No. 17 Mizzou Softball (1-1) opened its 2017 campaign on Friday with a doubleheader split against No. 14 James Madison and Charleston Southern. James Madison silenced the Tigers in game one, earning a 6-0 shutout triumph. Mizzou rebounded nicely in game two, delivering a comeback 4-3 win against the host Buccaneers.
Both starting pitchers cruised through two innings of play, regularly getting weak contact off the hitters’ bats. James Madison finally broke through in the bottom half of the third, scoring a pair of runs on four hits.
Reigning NFCA First Team All-American pitcher, Megan Good, continued to stymie Mizzou’s bats through the opening half of the game. The Tigers put runners in scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings, but failed to muster a run-producing hit.
Freshman Gabby Garrison (Missouri City, Texas) tallied her first collegiate hit and stolen base in the fifth inning, providing Mizzou’s top scoring opportunity.
The Dukes held a slim two-run lead heading to the bottom half of the fifth, but posted four crucial runs to extend their advantage. James Madison’s cleanup hitter capped the big frame with a three-run home run off Mizzou’s Norman.
Megan Good continued her dominant outing in the circle in the final two innings, accumulating two more strikeouts. The Dukes’ impressive hurler finished the day with 7.0 shutout innings, two hits allowed and 10 strikeouts.
Sophomore Regan Nash (Camden Point, Mo.) delivered Mizzou’s only other hit with a single in the fourth. The speedy Tiger joined Garrison with a stolen base on the day.
Freshman Braxton Burnside (Paragould, Ark.) produced Mizzou’s first overall run of Friday’s doubleheader with a first inning RBI double. The host Buccaneers quickly answered in the bottom half, slamming a solo home run to left-center.
Freshman Parker Conrad (Winter Park, Fla.) quickly rebounded in the circle for the Tigers, delivering two consecutive scoreless frames with three strikeouts. Mizzou regained a slim lead in the fourth inning, as sophomore Rylee Pierce (Visalia, Calif.) delivered an RBI single. Pierce finished game two with her first multi-hit effort of the young season.
Charleston Southern responded in the bottom half, smashing its second home run of the game. The back and forth ballgame continued in the fifth inning as the Tigers once again evened the score. Following a leadoff double from senior Kirsten Mack (Riverside, Calif.), redshirt freshman Jolie Duffner (Jefferson City, Mo.) tallied her first career RBI with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Redshirt sophomore Madi Norman (Tipton, Mo.) entered in relief for Conrad in the fourth and produced 3.1 shutout innings to lock down the Buccaneers lineup. Norman’s stellar work in the circle paved the way for Mizzou’s first comeback win of the year.
In the seventh inning, Mack posted her second consecutive double and later scored the game-winning run on a pinch-hit RBI double by senior Natalie Fleming (Silex, Mo.).
Sophomore Kolby Romaine (Chino Hills, Calif.) was one of three Tigers with multi-hit efforts against Charleston Southern on Friday afternoon. The starting Tiger second basemen joined Mack with a pair of doubles apiece in game two.
The Tigers continue their weekend stretch at the CSU Tournament with two more games on Saturday, Feb. 11. Similar to today’s schedule, Mizzou will once again face No. 14 James Madison and tournament host Charleston Southern tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. (CT) and 12 p.m. (CT), respectively.