BATON ROUGE, La. – Sunday's game between Missouri and LSU was all about redemption.
Missouri got run-ruled in Game 2, it's fielders committed five errors and pitcher Nicole Hudson was charged her second loss of the season. But more importantly, Missouri was eliminated by LSU last year in the NCAA Super Regionals.
On Sunday, Missouri (26-7, 11-6 SEC) beat LSU (37-11, 12-6 SEC) 3-2 and won the series, filling a gap that Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine has felt since his team lost last May.
“It was redemption,” Earleywine said. "That’s just 10 months, 11 months since we lost that I’ve been waiting for that moment and the revenge feels really good."
Back as the designated player, Hudson led the Missouri offense with two home runs going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. The rest of the Tigers combined for just three hits.
"Had it not been for her (Hudson), we would've lost today," Earleywine said. "So there's eight other kids in that lineup that need to get better."
With ace Chelsea Thomas in the circle, three runs was all Missouri needed to beat LSU. Thomas threw 10 strikeouts and allowed five hits to earn her the 17th win of the season.
After two unsuccessful series of Thomas starting all three games, Earleywine decided to try having Thomas only start two games of the series and have Hudson start the third.
“Ive never deviated from the idea that when Chelsea is healthy, that we have a chance to beat anybody and I think the Friday-Sunday allowed her to be more healthy, more fresh on Sunday," Earleywine said.
He will continue to keep this rotation until the postseason, when he hopes that Thomas will be able to start multiple days in a row.
Missouri will face two Kentucky teams this week. First, it faces Western Kentucky at home in a doubleheader Wednesday and then travels to Lexington, Ky., for a weekend series against Kentucky.