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March 9, 2012

Softball sweeps home opening double dip

The 12th-ranked Missouri Tigers opened up their home softball schedule in the DeMarini Invitational with a doubleheader at University Field in impressive fashion. The Tigers defeated the Alcorn State Braves 14-1 and the Boise State Broncos 8-0 in shortened games on Friday afternoon.

In the first game, the Braves opened up the scoring. Bianca Armstrong walked to lead-off, and Brittanee Crayton singled. A passed ball by Tiger catcher Rachel Hay allowed the runners to advance into scoring position. Rayanna Davis flew out to deep right, and Armstrong scored.

The Tigers added two runs of their own in the first inning. Ashley Fleming doubled in Jenna Marston and scored on the play after a throwing error by right fielder Chqueta Givens.

It was all Tigers from there as pitcher Kristin Nottlemann would settle into a bit of a groove, only allowing two more hits. She went five innings, allowing just three hits and two walks and just the one run in the first to move to 4-2 on the year.

Alcorn State's mistakes allowed Mizzou to push further ahead in the second. Mizzou plated Angela Randazzo and Rachel Hay thanks in part to an error by centerfielder Keia Hebert and a wild pitch by Kassandra Duncan.

Duncan struggled throughout the afternoon, going just three innings, allowing nine hits, seven earned runs and 10 runs total. The Braves also committed four errors on the day.

Mizzou would explode for five runs in the third, punctuated by a Nicole Hudson homer and doubles by Randazzo and Hay.

From there, the Tigers would cruise. They added five more runs to win by the final margin of 14-1 in five innings. Thirteen Tigers would see action on the day.

"I try to play as many kids as I can," Head Coach Ehren Earleywine said.

The Tigers started the second game hot with ace Chelsea Thomas on the mound. Ashley Flemming homered in Corrin Genovese. Randazzo would knock in Hudson later in the inning, as the Tigers would take a quick 3-0 lead.

"With Chelsea [Thomas] pitching, we just got to get her a couple runs and we're set," first baseman Kelsea Roth said.

Indeed. Thomas allowed only a single leadoff hit to Tara Glover on the afternoon. She pitched five scoreless innings, recording eight strike outs using a variety of pitches.

"I just try to keep things mixed up," Thomas said.

The tigers would add two runs in the third inning after Kelsea Roth homered in Ashley Flemming.

In the fifth, Roth would add to her strong day with a single and a run.

Roth, a freshman from Yorba Linda, Calif., went 4-6 on the double-header, with two RBIs and four runs.

"[I] just play the game that I have played for awhile," Roth said.

The game would end later in the inning in much the same way it started. Lindsay Muller hit a walk-off, two-run home run to send home Nicole Hudson and force the eight run rule.

Mizzou now stands 12-3 on the year. They continue play in the DeMarini Invitational with 12:30 and 3:00 games against Alcorn State and Boise State, respectively.

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