COLUMBIA, Mo. – The No. 11 Mizzou softball team split its doubleheader against Western Kentucky on Wednesday at University Field, running away with a 7-1 result in the second game of the day. The Tigers were led in the doubleheader with two-hit outings from both sophomore SS Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.) and senior catcher Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.). Senior Nicole Hudson (Webb, City, Mo.), the all-time program leader with 135 walks, set a career-best for walks in a season with her 36th of 2013, passing her previous best of 35 from last season.
Mizzou moved to 27-8 overall with the day’s results, while Western Kentucky went to 32-14 overall.
An initial infield single from Genovese was batted around by the Tigers for a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning and a lead Mizzou would not yield. Freshman 2B Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) walked to leadoff the second and was hit in by Marston to put Mizzou up 2-0.
The Tigers put two runs and three runs on the Lady Toppers in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. Walks earned by sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and junior OF Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.) eventually scored with pinch runners in the fifth for a 4-0 lead.
Sykes was back in the sixth with an RBI double to right center that brought in Marston. Redshirt freshman OF Carlie Rose (Nixa, Mo.) kept it going with a two-run single up the middle, scoring Sykes and Roth, to set the score at 7-0. Western Kentucky would add a single run in the final frame to set the final score of 7-1 to Mizzou.
In game one action, the Tigers dropped a 1-0 result to the Lady Toppers. Mizzou outhit WKU 4-3, but an error resulted in the single run that scored for the opposing team. Several missed opportunities occurred with nine runners left on base for Mizzou.
Hudson and fellow senior Lindsey Muller (Stilwell, Kan.) combined to pitch 4.0 and 3.0 innings, respectively, of both games of the doubleheader. Hudson pitched to both decisions, splitting the games to add to her 7-3 record, while Muller earned the save in the second contest.
Mizzou is next away at SEC foe Kentucky from Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28 at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Friday's series opener begins at 5 p.m. CDT., before a Saturday contest set at noon. The Sunday, April 28, series finale at noon will be televised live by Fox Sports South.
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.
Cumbess' Game Winner Leads Kentucky Past Louisville
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior infielder Lauren Cumbess recorded her 21st multi-hit game of the season, including a walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning, while freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw her 16th complete game of the year, allowing just one run with three strikeouts, en route to the No. 19 University of Kentucky softball team defeating in-state foe No. 7 Louisville on Wednesday at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky.
After Kentucky (35-14) scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and Louisville posted a leadoff home run in top of the seventh inning to tie the game, the Wildcats rallied in the bottom of the seventh to claim the win. Freshman outfielder Sylver Samuel started the rally with an infield single before back-to-back walks to sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner and freshman infielder Nikki Sagermann to load the bases. That brought up Cumbess, who hit a grounder deep in the hole on the left side of the infield, scoring Samuel and giving Kentucky the victory.
Cumbess led Kentucky offensively with a 2-for-4 night with the lone UK RBI. The native of Normal, Ill., has now hit safely in 14 of her last 15 games. For the season, Cumbess is hitting .363 (58-for-160) with 12 doubles, 11 home runs and 38 RBI. Senior Alice O’Brien and junior Ginny Carroll also had multi-hit games with O’Brien going 2-for-3 with a double, while Carroll was 2-for-2 with two singles. Freshman Christian Stokes and Samuel each had singles.
Nunley was terrific in the circle for Kentucky, throwing a complete game, allowing one earned run on seven hits with three strikeouts. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., is now 21-6 on the year with a 2.04 ERA, throwing 192.0 innings pitched with 146 strikeouts – which is seventh most in school history in a single season.
The win for Kentucky marked its sixth over a ranked foe this season and its third over a top-10 team this season. In the six-year tenure of head coach Rachel Lawson, the Wildcats have now defeated 37 top-25 teams and 22 top-15 teams. UK started the year with a win over No. 3 California while it has also defeated No. 3 Florida, No. 16 Washington, No. 20 Stanford and No. 25 North Carolina.
Louisville (42-7) started junior pitcher Rachel La Coq in the circle with the hurler throwing six strong innings allowing one run on seven hits with one strikeout. La Coq was replaced by junior Caralisa Connell to start the seventh inning. Connell record an out to start the inning before allowing a single and back-to-back walks to load the bases. Louisville then brought La Coq back into the game to pitch with the junior giving up the game-winning hit to Cumbess. Connell picked up the loss moving to 25-3 on the year.
Offensively, Louisville was led by senior Alicja Wolny, who went 2-for-3 with a double, while junior Tanner Fowler went 1-for-3 with a solo home run. Senior outfielder Jordan Trimble went 2-for-4 in the game, while junior Katie Keller and senior Katelyn Mann each had singles.
Louisville still leads the all-time series against Kentucky 18-14, including a 9-7 edge in the series in games played in Lexington. Kentucky’s win Wednesday snapped a four-game winning streak for the Cardinals in the series. UK and U of L met three times last season with the Cardinals earning one-run wins in all three games. The final meeting was an NCAA Regional elimination game in Louisville with the Cardinals posting a 3-2 victory. U of L leads the all-time series in games played in Louisville 9-7. UK has played more games against Louisville than any other non-SEC team in school history.
