Missouri rallies to edge Softball, 6-4
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The ninth-ranked Texas Softball team claimed an early lead, but allowed six runs in the fourth inning, as they fell to Missouri, 6-4, on a windy Saturday night at University Field. The loss dropped the Longhorns to 26-8 on the year and 2-2 in the Big 12, while Missouri improved to 26-17 overall and 2-0 in league play.
Missouri touched Texas' starter Meagan Denny (17-7) for six runs on seven hits, overcoming a 4-0 UT lead and knocking the Longhorns' ace from the game midway through the fourth inning.
Texas jumped out to an early lead, plating three runs on four hits in the first frame. Sophomore second baseman Shannon Thomas led off the game with an infield single to shortstop and advanced to second on stolen base. Freshman shortstop Loryn Johnson advanced Thomas with a single and moved to second on a Mizzou throwing error that scored Thomas from second.
Freshman designated player Tallie Thrasher followed Johnson with a double to right centerfield, scoring Johnson and pushing the Texas advantage to 2-0. Megan Willis moved Thrasher to third base with a single down the rightfield line, and Thrasher pushed the Texas edge to 3-0 when she came home on freshman centerfielder Kori Cook's bunt single.
Sophomore Crystal Saenz added to the UT advantage in the top of the third inning, blasting her first home run of the season -second of her career- down the leftfield, pushing the Texas lead to 4-0.
Missouri responded in the fourth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate, while rallying for six runs on six hits and claiming a 6-4 lead. A Missouri leadoff single through the middle by Micaela Minner started the rally and Tigers' pitcher Jen Bruck drew a one-out walk to advance Minner to second base. Kathy Masterson's single through the right side loaded the bases, and the next batter, Allison Kennewell reached on a fielder's choice to plate the Tigers first run.
Tigers' rightfielder Julie Silver followed with a two-run single, scoring Masterson and Bruck to narrow the Texas advantage to 4-3. Denny then fanned Leanne Bowers for the second out of the inning, but a two-run double by shortstop Andee Allen scored Silver and Kennewell, handing Mizzou a 5-4 lead.
Longhorns' freshman righthander Erin Tresselt replaced Denny with a runner on second and two outs in the fourth, but surrendered an RBI single to Renth on her first pitch. Tresselt allowed one more hit before inducing a Missouri groundout that ended the inning with Texas trailing 6-4.
Missouri's starter Jen Bruck (10-4) earned the victory for the Tigers, tossing 7.0 innings, scattering nine hits and surrendering four runs, while striking out eight Longhorns.
Thomas headlined the Texas offense on the night, going 3-for-4 with two stolen bases.
Texas returns to action Sunday, April 1 when it takes on Missouri at 1 p.m. Live stats of the series finale will be available on TexasSports.com