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Mizzou’s Revenge is a Dish Best Served… Late and with Errors

Behind a dominating performance by Laurin Krings, the Tigers got the win and advance to the Semis | Mizzou Links for Friday, May 13

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The Sweetest Revenge

Well, this was delicious, wasn’t it? Game 3 last weekend against Alabama ruined by an un-reviewable call and today the game ends… after a review.

Mizzou Softball twitter certainly agreed.

And Coach Anderson, in the postgame presser:

You know, the biggest thing about that Alabama series, and it’s really any game, I want them to have an opportunity to win every single ballgame. I want it to be decided on the field. I don’t want it to be decided to become because of a missed call because of a missed opportunity. I want the players to be able to make the plays in order to have an opportunity to win. So losing the way that we did and who knows if we would have won or lost. It wasn’t coming down to the accurate color on the field and that’s really all I want for them because then they know they think trust the process and they’re going to go out and have a great time and compete

Facing All-American Montana Fouts again for the fourth time in as many meetings, I wasn’t expecting the Tigers to be able to do much of anything, and really, they didn’t. Regardless of whether or not Fouts has shown herself to be more of a mortal these days, especially in later innings, she has all these accolades and awards for a reason. She really is that good. In her own complete game effort on Thursday, she struck out 5 Tigers, but also was peppered with 5 hits and a walk. It actually was some errors, however, that would be the Tide’s undoing, and ultimately what handed Fouts the loss. This was Alabama’s first loss in the opening round of the SEC Tournament since 1999. Wild, right?

So how did we get here? Let’s recap.

First off, for the second day in a row, the first game of the the day went reallllllllly late. Like, almost the length of an entire extra game (there were 13 innings of 0-0 ball) / two hours late.

While the Tigers struck first in this one, it took them a bit to actually get a run across successfully, as runners were thrown out at the plate on multiple occasions. It should be said, the outs were not the result of poor base-running decisions; I actually very much agreed with their play-calling. The Tigers were aggressive and in both cases, perfect throws were executed, ultimately keeping the runs off the board. In the first inning, Jenna Laird led off with a single and Brooke Wilmes, batting third in the order, singled into right to put runners on the corners with one out. However, Laird was thrown out at the plate after Kendyll Bailey’s infield grounder to short, and Alex Honnold grounded out to end the inning, stranding two.

On the Tide’s side, they ran into an utterly dominant Laurin Krings. Alabama’s game plan appeared to be swinging at the first pitch they saw, and while it seemed like it was working — they did get their first two runners aboard — a double play ended the inning rapidly and Krings had thrown a whole four pitches.

The Tigers went down in order in the second thru fifth innings, and Alabama didn’t have much better luck, stranding a single runner in scoring position in the second and fourth innings, but Specs had everything working and kept runs off the board.

In the sixth inning, offensive star of the game Jenna Laird led off with a standup double after smashing a liner up the middle before Kim Wert was intentionally walked and replaced on 1B by Maddie Snider. Brooke Wilmes then reached on an error by Fouts (she didn’t get a glove down on a ball to her), loading the bases for Kendyll Bailey, who smashed the first pitch she saw to deeeeeep left center for a sac fly, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead. While that was all the runs Mizzou actually needed, they likely thought it best to get some insurance. After a Wilmes steal, Alex Honnold’s fielder’s choice resulted in a runner at first, but also an out at the plate. Kara Daly came up with runners on the corners and seeing red after previously being called out on a very questionable strike in her last AB, and lined a single up the middle to make it 2-0. A heavily bobbled and dropped routine pop-up by Casidy Chaumont added another run.

With a 3-0 lead, and a little help from her friends, Krings shut down the Alabama bats to pick up a complete game shutout, the second in as many days. You love to see it.

And you love to see THIS. Damn, KB. This, combined with the review at first to get the final out, sent the game out in dramatic yet awesome fashion.

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y

Stat Lines

Missouri Offense: 3 R | 5 H | 2 RBI | 1 BB | 5 K | 5 LOB

Krings’ stats: 7 IP | 5 H | 0 R | 0 BB | 3 SO | 25 BF | 84 pitches

Alabama Offense: 0 R | 5 H | 3 K | 4 LOB

Fouts’ stats: 7 IP | 5 H | 3 R | 1 ER | 1 BB | 5 SO | 29 BF | 119 pitches

What Went Well

  • Missouri only struck out five times in this one against a strikeout dominant pitcher. Pretty incredible, especially considering they struck out 11 times yesterday, and 14 times the last time they faced Ms Fouts.

On the team’s familiarity with Montana now that they’ve faced her a lot (lucky them!):

“When you feel that confidence and you’ve seen someone (Fouts) at their best, then you know what adjustments you have to make to be able to capitalize, and they did that from the very beginning. I mean, we we’re not having a lot of swings and misses. And when I watch our team offensively and we’re not chasing the ball and we’re not swinging and missing. Then I know we have an opportunity to be able to square some balls up.”

  • This is the second year in a row that the Tigers have reached the SEC Tourney semifinals. Last year, they lost to Florida in the semis. Fun fact, thanks to Paul: five of Mizzou’s six SEC Tournament wins have been shutouts.
  • That defense!!! MY GOD. (heart eyes emojis)
  • Jenna Laird accounted for the Tigers’ excellent lead off BA of .285. Way to go, Jenna! The Tide’s, however, was even better (.429). They came after Krings inning after inning, and were 3-of-7. But, it didn’t matter because time and time again, Specs worked around it and fans were not really worried.

What Didn’t (I’m getting nitpicky)

  • It took the Tigers a bit to get anything manufactured in this one and I was afraid we were going to have another 0-0 game for the ages on our hands.
  • Four of the Tigers’ five strikeouts were looking… though that Kara Daly one was super suspect.
  • Despite the Tigers getting the same number of hits as the Tide, both batting averages were very bad (.208 for UA vs. .182 for MU)

Karen’s Players of the Game

  • Laurin Krings. I have no notes. She was so so good on Thursday. She didn’t walk anyone!
  • Jenna Laird went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a run scored. She also had a multi-hit game Wednesday, for those keeping track.
  • Kara Daly’s clutch two-out RBI single added some insurance runs and she rebounded nicely from to earlier strikeouts.
  • Kendyll Bailey, defensive juggernaut. She was a regular Casidy Chaumont of the infield on Thursday. That girl was everywhere. Pulling double plays. Catching foul balls while running into umpires.

Up Next

The Tigers will take on the Lady Vols in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament today at 2pm. You can check it out on SEC Network. Hopefully, Tennessee will be super tired after their eventual victory and leave them unable to perform on Friday. Hey, we can hope, right?

“We’re here to win championships,” Coach said. “I mean, that’s what we set out to do and, and we’re gonna fight like crazy to give ourselves an opportunity…. I would much rather continue to advance in playoffs. I wouldn’t want to win three game series and come out here and be one and done.”

On to the links!


Yesterday at Rock M


More Links:

Hoops

  • Here’s what Coach had to say about Diarra, who signed two days ago.

Diamond Sports

Other Mizzou Sports

Football/NIL

  • This is tough.

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