No. 4 Softball falls, 3-2, in 13 innings at No. 15 Mizzou
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Jen Bruck's second double of the game brought in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning as the 15th-ranked Missouri Tigers defeated No. 4 Texas, 3-2, in Big 12 softball action at University Field on Saturday. After the Horns were ahead, 2-0, after four innings, the Tigers plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth and the two teams played seven scoreless innings before the game-winning run crossed the plate.
Missouri (32-7, 6-4) earned it fourth-straight win over Texas (31-7, 6-3). Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) took the loss to move to 18-4 on the season as she surrendered one run (unearned) on two hits in 7.1 innings of relief work, striking out 13 and walking one.
On the day, Texas out-hit Mizzou, 12-4, and stranded 14 runners on base to the Tigers' six. After two innings of standard extra-inning play in the seventh and eighth, the two teams moved to internation tie-break rules in to the top of the 10th inning, where the last batter of the previous inning is placed on second and the batting team has three outs to bring her home.
MicKayla Padilla (Cedar Park, Texas) went a career-best 3-for-6 and scored one run, and Wynter Turner (San Pedro, Calif.) went 2-for-5 with one run. Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) went 2-for-6 with one run batted in and Chez Sievers (Mission Viejo, Calif.) reached base five times in six at-bats, going 3-for-5 with a fielder's choice and a walk. She also added an RBI.
After Turner's single to open the third gave the Longhorns a leadoff runner for the third-straight inning, Texas finally took advantage and plated two runs in the frame. With one out and Turner on second, the Tigers tried to go to third and get Turner on Padilla's grounder, but the throw wasn't in time keeping both runners safe at the corners. Boutelle then stepped up and hit a single to left field to bring in Turner from third and give UT a quick 1-0 lead. Sievers put a ball deep in the hole on the left side of the infield and the Tigers' shortstop's effort to get Boutelle at second resulted in an error when the throw sailed over the second baseman's head, allowing Padilla to score from second.
Texas' Meagan Denny (Crowley, Texas) had a no-hitter through four innings until Bruck smacked a lead-off double in the fifth. After a UT fielding error put runners at first and third with no outs, Denny forced a left-side groundout and struck out Kendra Power for the second out to keep the Horns ahead, 2-0, but Sarah Stringer's two-out triple on an 0-2 pitch plated both runners and evened the score at 2-2. Osterman then entered the game and forced a groundout to end the inning.
The Longhorns threatened to regain the lead in the top of the seventh when Boutelle and Sievers connected for back-to-back two-out hits, but MU pitcher Erin Kalka struck out pinch hitter Christina Gwyn (Keller, Texas) to end the threat. In the bottom of the seventh, Heather Kunkle's line drive to center field with one out nicked the top of the outfield fence and dropped in fair for a double, giving the Tigers a chance to win the game, but Osterman struck out the last two batters to send the game into extra innings.
UT loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, the inning before the teams went into ITB. After Turner had another lead-off single and moved to second on a sacrifice, Kalka was pulled from the game in favor of Erica Peterson. Padilla, the first batter against the new hurler, bunt singled to put runners at the corners before Boutelle struck out for the second out. The Tigers then walked Sievers to get to Desiree Williams (Tucson, Ariz.), who popped up to end the inning and strand three runners on base.
The Longhorns once again threatened in the top of the 12th inning, as Sievers' two-out single to center sent Alexis Garcia (Covina, Calif.) in from second, but she was out at home on the throw from center field to end the inning.
Denny went 4.2 innings, allowing two runs (none earned) on two hits while striking out five, walking one and hitting one batter in the no decision.
Kalka threw her longest outing since returning from a broken leg at the start of the Big 12 season. She went 8.1 innings and left with a runner on base with no outs in the top of the ninth, after giving up two runs (one earned) on 10 hits while striking out seven, walking none and hitting one UT batter. Erica Peterson entered in relief to take the win, moving to 15-2 on the season after a 4.2 inning effort in which she gave up just two hits and struck out four while walking one.
The two teams return to the field at noon on Sunday, April 17, when they close out the regular-season series.