Missouri softball team one win away from Women's College World Series

Saturday, May 28, 2011 | 11:04 p.m. CDT; updated 12:52 a.m. CDT, Sunday, May 29, 2011
Missouri's Maddison Ruggeberg came in to pinch hit in the sixth inning of the Tigers' 4-0 victory over Washington in the first game of super regional competition Saturday at University Field.

COLUMBIA – The Missouri softball team is one win away from advancing to its third Women’s College World Series in as many years.

The Tigers’ 4-0 win Saturday night at University Field against No. 12 seed Washington gave them a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three NCAA Super Regional series.

Pitcher Chelsea Thomas (30-6) led the way for the No. 5 seeded Tigers,and thew a complete game shutout. She allowed just two hits in the victory and recorded 13 strikeouts. Washington center fielder Kimi Pohlman was the only Washington player to record any hits, with a single in the fourth inning and a double in the sixth.

Nicole Hudson was a catalyst at the plate for the Tigers. With a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, Hudson hit a solo home run to straightaway center field off of the University Field scoreboard. Her double in the bottom of the first also advanced Jenna Marston to third base and set the stage for the first of Ashley Fleming’s two RBIs.

The latter half of Missouri’s scoring came in the bottom of the fifth. After Washington pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby walked three consecutive batters with just one out, Fleming hit an RBI groundout to bring Rhea Taylor home. Visibly shaken, Inglesby then threw a wild pitch past catcher Shawna Wright with Mackenzie Sykes at the plate for Missouri.

The win Saturday took place in front of a crowd of 2,595 at University Field.

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday. Should Washington win, Game 3 will follow at 8:30 p.m.

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