Fans are encouraged to check MUTigers.com and the softball team's social media outlets, @MizzouSoftball and Facebook, for updates and information throughout the season.
Corpus Christi, Texas - The Auburn softball team split its first two games at the Grand Islanders Classic, defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-4 and losing to Kansas 11-10.
Auburn's record moved to 11-3 with the split. The Tigers will play Southern University at 9 a.m. and New Mexico at 11 a.m. Saturday.
"It's mixed feelings after today with a really tough loss but then a good rebound win after that," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "The first game against Kansas was back-and-forth just like the first game against them, but this time they got the big hits when they needed it. It was good to see them players bounce back a little in the second game, but we need to keep that going into tomorrow."
In game two, Morgan Estell drove in two runs while Branndi Melero and Kelsey Bogaards each drove in a run as Auburn defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-4 in five innings. The game was called due to darkness as TAMCC does not have lights.
Marcy Harper started and improved to 4-1. Harper allowed four runs, all earned, on five hits with one strikeout in four and two-thirds innings. Hilary Mavromat earned her second save, registering one out and allowing one hit.
Bethany Slick took the loss to fall to 1-1. Slick allowed six runs, four earned, on six hits with two walks in one and one-third innings.
Branndi Melero gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the top of the third inning. Tiffany Howard singled to open the third and quickly stole second base. With one out Melero doubled to the gap in right-center to score Howard.
The Tigers added to their lead in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Kelsey Bogaards singled to shallow right to score pinch-runner Kristyn Richards, who ran for Caitlin Schultze (walk), to give Auburn a 2-0 lead. After the second out of the inning, Morgan Estell singled to center to score Jade Rhodes, who pinch-ran for Austyn West (fielder's choice) and Bogaards to make it a 4-0 lead.
Melero then hit a chopper that second baseman Hayley Galloway fielded, but threw wildly to first for an error, which allowed Tiffany Howard (fielder's choice) and Estell to score, giving the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
The Islanders got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Meagan McKinney singled in the hole to shortstop driving in Dani Tefft (single) from third to make it 6-1.Valerie Perez followed with a double to right that scored Mickayla Cochran (fielder's choice) to cut the deficit to 6-2.
With runners at second and third, Mavromat was put in to pitch and gave up a single to center by Jamise Jackson which scored McKinney and Perez to make it a 6-4 game. That would be all the Islanders would score in the inning as Mavromat forced a ground out to end the inning.
At that point, the game was called complete due to darkness.
Florida Splits Two in California
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The Gator softball team kicked off day two of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with a 5-1 victory over Syracuse before falling short to No. 7 Missouri, 4-3, in a record 12 innings in Florida’s second game of the day at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex in Palm Springs.
After improving to 15-0 with the win over Syracuse, the Gators then took to the field in a 12-inning, three-hour thriller with SEC newcomer Missouri in a non-conference match-up, the longest game in UF’s history. Florida has played 11 innings three times in the history of the program, most recently against Tennessee May 3, 2008, a game the Gators won, 6-5. Florida fell just short, 4-3, in the bottom of the 12th against the Tigers on a Nicole Hudson RBI single to left center.
No. 5 Florida, 15-1 overall on the season, is now 3-1 against top-25 opponents this season and 1-1 in extra-innings games in 2013.
Sophomore hurler Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) got the day started off right for the Gators against Syracuse to improve to 4-0 in the circle, while fanning a career-tying nine batters, allowing just four hits and one run – a sac fly in the seventh – in the winning effort for the Orange and Blue.
Freshman leadoff Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) went 3-for-5 against Syracuse to lead the Gators at the plate, adding two RBI, while freshman Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) and sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) accounted for UF’s other two hits in game one.
Florida put up one run in the second and two each in the fourth and fifth innings to scatter the scoring against SU. Fuller drew a one-out walk for UF in the top of the second inning, moved to second on a Medina groundout and on to third after a Stewart base hit. The Gator utility player then crossed home after a Syracuse throwing error to third base during an attempted UF double-steal allowed Fuller to score anyway for the 1-0 Gator lead.
