Two high octane offenses meet. Only one gets to take the night off.
Warning: It’s not Mizzou.
With that, I present to you, perhaps the shortest recap of Karen’s softball writing career.
On a cloudy day in CoMo, the Tigers took the field at 1:45 with postseason darling Jordan Weber on the mound… but thanks to a 78 minute weather delay mid-third inning, it didn’t end til almost 5:30. The game featured two extra base hits total, as well as one ejected (assistant) coach— not one of ours.
So how did we get here, Tiger fans? Let’s recap quickly. There’s no need to spend too much time on this.
Only four Tigers got hits — only one went for extra bases — and just like we’ve been saying for the past week, the Tigers continued to have trouble stringing together meaningful offense. The Tigers’ offense consisted of singles by Jenna Laird, Brooke Wilmes and Alex Honnold, and a double by Kendyll Bailey. Add in walks by Casidy Chaumont and Emma Raabe, and that’s all the baserunners the Tigers could muster. Tragic, really.
The Tigers had a few chances. In the third was their best shot as Kara Daly and Emma Raabe worked walks and Jenna Laird hit a single to load the bases with one out. It was set up to be a perfect situation for Brooke “Doubles” Wilmes. However, she flied out to center and Kim Wert struck out — it was not her day — and the Tigers wasted their best opportunity to break the game wide open. Missouri had one more real shot in the sixth when they doubled their offensive output on a Wilmes single and a Bailey double off the LF wall, but two fly outs ended the inning. The Tigers would not get another baserunner.
Arizona, on the other hand, managed seven hits (six of which came from Mizzou starter Jordan Weber), and only one — the one that counted the most — led to two runs. The Wildcats’ starter, Hanah Bowen, working in her second game in less than 24 hours, likely had the best game of her career. She allowed only four hits, a day after allowing 10 to Illinois, and struck out six while walking two. She’s now thrown 244 pitches in less than 24 hours. Hats off to her. Oh, and the Wildcats got it done without the services of assistant coach Lauren Lappin, who was ejected early on after arguing with the umpires about UA players leaving the hitting box mid-at bat.
Missouri pitcher Jordan Weber was largely able to keep the Wildcats’ monster bats quiet and stay out of trouble as she worked around jams while peppering in six strikeouts (three looking) and stranding nine baserunners. It wasn’t until the fifth, after Weber had struck out the first two batters of the inning on nasty called third strikes, that the Cats attacked. After Pacho was hit by a pitch, Scupin launched her 18th home run of the year to center. Weber got out of the rest of the inning unscathed, and reliever Megan Schumacher took over in the sixth.
And now… we wait. The Tigers will face the winner of the Game 4 matchup, as Illinois and Missouri State just got started. Missouri State has chosen to go with Game 1 starter, Steffany Dickerson, while the Illini counter with Sydney Sickel, who lasted just 2.2 innings in her start last night.
While Game 5 was supposed to start at approximately 7:30pm, it will more than likely be 9pm before it kicks off. We’ll see you then for MIZZOU SOFTBALL: LATE NIGHT EDITION. The Tigers must win tonight or the season is over.
Side note: Hope they’ve already arranged for the lights to stay on.