inning on an out at home and a strikeout (no. 2)

B4: Casidy is on base for the second time today with a single to LF. After Honnold grounds out, Daly singles through the left side. Raabe flies out, and Daly steals second (there’s a lot happening here). CC scores on an error. Hatti triples to RF, and Laird singles. it’s 6-1.

FIFTH INNING

T5: SLU is on base with a leadoff walk, and advances to 2B on a wild pitch. A single to short — well played by Jenna — is not in time, and the Bills have runners on 1B & 3B with one out. A Daly error loads the bases for Gabbie Kowalik, and then an error by Schu makes it 6-2. My mouth is agape. Honnold fired a strike to home from deep right field to get the lead runner out. Another play at home gets the second out of the inning, though Schu slightly bobbles that one as well. However, the inning isn’t over, not by a long shot. With the bases still loaded — they’ve been loaded approximately 500 years now — a walk brings a run home. The third out FINALLY comes on a soft hit to Schu, who takes the out at first. It’s 6-3 still, Mizzou.

B5: Kendyll Bailey hits a ball to the left center warning track and is on second, and it’s KIM WERT TIME! Her two-run shot makes it 8-3 Mizzou. Three flyouts end the inning after Taylor Hochman is brought in to pitch.

SIXTH INNING

T6: Laurin Krings is in to pitch, and strikes out first two batters, and ends the inning with a groundout to first.

B6: Raabe flies out to right, and Moore grounds out. Wilmes smashes a liner to deep right, and scores Jenna Laird. It’s 9-3. Bailey walks and Wert flies out to end the inning.

SEVENTH INNING

T7: Specs allows a walk to lead off the inning. Riley Frizell is in at first and Megan Moll takes over at third. Hatti catches the lead runner stealing, and the last two runners are out via strikeout and pop up.

TIGERS WIN, 9-3. M-I-Z.

Stat Lines

Mizzou offense: 9R | 11 H | 8 RBI | 2 2B | 1 3B | 3 HR | 2 BB | 4 LOB

Schumacher’s stats: 5 IP | 5 H | 3 R | 1 ER | 3 BB | 2 SO | 1 XBH | 1 WP | 24 BF | 89 pitches

Krings’ stats: 2 IP | 0 H | 0 R | 1 BB | 3 SO | 6 BF | 24 pitches

SLU offense: 3 R | 5 H | 2 RBI | 1 2B | 4 BB | 5 K | 1 CS | 6 LOB

Wendling’s stats: 4 IP | 10 H | 8 R | 8 ER | 22 BF | 5 XBH | 3 HR | 73 pitches

Hochman’s stats: 2 IP | 1 H | 1 R | 1 ER | 2 BB | 9 BF | 1 XBH | 30 pitches

What Went Well

  • The Tigers did NOT strike out at all. I don’t know the last game that happened, honestly. And 8-of-9 Tiger starters had a hit, including six of the extra base hit variety. Coach said, “You can’t make a mistake with this lineup. Who do you pitch to when you’re getting production from everyone?” Answer: you tread very carefully, apparently. Also, I LOVE that we are back to having a lineup full of production that people are actually fearing.
  • Alex Honnold made a jaw-dropping throw from deeeeeep right field that threw out a runner at home. Gonna need a replay of that one.
  • Hatti SMOKED a triple in the fourth inning, the first of her collegiate career. She also contributed to the stat sheet with a run scored and an RBI.
  • Emma Raabe continued her stretch of good games, hitting her third home run of the year in the third inning that put the Tigers ahead for good. It was also her second HR in the past 5 days.

When I asked Coach about how great it was to see, she said, “It makes me feel so good for her and I’m so happy for her because she has been struggling, and seniors always want to go out on a high note. She’s just continued to battle and she’s one who will - you know - flip the lights on here late at night and take swings by herself just because she really, really wants it.”