A Stewart one-out, two-RBI triple in the fourth inning accounted for the Gators’ two runs in the stanza, while Florida capitalized on another Syracuse defensive miscue in the fifth inning for their fourth run of the game and a Fuller RBI double plated the second and final run for the Gators in game one of UF’s Friday doubleheader.
Syracuse starting pitcher Stacy Kuwik (2-1) was charged the loss after giving up three runs and UF’s first two hits in the first 4.0 innings of play before being relieved by Lindsay Taylor for the final three.
In UF’s thriller against the Tigers, Missouri (8-0) jumped on top of the Gators, 2-0, in the bottom of the third on a solo homer from Sarah Moore before a Hudson RBI double drove in the second run of the inning for MU.
On swing of the bat from Florida senior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) evened things up, though, in the fourth when the Florida outfielder knocked a two-out, two-RBI base hit to left center with bases loaded to plate sophomores Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) who reached on a base hit and hit-by-pitch, respectively.
With the game knotted at two-all, the Gators opted to trade starting pitcher Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) for junior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) to switch up the look in the bottom of the fifth. Rogers fanned five batters in regulation to keep Missouri off the board and force extras.
Haeger finished the day in the circle with three strikeouts and two runs on four hits in 4.0 innings of work. In the opposing dugout, Tiger senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas (3-0) went the distance with 19 strikeouts through the 12-inning game.
With the international tie-breaker rules in effect, both teams started the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th innings with a runner on second base. In the top of the eighth, the Gators bunted Haeger over to third thanks to Rogers’ first career sac bunt, but Thomas halted any scoring opportunities with two-consecutive strikeouts.
In the bottom of the eighth frame, Rogers came up clutch for the Orange and Blue with the top of MU’s lineup due up. Leadoff hitter Jenna Marston started the game on second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. The Gators then opted to load the bags with intentional walks to Hudson and Kelsea Roth with one down to go after five-hole hitter Angela Randazzo. Rogers fanned Randazzo swinging and popped Emily Crane up to retire the side.
In the ninth, both squads went three up, three down and in the 10th, both Missouri and Florida opted to intentionally walk batters – Mizzou passing on Haeger in the top of the stanza and Florida issuing an intentional free pass to Hudson. Otherwise, same story different inning as both hurlers effectively retired the opposing side.
Florida first took a 3-2 lead in the 11th when Rogers scampered home from third after a junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) groundout moved her there from second, followed by a bobble from Genovese at short during Gammel’s at-bat that plated the Florida pitcher.
Missouri countered in the bottom of the inning when pinch runner Ashtin Stephens scored after being bunted to third and sent home on a Crane sacrifice fly to Stewart in shallow right field.
With the game knotted at three-all heading to the 12th, Thomas retired the Gators in order via two strikeouts and a groundout in the top of the inning before Mizzou loaded the bags in the bottom of the 12th with two outs on a Mackenzie Sykes double to right center, followed by an intentional walk for Marston and an infield single for Genovese. Next up, Hudson sent a 0-2 Rogers pitch to the left-center gap to plate the winning run from third.
Rogers (6-1) fanned a season-best nine batters in relief, and allowed two runs on four hits to wrap things up against the Tigers.
Haeger, Castro, Little, Tofft and Gammel accounted for UF’s five hits in game two against the Tigers, Gammel leading the way with her clutch two RBI. Hudson went 2-for-4 with two RBI for Missouri to lead the Tigers at the plate.
The Gators will be back at it Saturday with their fifth and final game of the classic slated for 12:30 p.m. (ET) against Georgia Tech.
Ole Miss Rallies for Win
OXFORD, Miss. – In a game Rebel Nation won’t soon forget, the Ole Miss softball team (6-8) showed its grit, determination and fight in a thrilling come-from-behind 9-8 victory over McNeese State on Friday night at the Red & Blue Classic.
With two outs on the board at the Ole Miss Softball Complex and the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, Lauren Lindsey hit a walk-off RBI single through the right side to give the Rebels the dramatic victory that saw them fight off a five-run deficit entering the bottom of the do-or-die inning.
“I’m really proud,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. “I think Loo (Lauren Lindsey) has done such a phenomenal job. All she has needed is at-bats and the more at-bats she gets the better she gets. I’m so happy for her because I know she wanted this moment.
