KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - No. 15/16 Mizzou Softball closed the season in style, taking a 5-3 victory over the No. 17/15 Volunteers with four home runs. The Tigers launched seven home runs in the final two games of the series after being held to one hit and none for extra bases in the opener.
Mizzou trailed to start the game as a solo home run for the Vols in the bottom of the first gave Tennessee the early momentum.
The Tigers were able to even the score in the second on a Cayla Kessinger solo home run to right-center field, her 11th of the season.
Megan Schumacher entered in the second and recorded back-to-back zeroes in the second and third innings. In the second, Casidy Chaumont made another highlight-reel diving catch on a line drive.
Tennessee got back on the board in the bottom of the fourth with another solo home run, but Schumacher was able to limit the damage to just one run.
Emma Raabe wasted no time in evening the score. On the first pitch of the fifth inning, Raabe drilled one off the scoreboard in left-center for a solo shot. With two outs in the inning, Brooke Wilmes roped a single off the right-center wall and stole a base to put the pressure on Tennessee.
Jenna Laird came through in the clutch for Mizzou once again. On a 3-2 pitch, the freshman lifted one over the left-center field wall for a go-ahead two-run homer, putting the score at 4-2 for the Tigers. Hatti Moore then followed up Laird's homer with one of her own, blasting a 2-0 pitch over the scoreboard for her 17th home run of the season. The Tigers led 5-2 entering the bottom of the fifth.
The Volunteers responded to open the bottom half of the fifth, sending another solo home run over the right-center wall. Three straight groundouts allowed the Tigers to get out of the inning without any further damage.
After a scoreless sixth, the Tigers again could not push any runs across in the top of the seventh, so they looked to close it out. After a flyout to start the inning, a walk put the first baserunner on. A slow grounder to second base was initially ruled a runner's interference on contact between the second baseman and the runner heading to second, but it was changed and ruled as a single. Tennessee bunted the runners over to second and third to put the tying run in scoring position.
After an intentional walk, a ground ball towards the right side of the infield was fielded by Kendyll Bailey and thrown to first to end the game.
- Megan Schumacher earned her 10th win of the season after entering in the second. She went six innings only allowing two runs and striking out two.
- Jenna Laird smashed the go-ahead home run for the Tigers in the top of the fifth. It was her fourth home run in SEC play.
- Hatti Moore drilled a solo home run to go back-to-back with Jenna Laird. She also was the second catcher to throw out Milloy attempting to steal.
- Cayla Kessinger reached base in all three of her plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with a home run, a single and a walk.
- Emma Raabe smashed a solo home run to tie the game in the fifth inning. It was her eighth of the season.
- The Tigers hit four home runs in an SEC game for the third time this season.
- Mizzou matched their all-time high with 15 wins in SEC play.
- The Tigers earned their best finish in SEC play since 2014.
- Cayla Kessinger set a new career-high with 11 home runs on the season.
- Mizzou set a new single-game high in earned runs for Tennessee pitcher Ashley Rogers, who leads the SEC in ERA.
- Megan Schumacher is the first Mizzou pitcher to reach 10 wins during the 2021 season.
- Hatti Moore reached 17 home runs on the season, tying her for third in Mizzou history for a single season. It was the 35th of her career.
- Brooke Wilmes is now tied for seventh in Mizzou history with 159 runs in her career.
The Tigers will head to the SEC Tournament where they will open play on Thursday in the second game of the day. Mizzou will take on the winner of Game 3, featuring 5-seed LSU and the winner of the play in game between 12-seed Auburn and 13-seed South Carolina.
Mizzou's opening game will air on SEC Network.