The Missouri softball road trip to Oregon has gotten off to a rocky start, with the Tigers falling to Wisconsin 7-2 on Friday and now facing elimination.
Missouri (29-27) will need to win four straight games to advance to the NCAA Softball Tournament Super Regionals, starting with Illinois-Chicago (38-21) at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday night.
The Tigers got off to a 1-0 lead over the Badgers (34-15), but Missouri managed just 3 hits in the game at Jane Sanders Stadium before a crowd of 2,333 fans.
“All we can do is prep for our next opponent the best we can,” said senior Kirsten Mack, who drove in the first run with her RBI groundout. “We need to reel off four straight wins now in order to advance out of this weekend. One game at a time and play to our best ability.”
Mack, the Tigers’ catcher, has been a strong postseason player for Missouri. She now has 14 RBI in 15 NCAA Tournament games over the course of her career.
Tigers pitcher Cheyenne Baxter (16-10) had a 1-0 lead and two outs recorded in the third inning before an error gave Wisconsin new life, and the Badgers took advantage with a 2-run home run to take the lead.
Braxton Burnside evened the game at 2 in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI groundout, but that was all the Tigers could produce after loading the bases with no outs.
Wisconsin took the lead for good with 3 runs in the top of the fifth inning, and added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh.
The Tigers now face a Flames team that got burned by host Oregon in a 13-0, five-inning affair late Friday.
The Ducks scored 9 runs in the bottom of the fourth over Illinois-Chicago to improve to 22-0 in NCAA regional games in the past eight seasons under coach Mike White.