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NCAA SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - EUGENE REGIONAL - ELIMINATION GAME AT EUGENE OR

Mizzou's season ends with loss to UIC

124 days ago
Missouri Athletics

EUGENE, Ore. -- Mizzou (29-28) tallied four unanswered runs to erase a late three-run deficit, but Illinois-Chicago responded with two runs in its final at bat to secure a 5-4 victory.

Through six innings of play, the Tigers were held to one run while only mustering four hits. Coach Earleywine's squad finally came alive in the seventh, posting three runs on four hits. In her final game in Mizzou black and gold, senior Natalie Fleming (Silex, Mo.) stepped up with a pinch hit RBI single to begin the seventh inning rally.

A pair of Tigers freshmen, Cayla Kessinger (Saugus, Calif.) and Braxton Burnside (Paragould, Ark.), put the squad on top with an RBI double and RBI single, respectively. Kessinger recorded her eighth double of the season, while Burnside tallied her team-leading 52nd RBI this year.

Mizzou's first advantage of the night was quickly in jeopardy in the Flames' at bat in the bottom half of the seventh. UIC opened the frame with consecutive singles and later moved both baserunners into scoring position after a successful sacrifice bunt.

The Flames produced an RBI ground out with one out to even the contest at four apiece. The next batter hit a chopper to shortstop, bounced off the Tiger defender's glove and allowed the game-winning run to cross the plate.

Eight individual Mizzou batters finished with a single hit for the evening. Kessinger's run-producing double in the seventh extended her career-best hitting streak to 10 games. She became the third Tiger this season with a double-digit hitting streak, joining sophomore Regan Nash (Camden Point, Mo.) and Burnside.