Missouri started the five-game home stand the right way on Wednesday afternoon, fending off a late rally from Kansas City to win 11–5. Tigers led by offensive performance chantis phillips And Jenna Laird,
Tigers relied heavily on starter Sierra Harrison Through the first five innings, the freshman starter allowed just one run on two hits while striking out four over 72 pitches, including the first four innings. The Tigers quickly scored four runs in the first two innings, and looked to be well on their way to a clear victory.
“We’re gonna count on him,” head coach larissa anderson Said. “He kept them off balance and threw them to both sides of the plate, so it was really cool to watch.”
In the fifth inning, the KC rally began with a fumble. After facing the first 12 batters on 50 pitches, Harrison got a little shaky in the top of the fifth, walking the leadoff hitter and then allowing a single and double to end the shutout.
“My defense supported me the whole time, they made great plays,” Harrison said. Do what they’re going to do and then I’ll do what I’m going to do.”
Though she returned to end the inning and did the damage to keep the Tigers’ lead aside, it was all Roos needed to spark their offense.
Kansas City stormed back into the game, going for five runs in the top of the sixth and cutting the lead to only one by six runs against Missouri’s relief corps.
megan schumacherwho started the fifth inning for the Tigers, could not register an out as all five batters she faced collected four hits and four runs in a table-turning sixth inning rally.
Kansas City’s offense was a committee effort from the heart of its order, scoring its sixth inning runs on six straight at-bats, including five singles. No KC batter finished with more than one RBI and only third baseman lexi smith Collected more than one hit.
Although Missouri (16–6) got some valuable performances from Laird and Phillips, the rest of the offense remained relatively quiet until later in the inning. Phillips opened the scoring for the Tigers with a two-out, three-run home run, the first of his career, but the Tigers got nothing going after the second inning.
“We got stuck in between pitches, and sometimes you try to do a little too much when that changeup floats, you don’t get through the ball the way you want to,” Anderson said.
But between then and the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers were 1-9 with runners in scoring position, that alone hit a two-out, two-RBI single off Laird in the bottom of the fifth.
The Tigers’ offense left nine runners on base and hit 4-of-14 with runners in scoring position by the end of the game.
Phillips capped off his day with an insurance RBI in the game, ending his afternoon 2–4 and scoring four runs.
Phillips explained, “I just tried to have a good swing and the result is the result.”
Laird dominated at the plate and on the base paths, going 1–2 with three runs scored and stealing two bases while driving in three runs.
“We have a lot of speed to be able to keep some runners on pace. It really starts with that lead off batter,” Anderson said. “When you have someone like Jenna Laird on base, It changes the pitch calling, it changes the defensive system. We’re going to continue to run her because she puts so much pressure on the defense.”
missouri reliever taylor pannel closed the door, throwing two innings while allowing one hit and striking out three batters to earn the win in the home opener. She shut down Russia’s rally in the sixth, then topped it in the seventh. Harrison took his fifth win of the season. The Tigers carried a little momentum into their first SEC series against Kentucky this weekend.