“There’s never been a doubt to me one, how talented our team is, and two, how much they want to win,” Thees said. “It’s just about figuring out how to win. … We’re still figuring it out, but hopefully this win right here will catapult us to tomorrow and the next day.”
After tying the game in the bottom of the seventh, Ole Miss loaded the bases but couldn’t end the game in regulation and the two teams went to the eighth.
The Cowgirls (9-6) plated five runs in the top of the eighth, but the Rebels showed their resolve in the bottom of the inning by matching the Cowgirls run for run and never showing an ounce of quit.
“There was no let down; there were no thoughts in the dugout that we weren’t going to keep going up to bat,” Thees said. “Everybody had their helmets on (in the dugout) that was even in the lineup and they were ready to go up to bat and get a hit.”
Lindsey, who entered the game with a hit in each of her last five at-bats, seized her opportunity in the clutch situation.
“You always say, ‘Do what you can with the opportunity you’re given.’ I was given an opportunity, so I had to take it,” Lindsey said.
The Rebels dug themselves into a hole early in the game as McNeese State got on the board in the second inning with a solo home run to center field. The Cowgirls then stretched the lead to 3-0 with a two-run home run to left-center.
Thees then turned to senior pitcher Erinn Jayjohn, who threw a complete game shutout Wednesday night in a victory over Southern Miss, and the captain delivered by taking Ole Miss the rest of the way and earning her second victory in as many games.
“We’ve kind of been trying to figure out who we are still,” Jayjohn said. “Being able to come out of an 8-3 hole like that is huge, especially for us right now.”
Ole Miss pulled within two with a single to right field from junior first baseman Londen Ladner that scored Brittany Broome from second.
One inning later, the Rebels tacked another run on the board when sophomore third baseman Allison Brown hit a line drive at the pitcher. With no other play, Cowgirls pitcher Jamie Allred threw Brown out at first and freshman shortstop Halley Culley came home.
Brown tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single up the middle that scored Culley from second. The Rebels again loaded the bases later in the inning but could not drive any more home and the game went to extra innings.
After allowing five runs in the top of the eighth, Ole Miss regrouped in the bottom half of the inning with its back against the wall. With the international tie rule in effect due to tournament play, Marina Parra began the inning on second base. Bri Payne was hit by a pitch and Kelly Nolan hit a single to load the bases. Culley then earned an RBI walk to score Parra and cut the lead to four.
“Bri getting hit by that first pitch was huge for us,” Thees said. “It was just like, boom, we have two runners on, now we got three, now all of a sudden we’re just pecking away and pecking away.”
An RBI by Cantillo on a fielder’s choice cut the deficit further, and a wild pitch later in the inning scored Nolan from third base to make it a two-run game. Freshman Madi Osias reached on a fielding error and advanced to second base, scoring two runs to tie the game.
Lindsey put the final touch on the incredible rally with a two-out single through the right side that scored Osias from second base and gave Ole Miss the 9-8 victory. It was the first extra-inning game Ole Miss has played this year, and it was the Rebels’ first victory of the season when trailing after six innings.
Lindsey finished 3-5 with three singles and an RBI. Culley was 3-3 at the plate with three singles, two runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Jayjohn threw 5.1 innings, striking out two and picking up the victory.
Ole Miss will play two games Saturday, day two of the Red & Blue Classic. The Rebels will open with UT-Martin at 1:30 p.m. CT, and finish with Drake at 3:45 p.m. CT.
Bama Sweeps Two
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The top-ranked Alabama softball team opened the Easton Bama Bash Presented by Drash with two victories Friday at Rhoads Stadium. The Crimson Tide opened its home schedule with a convincing, 21-0 win over Western Illinois and then downed Iowa, 5-0, under the lights in the nightcap. After the pair of victories the Tide improves to a perfect 13-0 on the season.
The top-ranked Alabama softball team opened its home portion of the schedule with a program record, 21-0 victory, over Western Illinois, Friday afternoon. The outing was the largest winning margin in Alabama softball history as well as the most runs scored in a game. Alabama advances to 12-0 while the Leathernecks fall to 2-4 on the season and 0-2 in the Bama Bash tournament.
