The Missouri Tiger softball team saw their season come to an end on Saturday, as they were eliminated from the 2010 Women’s College World Series following a 5-0 loss to Florida. The Tigers go 0-2 in WCWS play, and finish the season with a 51-13 record.
Sophomore Kristin Nottelmann went five innings and allowed three runs on three hits, taking the loss to finish the season with a 24-9 record. Rhea Taylor led the offense, going 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk and a stolen base.
The Tigers looked to be in business right out of the gate, as a leadoff single and a stolen base by Rhea Taylor put a runner in scoring position with no outs. After a groundout, Nicole Hudson was hit by a pitch to put two on. However, Florida got out of the early jam when Ashley Fleming flew out to the right fielder, who threw out Taylor at third trying to tag.
Nottelmann worked herself out of trouble in the bottom of the first to keep the game scoreless. With one out, Michelle Moultrie laid down a perfect bunt single for Florida’s first hit. A wild pitch moved her to second, and she advanced to third on a groundout. Nottelmann hit the next batter, who then stole second to put two in scoring position with two outs. The Tiger righty regained control though, striking out designated player Brittany Schutte on a full count to end the inning.
Missouri had another great chance in the third, but again Florida’s Stephanie Brohmbacher worked out of it and kept the game at 0-0. With one out, Gina Schneider blooped a single just past the diving shortstop into short left field, and Taylor followed with a single on a drag bunt to put runners on first and second. A fielder’s choice kept runners at first and second, and a walk to Hudson loaded the bases. However, Brohmbacher got Fleming to strike out looking, stranding three Tiger runners.
Florida broke the scoreless tie in their half of he fourth inning with a two-run home run to center field by Schutte. Scoring on the play was Lauren Heil, who was pinch-running for Francesca Enea, who walked to start off the inning.
Mizzou once again had a chance with runners on base in the fifth, and once again came up short. Back-to-back infield singles by Taylor and Marston put runners on second and third, but once again Brohmbacher worked out of it, getting a pop out and a ground out to end the threat.
The Gators added another in the bottom of the fifth, when Kelsey Brudger belted a two-out solo home run off of the right field foul pole, pushing the Florida lead to 3-0.
Schutte increased the Florida lead to 4-0 after starting off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run. A sacrifice fly later in the inning made it 5-0.
Missouri’s 51 wins this season set a new school record, breaking last year’s 50-win total. Rhea Taylor set a new single season mark with a .452 batting average, breaking Karen Williams’ record of .429, which has stood since 2001.
Story courtesy of MUtigers.com.