COLUMBIA – The Tiger softball team ended its first conference game of the season Friday night against Kansas on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The final score of the game was 10-0.
Jones' home run was her third of the season putting her in a tie for second place on the team. Designated player Lindsey Muller was a perfect 3-for-3 in Friday night's game escalating her average to .432. Freshman third basemen Corinn Genovese added 4 assists to her team-leading 37 giving her 41 on the season.
No, freshman pinch hitter Kelsi Jones didn't hit a 10-run home run. The Tigers scored enough to eclipse the NCAA's "eight-run rule," which ends the game if a team is winning by more than eight runs after the bottom of the fifth inning.
For Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine, Jones' home run was the cherry on top of a game that was "the best of our season so far."
"Fundamentally speaking, I was really proud," Earleywine said. "Three things: we threw strikes, we fielded ground balls and we swung at strikes. It's a pretty simple game."
It's even more simple when your starting pitcher is an all-American like Chelsea Thomas.
Thomas (9-1, 0.62 ERA) was unhittable for the first 4 1/3 innings of the game. She finally surrendered a single in the fifth, but quickly retired the next two batters to get out the inning. She threw 5 2/3 innings of the six-inning game not allowing a runner to reach second base.
Thomas was able to get comfortable early because her team gave her a big lead. The Tigers notched one run in the first and tallied five in the second, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. From that point on, Thomas cruised and delivered Missouri (18-3, 1-0 Big 12) its first conference victory of the season.