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Missouri softball advances to Women's College World Series

Sunday, May 29, 2011 | 9:18 p.m. CDT; updated 10:56 p.m. CDT, Sunday, May 29, 2011
Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas is swarmed by teammates after the Tigers pulled off their NCAA Super Regional win against Washington 6-3 on Sunday evening. There were 2,604 people in attendance.

COLUMBIA — Missouri clinched a trip to the Women’s College World Series with a 6-3 win over No. 12 seed Washington on Sunday at University Field. The win completed a 2-0 sweep of Washington this weekend in the Super Regional round of the NCAA tournament.  

The Tigers exploded out of the gate, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. With Missouri’s Rhea Taylor on second via a leadoff single and Jenna Marston on first after walking, a pitch from Washington's Kaitlin Inglesby got past catcher Shawna Wright, allowing the two runners to advance.

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Missouri’s Nicole Hudson then hit a single to drive in Taylor before a fielding error by Washington allowed Marston to score and Hudson to advance to second. Lisa Simmons, Missouri’s sixth batter of the inning, hit a two-run blast over the wall in right center field to increase the Tigers’ lead to 5-0.

More miscues from Washington lead to another run for Missouri in the top of the third. Washington left fielder Victoria Hayward dropped a fly ball hit by Simmons, putting Simmons on second base and advancing Ashley Fleming to third. Inglesby then threw a wild pitch, allowing Fleming to score and increase Missouri's lead to 6-0.

Washington cut Missouri’s lead in half in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs. Marston committed an error on a chopper hit by Kimi Pohlman, which allowed Jenn Salling to score. Inglesby then followed with a double to score two more runs, bringing the score to 6-3.

Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine was ejected from the game in the bottom of the first inning after challenging a call on a foul ball. Princess Krebs hit a dribbler down the third base line, and Washington’s Morgan Stuart approached the ball. The ball rolled foul, but Earleywine was adamant in his conviction that Stuart touched the ball in fair territory. He quickly confronted the third base umpire and was just as quickly ejected by the home plate umpire.

Missouri's first game in the Women's College World Series is against Florida at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday in Oklahoma City.


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