Cups and soda cans mingle with the twigs and leaves in the grassy section beyond the left field fence at University Field.
A few paces from the litter is an old John Deere tractor, the paint of its yellow lettering slowly chipping from the Kelly green-painted body.
Golf balls, errant slices from players at nearby A.L. Gustin golf course, are also scattered about.
On Wednesday, yellow softballs were new additions to the area. Three of the seven home runs Missouri hit in its doubleheader sweep of North Dakota State went to left field.
No. 19 Missouri (34-10) defeated the Bison 9-1 in six innings in Game 1 and 8-0 in five innings in Game 2. The Tigers claimed both victories via the eight-run rule.
It was not an ideal start to a five-day, season-ending road trip for the Bison (22-25) who will play 10 games in that span.
North Dakota State’s trend of poor outings against Missouri teams continued in its first year in NCAA Division I.
The Missouri baseball team swept the Bison in a four-game series at Taylor Stadium March 18-20, outscoring NDSU 55-4.
Missouri freshman Jen Bruck began the scoring in the second inning of Game 1, hitting her 10th home run of the season just feet from hitting the scoreboard in left field.
Her second of the game came an inning later, a two-run home run hit well beyond the spot where her first had landed.
It cleared the scoreboard and a small aluminum-sided building at the base of the hill. The ball settled somewhere near Francke Drive, a road that connects the Sports Park with Providence Road.
“I don’t really ever expect the ball to go out except for (the second one),” Bruck said. “I got pretty much all of that one.”
Alli Kennewell added her first two home runs of the season in Game 2. Kathy Masterson and Micaela Minner hit one apiece on the afternoon.
Minner’s home run, her team-leading 15th this season, came with a base open and one out in the third inning of Game 2.
She jumped on the first pitch she saw, sending the ball over the right field wall and bounding onto the rough of a hole at A.L. Gustin.
Missouri coach Ty Singleton had a different look to his lineup in Game 2. For the first time in her 98-game Missouri career, Leanne Bowers did not lead off and start in center field.
Janessa Roening, the team’s normal right fielder and No. 2 hitter, served the team in Bowers’ usual capacities.
The switch gave freshman Sara Simons the opportunity to make her first career start. She batted second and played right field, going 3-for-3 with two doubles.
“She plays with such heart that you never question the effort that you see from her,” Singleton said.
Simons said that assistant coach Autumn Eastes told her to check the lineup just before the start of Game 2.
“I was stoked,” Simons said. “It felt good just to go in and be relaxed.”