COLUMBIA — The Tigers' bats were hot Friday in their final two games of the fall season against Crowder College and Heartland Community College.
Senior catcher Rachel Hay started off the first game against Crowder with a first-inning grand slam. Hay went 3-for-3 in the game and added both a solo home run and double in the fifth inning. Senior third baseman Nicole Hudson and left fielder Kelsi Jones added two more home runs in Missouri's 18-2 defeat of Crowder College.
The Tigers fell behind early in their second game against Heartland, but came back with a fury. A three-run home run by freshman Carlie Rose in the bottom of the fourth inning put the Tigers ahead 3-2, and they never looked back.
Missouri tallied seven runs from five hits and a Hawks' error in the fifth inning alone, which was more than enough to secure victory for the Tigers. They won by a final score of 10-2
With Friday's sweep, the Tigers ended their fall season with a 7-1 record. Their only loss came during an Oct. 5 contest against Jefferson College.
Head coach Ehren Earleywine was pleased with the progression of his team during the fall season.
"We've really bumped up our intensity," Earleywine said.
He said that at the beginning of fall play, the team was struggling to maintain focus through the course of certain games.
"The first five innings were like sitting through a church service," Earleywine said. "Then we'd play hard the last two."
The coach said that they decided to impose a "run rule" after a staff meeting. If Missouri lost an inning, they would do running drills to make up for it in practice.
That motivation seemed to do the trick, as Missouri lost only 3 of their 14 innings on Friday.
Earleywine also said that the last three days have been the best of the season for the Tigers.
"We're having the best intersquad play I've seen this fall," Earleywine said. "It's fun and competitive. Mistakes are still being made, but I can deal with them as long as they're playing hard."
The Tigers will kick off their inaugural SEC season in mid-February.