No. 5 Missouri knocks off Trojans

Published 11:43 pm Friday, February 17, 2012

The Troy University softball walked off the field smiling Friday night.

However, the Trojans were not celebrating their sixth win of 2011, but thinking off what might have been if not for a few errors.

Troy lost 4-0 to the No. 5 ranked Missouri Tigers in the opening night of the Quality Inn Classic at the Troy Softball Complex.

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“In both of their RBI situations, they hit a couple of humpback liners that really no one could get to, and the walks really hurt us,” said Troy head softball coach Melanie Davis.

The opening batter of the game set the course for the rest of the night.

Jenna Marston, Missouri’s catcher, sent Jaycee Affeldt’s 0-1 pitch right back up the middle and off of Affeldt’s leg, reaching on an infield single.

On no less than five more occasions, Troy had outs in their gloves only to see the ball skip off the tip of their mitt or take a funny hop in the infield.

Mizzou second basemen Corrin Genovese singled in Kelsey Roth in the second inning to give the Tigers an early one run lead.

That run would be all the Tigers needed but would add more later. The most memorable run scored by the number five-ranked team in the land would come in the fifth inning.

Ashley Fleming, the Tiger centerfielder sent a shot to the deepest part of the yard at the Troy Softball Complex on a mammoth homerun. Fleming’s big fly put Missouri up 4-0 late.

“I told the girls when we came in “It’s going to be hard to score four runs in one inning. We have to score one,” said Davis. “ Our goal for the rest of the year is to not be shutout, and that starts now and goes until May.”

Davis did compliment the pitching combination of Jaycee Affeldt and Ashley Rainey.

The freshman duo stuck out five Tigers, scattered six hits and walked only three batters.

“Our girls went up against of the best pitchers in the nation, and a team that is the defending Big Twelve champions and one of the picks to win this year,” Davis said.

Davis’ positive outlook carried over into her players.

“We have to get out there and put in the work, the hours of practice, to be able to beat them,” said Nikki Hollett, a senior infielder. “ Knowing that we can hit on of the best pitchers in the nation gives us the confidence to keep going and getting better.”

The second day of the Quality Inn Classic gets underway Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. With a pair of games, Missouri vs. Eastern Kentucky and Ball State vs. Nicholls St. due to the threat of severe weather.

This weekend is the second weekend in a row that the Trojans tournament schedule was affected by rain.

“We are kind of getting used to it,” said Hollett of the delays. “Last week we were playing at like 1 a.m., so it’s not a big deal.”

Troy will have its first pitch at 11 a.m. against Ball State.