  • The Tigers hit .379 overall (vs. 200 for SLU), and .333 with two outs. They also hit .500 with runners on (vs SLU’s .231), and .571 with runners in scoring position (vs SLU’s .182).
  • The Tigers ran the bases aggressively, and it paid off. Daly had a stolen base in the fourth that led to her advancing to their, and Chaumont scored on a throwing error. Moore scored on a bunt and was booking it on the basepaths. It was great to see for a team that was struggling to do much while on-base earlier in the season. #neverforget
  • The mood in the locker room is “excited,” according to Kim Wert. “We’re excited. I mean, obviously we were starting to just string hits together. So being able to finally add on and just keep pounding the runs and it’s awesome.”

What Didn’t

  • A couple of the Tigers were a bit iffy in the field Wednesday. Schumacher had some trouble cleanly fielding the ball on a few occasions, and she overthrew home on one of the plays, which led to a run in the fifth. Daly also had an unfortunate error (also in the fifth), which could have resulted in another run if not for some savvy playmaking by her teammates.
  • Mizzou’s pitchers allowed SLU to hit well from leadoff (.429), but Mizzou did as well (.500), something they’ll need to shore up by this weekend.
  • Schumacher did alright and did enough to get the win, but wasn’t overly sharp in this performance. Aside from the mishaps above, she also ran into some major trouble in the fifth where she loaded the bases several times and at one point walked in a run. It should be noted, out of those three runs, only one was earned.
  • On her starting pitcher, Anderson said she thought they got a “real good” outing out of Schumacher, “especially for only being her second start of the season.”

Karen’s Players of the Game

  • Brooke “The Record Breaker” Wilmes was again dynamic. Brooke was 2-for-4 on Wednesday, with 2 hits, a double, a run, 3 RBI, and - of course - a home run (in the third). She now has four-straight multi-hit games and is in the midst of an 8 game hit/RBI streak. In this stretch, she’s hit .556 with 3 doubles, 6 homers, 12 RBI and 13 runs.

Oh, and there this. [cheers wildly]

When asked about getting a lot of hits pull-side, Brooke told the media, “I think right now it’s just where the pitchers are pitching me. They had a scouting report out there to jam me inside but I’ve gotten to those balls really well recently.”

  • Jenna “The Motor” Laird was 2-for-3, and scored 2 runs to go with 2 hits, an RBI, and a walk.
  • Casidy “The Bionic Woman” Chaumont was 2-for-3 and had a handful of singles against SLU. She also scored a run.
  • Kim “The Softball Destroyer” Wert continued her torrid home run streak. While she was only 1-for-4 at the plate, that “one” was huge one, as she smashed a two-run homer, her 14th (check) of the year.

Aside from the Lucky Charms which she “did have after lunch today,” she credits her performance to simply swinging at better pitches. “I’m back to just having more fun,” she said. “ I was putting a little too much pressure on myself for sure. So it was like, ‘calm down. You’re fine. Let’s just have fun again.”

What Coach Had to Say

“I thought we had a great performance all the way around. Midweek game are always thought coming from obviously a high scoring Kentucky as their place and then having to play midweek after they have to spend the entire day in class. You have to be able to make that quick switch to come out and play competitively and I think that set the tone for the very beginning of great offensive production.”

“The reason our teams peak at the right time going into the postseason is because we are continually teaching. I don’t want them peaking in February-March. Because then we have to come down. So we are carrying that confidence and that momentum into the postseason… We’re starting to feel more comfortable, more confident.”

Up Next

“It’s Senior Weekend this weekend,” Brooke Wilmes reminded us. “And it’s absolutely flown by and I love the spot we’re in right now, as a team. I feel like weren’t really clicking on all levels, and we just go out and we’re playing for each other and that’s the best that we can do.”

Mizzou takes on red-hot Texas A&M in their final home series. Game One kicks off Friday at 6:30pm. I’ll have a preview in the next few days, and updates throughout the weekend at the games.

“Anybody in this conference can beat anybody on any day,” Coach reminded us. “So you can’t take anyone lightly at all. A&M took 2-of-3 from Alabama, and they were the best team in the country. So we need to focus on keeping Lee off the bases. That’s going to be the biggest thing because she’s one of the best hitters in the country. We have to be very strategic in our pitching to her. Offensively, we have to attack the pitching staff. They’re going to make a lot of changes throughout their bullpen to keep us off balance. So we have to be able to control that strike.”