Mizzou Softball (29-27) opened its 2017 NCAA Eugene Regional on Friday evening, falling 7-2 to third-seeded Wisconsin. Following their loss, the Tigers now have their backs against the wall and will need to tally four consecutive victories over Saturday and Sunday to advance to Super Regional play.
Mizzou opened its night on a successful note, courtesy of an RBI ground out from senior Kirsten Mack (Riverside, Calif.). The Tiger catcher continues to produce over her solid NCAA postseason career, as she now possesses 14 RBI over 15 games played.
Senior RHP Cheyenne Baxter (Norborne, Mo.) cruised through her opening two frames in the circle, as the Tigers held a slim 1-0 advantage in the top of the third inning. Baxter looked primed for another scoreless frame, but a two-out error later opened the door for a Wisconsin two-run home run.
The Badgers’ first lead of the night was short lived however, as Mizzou quickly evened the score at two apiece in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore Regan Nash’s (Camden Point, Mo.) single led Mizzou to loading the bases with zero outs.
Freshman Braxton Burnside (Paragould, Ark.) recorded her team-leading 51st RBI of the year with a run-producing ground out, but the Tigers failed to muster further damage after that.
Wisconsin regained the lead two innings later with three runs in the fifth frame. The Badgers’ three-hole hitter tallied a two-run single to cap off their big turn at the plate. Mizzou’s bats struggled to find an answer after falling behind in the fifth, as Wisconsin’s starting pitcher retired 11 consecutive hitters to end the night.
Despite the loss, Nash extended her safely reached base streak to an impressive 20 straight games. It marked only the 20th time in Mizzou Softball history that a player had successfully reached base in 20-plus contests.
Freshman Cayla Kessinger’s (Saugus, Calif.) single in the opening inning extended her career high hitting streak to nine games.