Missouri’s wild second inning highlights 10-2 victory over Drake

Laurin Krings earned her fourth win of the season as the Tigers won in five innings against the Bulldogs.

The gloomy day ended early for Missouri softball, which won 10-2 against Drake in a 5-inning affair.

Set to play two games Sunday, the Tigers just played one because of the weather. The conditions gave the ball some slips and skids that could have decided the game had it not been for the dominance of Missouri’s pitching and offense.

The first chaotic play occurred in the bottom of the second inning when freshman shortstop Jenna Laird laid down a first-pitch bunt along the first base line. With runners on first and third, the slow rolling ball should have been an easy out at first base.

But the pitcher and first baseman met 15 feet from home plate, with no one covering first. Senior catcher Hatti Moore jogged home as freshman pitcher Emma Richards barehanded the ball and threw it right over Laird’s shoulder into right field.

In the light rain and on the slick field, the ball slipped past junior right fielder Alexia Lara. Freshman designated player Alex Honnold scored from first and Laird advanced to third. Laird rounded third to score, but Lara threw home and beat Laird by four strides.

Laird took four steps to slow her momentum and then reversed back to third, but by then it was too late. Rigby threw to third and put away Laird to register the first out of the inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, facing a run-rule finish, the weather finally played to the Bulldogs’ advantage.

The rain started to come down harder as freshman pitcher Laurin Krings prepared to finish a complete game shutout, but she walked the first batter of the inning on five pitches.

As the rain continued to pour, the Tigers’ fortunes reversed in the fifth inning.

After walking her first batter and missing the zone badly against the second, senior center fielder Macy Johnson’s infield single drove in the Bulldogs’ first run. After Krings walked another batter, coach Larissa Anderson decided to bring in sophomore pitcher Emma Nichols to finish the game.

Nichols started off her fifth inning with a leadoff walk, as well as a wild pitch that advanced senior Libby Ryan to third and Johnson to second. With the bases loaded, Nichols threw her second wild pitch, which allowed Ryan to score and keep the game going.

Had it not been for another strong showing from the Missouri offense in the fourth inning, the weather likely would have been a greater factor.

Other than the fifth-inning struggles, Missouri’s pitchers threw well. Krings shut down the Bulldogs in the first two innings, striking out four batters and allowing only one hit. The Tigers gave up just three hits, all to Johnson, in five innings.

The Tiger offense put together a quality fourth inning, generating five runs in a complete team effort. Missouri started the inning with three textbook singles: keeping their hands inside the ball to drive it to center and right. With the bases loaded, second baseman Kendyll Bailey walked on four pitches to drive in the first run of the inning.

With the rally started, Missouri added another run on an error by the Bulldogs, then three runs on a double from freshman outfielder Chantice Phillips.

The Tigers won the game on a two-run single by redshirt junior right fielder Casidy Chaumont.

Edited by Kyle Pinnell | kpinnell@themaneater.com

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