Tigers softball fan shows devotion

Sunday, March 12, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 5:58 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

Abby Holman says she’s a dedicated Missouri softball fan. To show up for the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, she’d have to be.

Holman, a 13-year old seventh grader at Gentry Middle School in Columbia, was at University Field for both of the Tigers’ games in the Tiger Invitational on Saturday, two games that were separated by four hours and 59 minutes.

“I just like the team,” said Holman, who was one of about 40 spectators watching Missouri (12-7) defeat Mississippi Valley State 10-0 in six innings. “They’re really good. I like supporting them.”

The weather, however, made it hard for Holman to support her team.

According to the schedule, Missouri was supposed to play Drake at 1:30 p.m. Then, after a 30 minute break, the Tigers were scheduled to play Mississippi Valley State at around 4 p.m.

“We left when the hail started to come down,” Holman said. “We were going to stay for a while to see if they would start playing again.”

They didn’t, at least until later Saturday.

The rain and lightning caused the first game to be delayed, then eventually suspended until today. The first game will be resumed with Missouri leading Drake 8-0 in the top of the seventh inning. Jen Bruck is three outs away from throwing her first no-hitter of the season. Freshman right fielder Gina Schneider hit her first home run of the season in the top of the seventh to give Missouri an 8-0 lead. The Tigers played both games Saturday as the road team, as part of the rotation for the three-team tournament.

In the second game, freshman Megan Dennis threw her first career no-hitter and struck out six batters. Sophomore center fielder Micaela Minner had three RBIs, two of which came on a two-run home run in the third.

That home run was greeted by loud high-fives and cheers by Minner’s teammates, and those congratulations were easily heard throughout the mostly empty stadium.

“When there’s no one here it’s pretty interesting,” Holman said. “You can sit closer and you get to see and hear more of them.”

In the second inning, Tigers third baseman Amanda Jo White blocked an errant throw to third with her chest. When the ball hit her body, it gave off a noticeable thumping sound. In appreciation for White’s effort, the Tigers’ bench yelled to her “Nice stop, A.J.! Good play!”

Foul balls, usually sought after competitively, were left to bounce around freely. One foul ball took four or five bounces after hitting the concourse outside the stadium, eventually settling in a garbage can. A young boy followed the ball’s path into the can, and held up his arms when it entered the bin. The bounces were heard through most of the stadium.

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