By Kelsie Heneghan
The No. 11 Missouri softball team went 3-2 in the Cathedral City Classic last weekend in Palm Springs. The round-robin tournament included UC Davis, Washington, Nebraska, Northwestern, UCLA, and Missouri. The weekend was highlighted by Chelsea Thomas’s eighth career no-hitter, when the Tigers beat the No. 5 Huskies Saturday.
The tournament began Friday, Feb 24 when Missouri took on UC Davis. Freshman Bailey Erwin’s pitched a 4-hit shutout to help the Tigers cruise past the Aggies 8-0. Freshmen Angela Randazzo and Kelsea Roth hit their first home runs as Tigers, and senior Ashley Fleming added one of her own in the third. Due to the run-rule, the Tigers won in just five innings.
Saturday started out rough for Missouri as they lost to No. 22 Nebraska 6-4. Errors by Randazzo, Corrin Genovese, and Princess Krebs led to four unearned Cornhusker runs. Pitcher Kristin Nottelmann gave up seven hits and two walks in her six innings of work. In the top of the seventh, with a score of 6-2 and two outs, Missouri loaded the bases with hits by Genovese, Jenna Marston, and a walk by Ashley Fleming. Roth hit a two-run double to score Genovese and Marston, shortening the Cornhusker lead to two, but Nicole Hudson grounded out on the next at bat to end the game.
That night, the stage was set for Thomas and Missouri to take on the No. 5 Washington. In the third inning, freshman Ashtin Stephens singled and then scored on a Marston triple to center field. Genovese followed with a sacrifice fly to Huskie center fielder Kimi Pohlman to score Marston and make the score 2-0. Thomas kept the Huskies off the bases until the bottom of the fourth when Polhman reached on an error by Stephens. After that, Thomas was able to settle down and close out the game. She allowed no runs, no hits, and no walks, in her 8-strikeout victory. Thomas has more no-hitters than any other Tiger pitcher, including three perfect games.
The Tigers were not able to continue their success Sunday morning when they took on Northwestern, who scored three runs in the first inning. Nottelmann gave up eight hits, four walks, and five earned runs in the 7-1 loss. Missouri’s sole run came in the bottom of the seventh. After a walk to Genovese and singles by Marston and Fleming, the Tigers had the bases loaded with no outs. Genovese scored on a double play by Roth. A ground out by Hudson would end the game.
In the final game of the tournament, Thomas took the mound against No. 7 UCLA. This game started out like the last with the Tigers giving up three runs in the first inning, only this time the Tigers responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. After Genovese walked and Marston and Fleming got hits, the bases were loaded with no outs for Roth who grounded out and forced Marston out at home. Then, Hudson singled to score Fleming and Genovese. Three Tiger runs in the second gave them a 5-3 lead. The Tigers added two more runs in the fifth, which the Bruins got back in the sixth, making the score 7-5. Thomas had seven strikeouts and eight hits in her third win of the season.
Missouri’s next tournament will be closer to home, the Missouri Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament in Kansas City, Mo. The Tigers will take on Missouri State, Saint Louis, SEMO, and UMKC beginning Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m.