MU Softball Falls One Win Short

The Mizzou softball team entered Senior Day with a chance to do something only one other MU sports team has done in the 11-season history of the Big 12 – win a conference title. But the Tigers' bats went quiet and the defense suffered a few breakdowns at an inopportune time, and the result was a 3-1 loss to Nebraska on Saturday.

Mizzou (37-21 overall, 13-4 Big 12), which could have tied Baylor for the conference crown, will instead head into the Big 12 Tournament Friday in Oklahoma City as the No. 3 seed.

The Tigers were stymied all afternoon by Nebraska sophomore Molly Hill, the conference's stingiest pitcher. Hill, who entered with a 1.05 ERA, held Mizzou to three hits. The Tigers managed a mini-rally in the bottom of the seventh when its first two batters reached base, but couldn't string together enough hard-hit balls to threaten.

Though there was palpable disappointment in the MU dugout afterwards, especially for the six seniors who'd been honored prior to their final home game, the consensus was that the regular season had been a rousing success. Missouri was picked eighth in the pre-season poll.

"This shouldn't stop our momentum. We've had some great Big 12 wins and we can go out and do it in the tournament," said junior first baseman Amanda Renth.

"A lot of people weren't expecting us to do this, but the whole year our goal was to come out and win the conference," senior infielder Sarah Stringer said. "We have a very good chance" to win the conference tournament.

Mizzou open tournament play Friday against Texas. For more on MU softball's resurgence this year, see next month's Inside Mizzou Magazine.

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