Leave it to a man who nearly entered the seminary, to inspire Missouri to a 10-0 win against Texas Tech on Sunday.
The last game the Tigers (24-23, 11-4) played at University Field this season ended after four and a half innings.
Coach Ty Singleton, who has a master’s degree in theology, delivered an unusually loud speech to his team after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Red Raiders (22-35, 2-16). Leanne Bowers, MU’s leadoff hitter, said the Tigers would remember the meeting for a long time.
“All year long we’ve been preaching approach and effort and not results,” Singleton said. “Obviously we don’t like the results when we lose and we don’t like the results when we’re not getting hits, but we had been tentative (Saturday) and we did not take an aggressive approach and looked kind of lackadaisical.
“That’s what we got on them about, was the effort and not necessarily the results.”
Singleton’s talk sparked MU to earn 12 hits, two of them first-pitch home runs, and four stolen bases.
MU scored five runs in the fourth inning as all players batted.
Sarah Stringer’s triple drove in Kendra Power and Bowers. Stringer scored on Morgan LeCluyse’s double. Another double from Alli Kennewell scored LeCluyse, who had advanced to third on a passed ball. A.J White, who walked, scored on a Samantha Fleeman’s sacrifice fly.
Stringer attributed MU’s intensity Sunday to its Saturday loss.
“We had some frustration to take out,” she said. “It is very frustrating; we would do anything to take that game back and just play it over again.”
Stringer returned to second in the Tigers’ batting order and had five RBIs. She had appeared in that slot early in the season, but batted at the bottom of order in the last five home games.
“She’s been fighting and battling and having a good approach at the plate,” Singleton said. “Hasn’t always been in situations to drive people in based on where she’s been hitting in the lineup, but she did today.”
Missouri had two early first-pitch home runs. In the first, LeCluyse, who was honored as the Tigers’ sole senior before the game, hit her third home run of the season to left field. Fleeman hit her fifth to center field in the second inning.
“I think that’s indicative of being aggressive and that’s part of taking a good approach is being aggressive,” Singleton said.
The Tigers were aggressive on the bases, too. In the second, Power stole second base before scoring on a Stringer single. Morgan Kent also scored on the single.
Bowers stole three bases, two during Stringer’s at bat in the first. She said the Tigers hoped to get the game finished early.
“We saw that we need to come out and play like this is our field,” Bowers said. “Nobody is going to take that away from us.”
MU’s defense was as solid as its hitting. The Tigers committed one error to Texas Tech’s two. Erin Kalka (20-15) struck out the Red Raiders’ first four batters. She gave up two hits in four innings.