Tigers keep winning with hard hitting

Five Missouri players hit home runs at University Field during Saturday’s doubleheader.
Sunday, March 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:50 a.m. CDT, Friday, June 27, 2008

Micaela Minner hit her 10th home run of the season Saturday.

But she couldn’t have told you that. She doesn’t keep track.

“I try to hit the ball hard,” Minner said. “If it goes over, it goes over. I’m not trying to hit home runs.”

Minner led No. 21 Missouri with her glove, bat and arm Saturday as the Missouri softball team swept Drake in a doubleheader at University Field.

The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 10-2 in Game 1 and 7-2 in Game 2, increasing their winning streak to 10 games and improving to 19-2 on the season. Drake fell to 8-6.

Minner was the star of the afternoon, hitting a combined 4-for-6 in the two games with a home run and three RBIs.

She was modest about the runner she threw out at home plate in Game 1 and the sprawling, snow-cone catch she made in right field to rob Drake’s Katie Wappler of extra bases.

“I started in a good spot and was able to get to that ball,” Minner said.

Bulldogs coach Rich Calvert tried to disrupt the Tigers’ rhythm in the second inning of Game 2.

He fought a caught-stealing call for several minutes, throwing his sunglasses into Drake’s third-base dugout when the umpires ignored his protest.

When the scene was over, Missouri pitcher Erica Peterson (10-1) got back to work. She threw all seven innings for her fourth complete game of the season.

Jen Bruck (9-1) pitched four innings to earn the win in the opener. Game 1 ended after five innings because of the eight-run rule.

Most of the 356 in attendance stayed for both games and participated in a variety of chants.

Whenever Missouri pitching recorded a strikeout, the Tigers players yelled, “M-I-Z…”

To which the crowd responded, “Z-O-U!”

Missouri’s offense carried the team, especially in Game 2, when the Tigers committed six errors.

“On a day that we didn’t play very good defense, it’s fun that we can score runs at any point,” Missouri coach Ty Singleton said.

Singleton felt the crowd, over three times larger than Wednesday’s attendance of 114, might have distracted his team. This is the Tigers’ first home weekend series of the season.

“Some of it has to do with our environment,” he said. “We’ve got to learn from that.”

Minner and four teammates hit home runs Saturday. Amanda Renth, Janessa Roening, Leanne Bowers and Heather Kunkel were the others.

Renth’s shot, a grand slam in the third inning of Game 1, cleared the leftfield scoreboard. It came as a result of the team’s efforts to hit line drives every at-bat, she said.

“That’s our main thing is to hit the ball hard,” Renth said.

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