The offensive onslaught was led by freshman Haylie McCleney, who batted 3-for-3, with six RBI and four runs scored. The rookie was one of three Tide players to go deep in the contest. Junior Kaila Hunt added two hits, including a home run and four RBI while junior Jordan Patterson crushed her first career home run.
Leslie Jury improved to 4-0 after allowing just two hits in the five inning shutout. The sophomore struck out six and only walked one.
Alabama opened its home slate in impressive fashion as three first inning home runs powered the Tide to a nine-run opening frame. Hunt started the power-surge with a three-run homer and then junior Jordan Patterson crushed her first collegiate home run, a three-run shot over the wall in center before McCleney hit a two-run homer to cap off the inning.
The Tide tacked on four more in the second to push its advantage to 13-0. A single to center by Braud started the scoring and then back-to-back doubles by McCleney and Hunt increased the Alabama cushion.
Alabama closed out the game with a big inning in the fifth, putting up eight runs on five hits with six RBI. Sophomores Danielle Richard and Jadyn Spencer both doubled in the frame, adding to the Tide total of 18 RBI. Lauren Sewell got her first hit of the season with an RBI single. McCleney capped off the game with a two-run single.
Alabama continued to keep its opponents off the scoreboard as the Crimson Tide blanked the Iowa Hawkeyes, 5-0, in a wet nightcap, Friday at Rhoads Stadium.
Junior All-American Jackie Traina improved to 7-0 as she struck out six while allowing five hits in the shutout effort.
Traina and senior Kayla Braud collected two hits but it was the bottom of the Tide order that did most of the damage as freshman Leona Lafaele and senior Keima Davis also banged out two hits apiece.
In the second the Tide broke through with two outs. Davis drove home freshman Kallie Case with a sharp single through the right side.
UA added two more in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Traina laced a hard grounder off the first baseman to score McCleney from second and then pinch-runner Jordan Patterson scored on a dropped fly ball in right off the bat of sophomore Danae Hays.
Alabama made it 4-0 in the fourth when McCleney hit a high sac-fly to right that scored Davis from third.
The Tide wrapped up the game with its fifth and final run of the night. Braud found real estate in center to score Davis from second.
Day two of the Bama Bash will resume on Saturday with a total of four games. Alabama will open the its schedule against Iowa at 1:30 p.m. Winthrop and Iowa will meet at 11 a.m.
No Hitter Highlights Day for LSU
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Rachele Fico tossed her second career no-hitter as the No. 11 LSU softball team secured a 7-0 victory over Ohio State followed by a 6-1 win over UNLV Friday on day two of the Mary Nutter Classic at the Big League Dreams Complex.
LSU (13-1) has collected wins in 13 of its first 14 games to match the program's best start since the 2007 squad opened the season with an identical 13-1 record.
Fico worked around a pair of walks, a hit batter and an error to improve to 8-0 on the season. The senior right-hander picked up six strikeouts which enabled her to move past Dani Hofer (2006-09) into sole possession of fourth place on LSU's all-time list.
All nine starters notched hits as the Tigers racked up a season's best 14 hits versus Ohio State (7-4). A.J. Andrews, Jacee Blades, Bianka Bell and Sandra Simmons garnered multi-hit performances for LSU.
During the UNLV games, LSU scored all six of its runs with two outs. Rikki Alcaraz turned in a 3-for-3 performance with two RBIs. Her second RBI single of the game ignited a four-run sixth inning for the Tigers.
In the circle, Ashley Czechner sat down 12 of the final 14 batters she faced and moved to 2-0 for the season. She was touched up for one run on four hits and registered a season-high eight strikeouts versus five walks.
LSU faces off against No. 14 Arizona on day three of the Mary Nutter Classic. Saturday's first pitch is slated for 7 p.m. CT from the Big Leagues Dreams Complex in Palm Springs.
Every LSU softball game will have live stats available inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live. Fans also can follow every pitch of LSU softball via live in-game updates on LSU softball's social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and @lsusoftball on Twitter.
LSU's next home game will be Wednesday, March 13 versus Nicholls State with a 6 p.m. first pitch. Tickets can be purchased online at www.LSUtix.net or on-site starting at $5 for adult general admission and $3 for youth ages 3-12. Season tickets also are on-sale for $75 and additional ticket information is available at www.LSUtix.net.