MU Softball picks up win over Kansas City

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The No. 25/23 University of Missouri softball team (16-6) picked up an 11-5 midweek victory over in-state foe Kansas City (5-14) Wednesday in its 2023 home opener at Mizzou Softball Stadium. 

Freshman Cierra Harrison retired the first 12 batters she faced in the first home start of her collegiate career, punching out four in five innings of work to earn the win and improve to 5-0 in 2023. She allowed just one run on two hits with a walk. 

After a 1-2-3 top half of the first, the Tiger bats got right to work in the bottom of the frame. Junior left fielder Chantice Phillips hit a three-run jack, the first in her career at Mizzou, to left center after the Tigers’ plate discipline put runners on the corner. 

From there, junior shortstop Jenna Laird’s savvy baserunning and clutch hitting increased the Mizzou lead to 4-0. After drawing her second walk of the game, Laird went first to third on a single from sophomore second baseman Julia Crenshaw. During the next at bat, Crenshaw went for a delayed steal of second, allowing Laird to steal home.

In the fourth inning, Laird took first and advanced to second on a throwing error, before speeding 60 feet to third on a wild pitch. From there, all she needed was a ground ball from Crenshaw to cross the plate for the Tigers’ fifth run.

Laird drove in a pair of runs as well, bringing home two Tigers with a two-out single up the middle in the home half of the fifth.

Kansas City battled back with a late rally in the sixth inning, scoring four runs to draw the game within two. With the tying run on base, freshman Taylor Pannell stepped into the circle and punched out two Roos to prevent further damage.

The Tigers answered with four runs of their own to provide insurance in the bottom of the sixth. Phillips picked up her career-best fourth RBI of the game to bring home sophomore third baseman Kara Daly. Junior right fielder Payton Jackson then sliced a ball fair down the right field line and legged out an RBI triple to drive Phillips in. She scored not long after on a passed ball.

Pannell shut Kansas City down in her second inning of work, closing the door with a double play to secure Mizzou’s second-consecutive victory and earn the save.

The Lee’s Summit, Missouri, native, picked up her third career save, allowing just two hits with a trio of strikeouts. 

NOTES

  • Missouri improves to 54-1 all-time against Kansas City.
  • Head coach Larissa Anderson is now 4-0 against the Roos in her career.
  • By taking the victory in its home opener, the Tigers have won four-consecutive home openers dating back to 2020.
  • Mizzou scored at least 10 runs for the eighth time this season. The Tigers’ record improved to 8-0 when scoring double-digit runs and 14-0 when plating at least six.
  • For the sixth time this season, the Tigers recorded a double, triple and home run in the same game. 
  • Chantice Phillips, a Kansas City, Missouri, native, mashed the first home run of her collegiate career with her first-inning dinger. She also notched a career-high four RBI.
  • Chantice Phillips and Payton Jackson each claimed their second multi-hit contest of the season, while Megan Moll recorded her first multi-hit game of the year.
  • Jenna Laird’s steal of home marked her second run-scoring swipe of 2023, with her first coming against Fordham on Feb. 10.
  • Jenna Laird stole two bases to mark her sixth multi-steal contest of the campaign.
  • With Jenna Laird’s two-RBI single in the fifth, she extended her RBI streak to four games.
  • Jenna Laird tied a career-high three walks while reaching base four times overall Wednesday.
  • Julia Crenshaw delivered a pair of singles to extend her hitting streak to five games and her reached base streak to 12 games.
  • With her two hits, Julia Crenshaw also notched her ninth multi-hit effort of 2023. 
Mizzou Athletics

UP NEXT

The Tigers welcome No. 16/16 Kentucky for their SEC opening weekend March 10-12 at the Mizzou Softball Stadium. First pitch is 4 p.m., CT Friday and 1 p.m., CT Saturday and Sunday.

FOLLOW THE TIGERS

  • For all the latest on Mizzou Softball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @MizzouSoftball (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).
  • Single game tickets are currently on sale. There are also limited reserved bleacher seats and berm season tickets still available. Tickets can be purchased online.

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