This was the second meeting of the year between the two teams with Louisville earning a 5-1 victory at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville, Ky., back on April 3.
Kentucky will now turn its attention back to Southeastern Conference action as it hosts a three-game series against highly ranked Missouri this weekend. Friday and Sunday’s game will also be televised on the UK/IMG Sports Network to the Fox Sports South footprint.
The Wildcats scored first in the game getting a run on a wild pitch. After two quick outs to start the top of the sixth, La Coq gave up back-to-back singles to O’Brien and Carroll to put runners on second and third for pinch hitter Ansley Smith, who got hit with a pitch to load the bases. During the at-bat of pinch hitter Maisie Steed, La Coq threw a wild pitch, scoring a run to give UK a 1-0 lead.
The lead for Kentucky was brief as Fowler launched a leadoff home run to start the top of the seventh inning to tie the game 1-1. The Cardinals eventually loaded the bases in the inning before Nunley got junior Maggie Ruckenbrod to fly out to Stokes, who made a great play on a Texas-leaguer pop up to end the inning.
The Wildcats rallied to clinch the win in the bottom of the seventh against Connell. After a one-out single by Samuel and back-to-back walks to load the bases, Cumbess placed a seeing-eye single deep in the hole on the left side of the infield to give UK the win.
For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Becker's Complete Game Shutout Leads Mississippi State to Win
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Senior left-hander Stephanie Becker pitched her second-straight complete-game shutout at home as the Mississippi State softball team (31-16) defeated Mississippi Valley State (18-27), 1-0, on an unusually chilly Wednesday night at the MSU Softball Stadium. With the win, MSU Head Coach Vann Stuedeman improved to a perfect 13-0 against in-state opponents during her tenure in Starkville.
“It was a great outing by Stephanie Becker,” Stuedeman said.
“Mississippi Valley always plays us a great game. We knew we were going to have to need some good pitching to quiet their bats.”
Becker was dominant in her circle, shutting out the Devilettes for her third complete-game scoreboard blanking of the season. The southpaw yielded only three hits and tied a career high with 13 strikeouts and zero walks. Valley’s Alicia Lorenz suffered the loss, dropping to 9-15 on the year.
State’s only run of the game came on an RBI single by senior right fielder Jessica Cooley (1-for-2) in the third inning. The game-winning run was scored by freshman Loryn Nichols, who tied a career high with two hits and was surprised during the game by her parents, who flew from California Wednesday afternoon to watch the speedy center fielder win the game.
The win continued Stuedeman’s non-conference dominance the last two seasons. Starkville’s skipper won her 37th non-SEC game in her last 44 tries Wednesday, improving her non-conference mark to 24-5 this season.
Up next for the Maroon and White is a critical three-game conference clash against South Carolina, in a battle which will help determine who makes the SEC Tournament next month. The Bulldogs host the Gamecocks Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission is free, but for those who cannot attend, free live audio as well as video will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).
For live in-game updates of the series, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB. For pictures, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB and visit the team's Instagram account at MStateSB. For pregame and postgame video, check out MSU's official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/HailState.
South Carolina Sweeps Charlotte
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Gamecocks (26-20) broke out with seven runs in the sixth, ending game one of the doubleheader against Charlotte (20-23) early in a 10-2 victory at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Sophomore centerfielder Kristen Struett went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI in the win, while freshman pinch hitter Ansley Ard went 2-for-2 with a double, a run and an RBI. Junior third baseman Codee Yeske went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a grand slam.
The first Gamecock run scored thanks to a Charlotte miscue. The pinch hitter Ard drove one to the wall in left, and a fumble of the ball by the Charlotte defender let Struett score. South Carolina loaded the bases for Yeske, who launched one over the left-field wall for the first grand slam in Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field history to make it 8-2. With two down, freshman Jordan Bizzell tallied her first collegiate hit through the left side, and junior right fielder Chelsea Hawkins followed with one off the glove of the diving 49er shortstop. Struett singled off the third baseman’s glove, bring Ard back up for the second time. She hit one into the hole at short, and the throw to third was late and wide, allowing two runs to score to close the game at 10-2.
Struett got the Gamecocks on the board in the first with a two-out RBI single, scoring junior second baseman Dana Hathorn after she got hit by a pitch with two down and moved to second on Hawkins’ walk. The lead grew to 3-2 in the second on senior shortstop Samie Garcia’s RBI base hit and Hathorn’s sacrifice fly. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Julie Sarratt started the inning with a single, and junior pinch runner Brooke Barnhill stole second before scoring on Garcia’s single. Hathorn plated Yeske after she reached on a fielder’s choice.
The 49ers cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth with their own two-out rally. Chelsea Ingersoll singled and Samantha Slade walked ahead of Jessica Plemmons, who sent one to the right-center gap to score both. Plemmons stumbled around first and had to retreat, and Sarratt got a foul out to squelch the threat.
