Missouri softball drops SEC home opener to Mississippi State

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BRANSON MO NEWS: With runners on the corners to start the top of the third inning, Missouri sophomore shortstop Braxton Burnside crouched down and tiptoed toward the pitcher’s circle.The Bulldogs’ hitter bounced a ground ball to second baseman Brooke Wilmes, who fumbled the exchange to Burnside covering second.The ball kicked up out of Wilmes’ glove and struck Burnside between the nose and cheekbone, allowing the first run of the game to score from third in Missouri’s 4-0 Southeastern Conference home-opener loss to No. 21 Mississippi State on Friday night.

In the bottom of the inning, Burnside clubbed a deep fly ball down the left field line that careened off the top of the wall for a double. The scoring threat quickly dissipated for the Tigers, though, after a ground ball ended the inning in the next at-bat.”She just put that (play) behind her and she focused on her at-bat,” Missouri interim coach Gina Fogue said. “You can’t look at the past, you’ve got to focus on the task at hand and that’s what she did.”Unfortunately for Missouri, Burnside’s resiliency wasn’t enough. Instead, the fumbled exchange summed up the night.Freshman Lauren Rice, who pitched parts of all seven frames, ran into more trouble in the sixth.With a runner on second base and one out, Rice fielded a ground ball tapped back to the circle and fired to second after a brief stare down with the Bulldogs’ baserunner.Both runners advanced safely and Mississippi State would go onto to plate two more runs in the inning. The Bulldogs added one more insurance run on a passed ball in the top of the seventh, too.”They got some runners on and we made some errors,” junior right fielder Kolby Romaine said. “We make all of our plays and I think that’s …


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