Clearwater, Florida, may be Missouri softball’s home away from Columbia as the Tigers continue to dominate in the sunshine state.
Missouri returned to Florida for the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational less than a week after going 5-0 there in its opening weekend.
The Tigers improved to 6-0 this season with an 8-0 run-rule victory over Kansas.
MU did all of its damage offensively in the second inning, scoring eight runs. Kimberly Wert led off the inning with a double toward the warning track. After Missouri drew two walks to load the bases, Emma Nichols hit a 2 RBI single past second base. The Tigers scored two more runs after a throwing error to home plate by Kansas third baseman Ashlyn Anderson. Cayla Kessinger finished the second inning outburst for the Tigers with a grand slam to right-center field. This is Kessinger’s second grand slam of the season, hitting her first in the Tiger’s 9-1 win against Baylor on Feb. 8.
The Tigers’ four hits in the second inning were the lone hits they had on the afternoon. It’s the fewest hits Missouri has had in a run-rule victory since April 19th, 2019, when it had five against Texas A&M in an 8-0 win.
Freshman Jordan Weber took the circle for the Tigers, striking out four batters in just two innings. Weber struggled with her command early on in the first inning, walking the leadoff batter and throwing a wild pitch to the following batter that advanced the runner to second base. However, Weber was able to regain her composure with two key strikeouts to end the inning and strand the runner in scoring position. Weber didn’t allow a hit in her two innings pitched.
Freshman Megan Schumacher came on in relief and recorded the win for Missouri. Schumacher gave up only two hits in her three innings of relief, showing her ability to induce ground ball outs while also mixing in strikeouts.
“It’s so cool to watch the (young pitchers) go out there and do their thing and succeed,” Kessinger said in a news release. “They’re going out there with no fear. They come out guns blazing and they aren’t going to fear any hitter that’s going to face them.”
The Tigers will continue play as they take on Liberty at 1:30 p.m. and No. 16 Oklahoma State at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational.