Late-Inning Heroics Lift Missouri Softball to Win over Omaha

The Tigers set up a sudden death matchup with the Mavericks that will begin shortly.
Missouri Athletics

On paper, it was supposed to be a clash of titans on the mound, and it was exactly that in reality. Omaha's Kamryn Meyer and Missouri's Laurin Krings were nearly impenetrable all afternoon.

And then the final two innings happened.

After not allowing a hit through five innings, Mara Cramer hit a leadoff double down the right field line. The next batter, Lynsey Tucker, flied out to right, and Kayley Lenger tried to throw out a tagging Cramer at third. Unfortunately, the ball skipped past Daly, and Cramer scored. The Missouri crowd, which had waited all game for their team to score, just saw the opposition put themselves in prime position to steal the Regional.

But when Missouri needed a response, they created one. Kara Daly led off with a walk, and Madison Walker, who hadn't recorded a hit since Mar. 26, put one into the right field grass, allowing Daly to advance to third.

Up next was Jenna Laird, who powered Missouri the night prior with her first home run since 2022. However, all she needed in this moment was contact...and she made it. The contact wasn't superb -- it was a ground ball to Tucker at second base -- but Tucker bobbled the ball, allowing Daly to score from third. Much of the pressure had been relieved, as the offense had done their job.

However, they weren't done yet.

Like Laird, Alex Honnold hadn't hit a home run since Apr. 29; however, that was Apr. 29 of this year as opposed to 2022 for Laird.

Apparently, hitting a home run on Apr. 29 boded well for hitting home runs in the Columbia Regional, as Honnold took an inside pitch over the right field wall that electrified the home crowd and put Missouri up 3-1.

Later in the inning, Julia Crenshaw added onto the lead with a two-RBI single. In the bottom half of the inning, Taylor Pannell shut the door, and Missouri remains alive.

The Tigers will play a sudden death game against Omaha shortly. If they win, they move onto Supers since 2021. If they lose, their season is over.


Published
Quentin Corpuel

QUENTIN CORPUEL

Quentin Corpuel is a sports journalist from Bethesda, Md. He is currently a sophomore journalism major at the University of Missouri with a reporting and writing emphasis. He is also pursuing a certificate in sports analytics. Along with FanNation, Corpuel also covers Mizzou athletics for Rock M Nation (Mizzou's SB Nation affiliate) and does freelance sports writing for KCOU 88.1 FM, the University of Missouri's student-run radio station.