MU softball team sweeps doubleheader

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 | 3:37 p.m. CDT; updated 11:47 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Missouri shortstop Abby Vock (10) high-fives a player from Western Illinois after the Tigers' win on Wednesday. The Tigers took both games in the doubleheader, most of which was played under rainy conditions.

COLUMBIA — There is a downside to having a minuscule ERA.

Missouri pitcher Stacy Delaney, fresh off no-hitting No. 18 North Carolina on Sunday, gave up one run to Western Illinois on Wednesday at University Field, but her ERA increased from 0.91 to 0.94.

That one run allowed the Westerwinds to tie the game in the seventh inning, but the Tigers wasted little time reclaiming the lead.

Gina Schneider, whose fifth-inning home run had provided Missouri's only scoring up to then, led off the bottom of the inning with a triple and Micaela Minner singled her home to give Missouri a 2-1 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.

“I feel like those are better wins than the wins that we blow people out because when it gets to conference play we’re going to have a lot of those 1-0, 2-0 types games," Delaney said after the game. "So I think it’s a big confidence booster for us."

No. 13 Missouri (25-3) got one of those blowout wins on Wednesday as well, defeating Western Illinois 13-1 in five innings in Game 2 of the doubleheader. Junior Jana Hainey (6-0) got the complete-game win.

“I really think the only difference (between the two wins) was the pitcher in Game 1 had good stuff," Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine said.

Unlike earlier this year when Missouri dropped a game to SIU Edwardsville after stranding numerous runners, Earleywine wasn't upset with the Tigers leaving nine people on base in Game 1.

"It just seemed like every time we got into an RBI position we just had the wrong person at the plate," he said, "and sometimes that happens."

Minner did her part on Wednesday. The sixth-year senior was 5-of-7 in the two games combined to go along with six RBIs and three runs scored.

"I definitely think that the last two weekends and up until now I’ve definitely found a very consistent swing," Minner said. "I’m confident in my swing, and I’m very excited going into conference play."

The Tigers will face Texas at home this weekend in their first Big 12 Conference games this season, hopefully with freshman pitcher Chelsea Thomas on the mound at some point.

Thomas did not pitch on Wednesday because of shoulder soreness.

"She could’ve pitched, and she would have been fine to go," Earleywine said, "But we’re just going to rest her up and let her be ready for Texas on Saturday.”

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