Sarratt (9-5) went the distance in the win, striking out six while giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks. Katie Watkins (12-14) took the loss for Charlotte, allowing eight earned runs on six hits and five walks in five innings.
A four-hit shutout for redshirt senior Audrey Broyles sent South Carolina (27-20) to a 5-0 win over Charlotte (20-24) on Wednesday evening in front of 878 fans at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field, clinching the Gamecocks’ first winning season under head coach Beverly Smith.
Broyles (8-8) pitched a masterful game in her second shutout of the year, striking out a season-best seven batters in the process. She got help from her battery-mate and fellow senior Shelby Gonzales, who went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI.
A one-out rally in the first gave the Gamecocks the lead. Freshman left fielder Alaynie Page singled, and junior second baseman Dana Hathorn got plunked for the 21st time this year. A fielding error loaded the bases, but the 49ers got a force at home for the second out. Sophomore designated player Olivia Lawrence stepped up and singled to right, scoring two to make it 2-0.
South Carolina doubled the lead in the third, with Gonzales driving in both runs with her bases-loaded single up the middle. That scored sophomore centerfielder Kristen Struett, who had a one-out double, and freshman Ansley Ard, who pinch-ran for Lawrence after she drew a walk. Gonzales made it 5-0 with a shot out to left, her fourth homer of the year, to start the fifth.
Chelsea Lisikatos (6-9) took the loss for the 49ers, giving up five runs, three earned, on eight hits and three walks in six innings. She struck out two. Alex Rogers had two of Charlotte’s four hits.
For the Gamecocks, they clinch their first winning regular season under head coach Beverly Smith with the doubleheader sweep of Charlotte, and it’s the first winning season since 2007 for South Carolina softball. Broyles’ win moves her into 11th all-time on the career charts with 34. The seven innings gives her eighth on the program listings, passing Sky Brown.
The Gamecocks travel to the Magnolia State to take on Mississippi State in a three-game series this weekend. Live audio and Gametracker live stats will be available on GamecocksOnline.com.
Georgia Falls to Georgia State
ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 23 University of Georgia softball team fell to the Georgia State Panthers 10-7 on Wednesday evening at the Jack Turner Stadium. The Bulldogs moved to 34-16 on the season as Georgia State improved to 33-16.
Chelsea Wilkinson (5-3) got the start and suffered the loss for Georgia after throwing 4 1/3 innings, which included two hits, three runs and eight strikeouts. Morgan Montemayor also saw time in the circle for Georgia, pitching 3 2/3 innings for two strikeouts, eight hits and seven runs, three of which were earned.
Katie Worley (13-9) recorded the win for the Panthers after pitching six innings with three hits, two runs and five strikeouts. Kaitlyn Medlam started the game for the Panthers and threw two innings, allowing five hits, five runs and no strikeouts.
In the second inning, Katie Browne hit a two-out home run over the left field wall to put Georgia up 1-0.
The Panthers went up 2-1 in the top of the third inning, when Brenna Morrissey and Callie Alford were driven in by a pair of singles. A pop fly to second base ended the inning before Georgia State could add more runs to the board.
The Bulldogs took the lead back, 3-2, in the bottom of the third, after Kaylee Puailoa hit a two-run double off the right field wall to bring home Niaja Griffin and Paige Wilson, who reached on a walk and single, respectively. After Puailoa’s hit, the Panthers called the bullpen and brought Worley to the circle. Georgia increased its advantage to 4-2 when Tess Sito drove in Tiesha Reed, who was pinch running for Geri Ann Glasco, off of a fly out to left field. Maya Branch crossed home and stretched Georgia’s lead to 5-2 when the catcher threw down to second trying to catch Anna Swafford as she stole second base.
Georgia State tied the game, 5-5, in the fourth inning when Phillips, Taylor Anderson and Jessica Clifton all crossed home. Phillips came home off of a fielder’s choice, while Anderson and Clifton both crossed off of wild pitches.
Wilkinson reentered the game in the sixth inning just before the Panthers took the lead again in the sixth inning after Alford hit a two-run homer over the right field wall.
In the bottom of the sixth, Glasco hit a bases-clearing double to drive in Samantha LaZear and Griffin and tie the score at 7-7. LaZear reached on a single and Griffin took her base on a fielder’s choice.
Wilkinson retired the side in the top of the seventh to keep the score tied at 7-7. The Bulldogs were unable to score in the bottom of the seventh, which sent the game into extra innings.
The Panthers went up 10-7 in the eighth when Lauren Coleman hit a two-run homerun and Bethany Horne hit a double that brought in Ashley Christy. Georgia was retired in order in the bottom of the eighth, sealing the win for Georgia State.
The Bulldogs return to action on Friday, April 26 when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the No. 2/3 Florida Gators at 5 p.m., in the first of a three game series. Georgia will return home to close out the regular season with a series against LSU May 3-5.