The Missouri Tigers were baffled for five innings against the Missouri Valley Conference pitcher of the year Tara Oltman, but in the late innings, Mizzou’s hitters figured her out and rallied for a 3-2 win in the bottom of the seventh in the opening round of the Missouri Regional softball tournament.
Katherine Lee hit a double to straight away center to score two runs after Tiger centerfielder Rhea Taylor singled. Pinch hitter Lisa Simmons led off the inning with a walk, one of five on the night for Oltman.
Missouri head coach Ehren Earleywine said he was disappointed his hitters didn’t adjust to Oltman earlier. The Tigers had just three hits through the first five innings. In the fifth, MU had runners on first and second with no outs and came away empty handed after Katherine Poet was doubled off first base on a very questionable call.
The Tigers scratched a run across in the sixth and had runners on second and third with no outs, but Oltman got two popups to the catcher and a strikeout to keep a 2-1 lead.
Creighton had a 2-0 lead scoring off MU starter Jana Hainey in the first four innings. Freshmen Amy Baker doubled to give Creighton second and third with one out as CU had three hits and two of them never went a foot and a half in front of the plate. Renae Sinkler reached on a ground ball that rolled right in front of the plate. She did a great job of hustling down the line. After Sinkler was on third after the double, she hustled down the line again on a bunt from Michelle Graner. Megan Christopher the MU catcher was just late in getting the tag down on Sinkler. CU would add another run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly.
Missouri will now play Illinois at 12:00 on Saturday. Creighton will play DePaul in an elimination game at 2:30.
Listen to Kristen Nottleman, Rhea Taylor and Catherine Lee.
Listen to head coach Ehren Earleywine