COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Softball ends the 2020 season ranked in the top 25 nationally, as the Tigers check in at 25th in the final NFCA Coaches Poll. Mizzou went 19-7 (3-0 SEC) on the year, which was shortened on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the first time Mizzou has ended the year ranked in the NFCA poll since 2016.
The Tigers won four games against programs that ended the season ranking in the top 25: defeating No. 12 Oklahoma State, No. 16 Virginia Tech, No. 22 Minnesota and No. 23 Baylor. Mizzou also finished tied for first in the Southeastern Conference.
Mizzou opened the season on a nine-game winning streak, going 5-0 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. On Feb. 8, the Tigers run-ruled Baylor 9-1 - behind a season-high four home runs - before coming back in the afternoon to survive an extra-inning win over No. 8/7 Minnesota. Mizzou was the only team to go 5-0 at the tournament.
The victory over Minnesota was a sign of what was to come for the Cardiac Tigers. The following weekend at the ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invite, Mizzou rallied to earn late-inning victories over both Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech. Down 2-0 in the top of the seventh against the Cowgirls, the Tigers scored a pair of runs to tie the game.
Relief pitcher Eli Daniel allowed only one runner on-base in a two-inning win, as the Tigers scored the winning run in the top of the eighth with Imani Myint scoring on a wild pitch.
The next day against Virginia Tech, Mizzou overcame a 5-0 deficit in the fifth inning - scoring six unanswered runs over the final three innings for the win.
On the year, Mizzou scored the go-ahead run in the final two innings of play nine times on the year, while outscoring teams 40-24 from the sixth inning on.
A 7-4 stretch over the final leg of the preseason brought the Tigers to Southeastern Conference play with a 16-6 record. Opening conference play at Ole Miss at home, the 2020 Tigers etched their name further into the record book. Mizzou swept the conference-opening series for the first time since joining the SEC - outscoring the Rebels 18-3.
The Tigers were one of only two SEC teams to sweep their conference-opening series.