COLUMBIA — Sitting in the second row in the deck above home plate at University Field, Jesse Hudson looks on as the Missouri softball pitcher gets her first strikeout of the fifth inning.
"Two fingers in the air," Hudson says under his breath, "Tell everyone you've got two outs."
The pitcher on the mound is Nicole Hudson, his granddaughter.
Jesse Hudson and his wife Rebecca Sue drove nearly four hours from their home in Pittsburgh, Kan. to watch the Tigers compete in a fall season double-header against Mineral Area and Central Methodist.
In Friday's first game, Missouri won 16-0 against Mineral Area. Nicole Hudson and starting pitcher Kelsea Roth combined for a no-hitter against the Cardinals. Freshman shortstop Emily Crane, an up-and-coming star for the Tigers, went 5-for-5 and had 4 RBIs.
"Her batting average is astronomical," Jesse Hudson said of Crane. "She'll be the one to watch these next few years."
In the second game of the day, Crane hit a double to lead off the first inning against Central Methodist. She went 2-for-4, reached base three times and had 1 RBI.
Freshman outfielder Taylor Gadbois and Nicole Hudson also had two hits each, while senior catcher Jenna Marston led the team with 2 RBIs.
The Tigers won 7-5, and are now 4-0 in fall season play, with four games left to play.
The fall games are a good way of seeing what the freshmen are capable of, head coach Ehren Earleywine said. One player that stood out to the coaching staff was Crane.
"She would be the MVP if we shut the season down now," Earleywine said.
The head coach said that a lot of people are wondering if the team will have strong hitting this year. All eyes are on the incoming freshman players and Crane may be the answer.
"It feels great to be a part of the team," Crane said. "I'm trying not to think about my individual performance too much and just enjoy playing."
Missouri will host another double-header starting at 2 p.m. on Oct. 5 at University Field against Butler Community College and Jefferson College.