BATON ROUGE, La. – Missouri (23-16, 3-10 SEC) used seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined to rally back and defeat No. 11/12 LSU (31-7, 4-6 SEC), 8-6 to open the series Thursday at Tiger Park.
“We didn’t play well,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “We made some bad decisions, gave up so many trail runners and gave them too many free passes. Our team this year has been able to come back and rebound well. You can see the vision of how this game could have been different.”
Mizzou reached LSU’s bullpen early in the series as they got looks at both graduate pitcher Ali Kilponen (9-4) and freshman pitcher Sydney Berzon. Kilponen was charged with the loss Thursday after tossing one strikeout and allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. Berzon got the start in the circle, tossing six strikeouts and allowing five runs on five hits and five walks.
Junior infielder Danieca Coffey went 2-for-3 from the plate with three RBIs and a triple. This marked Coffey’s fifth game of the season with multiple RBIs. Graduate infielder Karli Petty also recorded two hits to go along with two runs for the Tigers, as did junior infielder Taylor Pleasants who was 2-for-2 on the day and tacked on two RBIs, drew two walks and scored one run.
Missouri senior pitcher Emma Nicholls (1-0) collected the win while allowing no runs, one hit and one walk in 1.2 innings. Freshman pitcher Taylor Pannell earned her fifth save of the season allowing just one hit in the afternoon. Senior pitcher Jordan Weber earned the start in the circle, allowing three runs on three hits and four walks in 3.1 innings.
The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. After the first three batters reached to load the bases with no outs, Pleasants and freshman catcher Maci Bergeron drew walks to score the first runs of the game.
Mizzou got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth on a fielder’s choice to cut into the lead, 2-1, but LSU answered with three runs in the home half. LSU loaded the bases for the second time thanks to a pair of walks and a single, and Coffey cleared the bases with her third triple of the season to increase the Bayou Bengals lead, 5-1.
Missouri evened the score with four runs in the top of the fifth highlighted by a two-run single by junior second baseman Maddie Gallagher. In the bottom of the inning, LSU put runners on second and third with one out to set the stage for a Pleasants RBI bunt single to regain the lead for the Tigers, 6-5.
Mizzou stayed hot at the plate however, and brought in three runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead, 8-6. LSU put runners on the corners in the seventh, but were unable to cross any runners.
LSU and Missouri will faceoff in game two on Friday at 6 p.m.
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