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Missouri softball blows by Texas

Sunday, March 22, 2009 | 3:31 p.m. CDT; updated 7:14 p.m. CDT, Sunday, March 22, 2009
Lisa Simmons, left, high-fives Rhea Taylor during the first hour of MU's Big 12 softball game against Texas on Sunday in Columbia.

COLUMBIA — A day after holding the powerful offense of the Missouri softball team to only two runs in 10 innings in her team's extra inning win, Texas pitcher Brittany Barnhill was not able to record an out against the Tigers.

After a brief rain delay, the first seven Missouri batters reached base against Barnhill, leading to six Tiger runs, which were enough to help secure an 11-6 victory on Sunday at University Field.

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“I think we had a better plan going in today, and of course seeing her for 10 innings probably helped," said Missouri third baseman Lindsey Ubrun.

"She pounded the outside corner all day yesterday and so it took us a full day to make the adjustment," explained Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine. "I just wish we were able to make that adjustment in the third or fourth inning yesterday, and we might be 2-0 right now in conference.”

Ubrun was 3-for-4 on Sunday with four RBI and two runs scored. After Missouri starter Jana Hainey gave up four runs in the top of the second inning to make the score 6-5, it was Ubrun's two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the inning that stifled the Longhorns' comeback.

"I think that was the big hit of the game," Earleywine said. "You can do a lot of bunting and steal and hitting-and-running but those three-run homers make up for a lot of mistakes."

Freshman pitcher Kristin Nottelman also contributed. After entering the game with two out in the second inning, Nottelman gave up just one run on three hits the rest of the game for her first conference victory in her first conference appearance.

Nottelman's appearance was not in Earleywine's gameplan entering the weekend series. He had planned to start Chelsea Thomas in both games or hand the ball to senior Stacy Delaney in game two.

However, Delaney's extended relief appearance in Saturday's game against Texas (that ended with a loss in extra innings) and Thomas's continuing battle with shoulder soreness left Missouri with its third and fourth options on Sunday.

The pitching was good enough though, and No. 13 Missouri (26-4) avoided started conference play 0-2.

“I think it’s enormous because, not so much win-loss record wise, but just morale. You head out on a seven-day Spring Break trip with an 0-2 under your belt, I think sometimes that can send you into a tailspin you never come out of," Earleywine said.


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