Hudson fuels Mizzou to Gaucho Classic title, 5-0 start

Story by Karl Roskamp

Nicole Hudson hit her second home run of the season Friday in the DeMarini Invitational.

Nicole Hudson powered Missouri with five home runs. (KBIA Sports file photo)

Missouri’s Nicole Hudson hit five home runs to help the No. 8/7 Tigers claim the Gaucho Classic title and a 5-0 record.

The senior third basemen hit the five home runs in the first four games, including two against UC Santa Barbara in the 11-3 season-opening victory on Friday. Hudson also drove in 11 runs.

As a team, Missouri hit 14 home runs in the three-day tournament.  The substantial slugging goes against the Tigers’ traditional small-ball style. Last season, Hudson was second on the team in home runs with seven, a total she has almost eclipsed in a weekend of play.  It also took Missouri 18 games last season to reach the 14 home run mark.

Missouri followed up its five home run opening win against UCSB with a 4-0 victory over Fresno State. The Tigers were 0-9 all time against the Bulldogs prior to Friday’s meeting.  Redshirt-senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas led the way with seven shutout innings, nine strikeouts and two hits allowed.  Missouri got all its runs from home runs including a solo home run from Hudson and two home runs from first basemen Kelsea Roth.

Missouri repeated the outcome on Saturday by defeating Fresno State 11-3 in five innings. Hudson pitched all five innings and chipped in with one of the team’s four home runs. She finished with eight hits allowed, three earned runs and two strikeouts.

In the fourth game, pitcher Bailey Erwin redeemed herself for a shaky start on Friday and led Missouri to a 5-0 win over San Diego.  Erwin, who allowed eight hits and three runs in the opener, limited the Toreros to two hits.  The game featured four Tiger home runs, including Hudson’s fifth and Roth’s third of the season.

Missouri won its final game of the tournament 12-1 over UC Santa Barbara.  First basemen Lindsey Muller went 4-4 with a two-run home run and three RBIs.   Thomas dominated by striking out 10 batters  and not allowing an earned run. She started the game by retired the Gauchos in order with seven strikeouts and two ground outs.

Notes:

  • South Carolina’s Katelynn Howser is the only other pitcher than Thomas to have a 0.00 ERA in the SEC. Thomas has pitched 14 innings this season and Howser has pitched 10 1/3.
  • The Tigers are slugging .816 as a team.  The next best rate in the SEC is Florida with .623.
  • Missouri was 7-8 on steal attempts, good for only the seventh best in the SEC.  The top team is Georgia at 7-7, followed by Alabama at 30 for 31.
  • The Tigers have 14 home runs this year, but only three doubles and no triples.
  • Hudson has the second most home runs in the SEC behind Texas A&M catcher Nicole Morgan.  Morgan has seven home runs in 10 games.

Missouri travels to the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., for games on Thursday and Friday.

 

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