COLUMBIA, Mo. - Facing elimination, Mizzou Softball took control of the contest early by putting up six runs in the second inning. The Tigers never looked back and took the game by a score of 7-1 over James Madison to force the third game of the Columbia Super Regional.
Each team went down in order in the first inning, but the Tigers would not be behind for long. In the top of the second, Cayla Kessinger stepped up to the plate with one out and drove a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall for a solo shot. The Tigers did not stop there, however. Casidy Chaumont ripped a single through the left side on the first pitch that she saw and then Emma Raabe was hit by the first pitch of her at bat to put two on quickly.
With two outs, Abby George slapped one back to the pitcher and the ball was misplayed by the first baseman and Chaumont scored from second to make it 2-0. After Abby George stole second, Brooke Wilmes sent a 1-1 pitch over the left-center wall for a three-run shot, giving the Tigers a five-run lead. Jenna Laird then drove a double off the center field wall to force a pitching change. Hatti Moore singled down the left field line to score Laird from second, but she was thrown out attempting to stretch it into a double. The Tigers led 6-0 in the middle of the second.
The Dukes attempted to answer immediately and were able to reach on a leadoff single. Laurin Krings immediately shut the door with a fielder's choice and a pair of strikeouts.
In the top of the third, Cayla Kessinger stepped up to the plate with one out and drove her second home run of the game over the left-center wall to extend the Mizzou lead to 7-0. In the bottom half of the inning, Laurin Krings struck out the side, each swinging.
The Tigers threatened in the fourth with Abby George singling, stealing a base and then moving over to third with two outs. Mizzou could not bring her in to grab the valuable eighth run. Laurin Krings remained out of trouble in the bottom half of the inning, forcing a flyout and then grabbing two more strikeouts.
Neither team was able to get the bats going until the seventh. With the Tigers leading 7-0, the Dukes jumped on the first pitch of the inning for a double down the left field line. The following batter flew out to right to move the runner over and another double into left center broke up Krings' shutout bid. She was able to come back and get the next two batters out, including her 10th strikeout of the game to close it out.
Cayla Kessinger was a force offensively for the Tigers, going 2-for-2 with a pair of home runs and a walk.
Laurin Krings delivered a gem for Mizzou in the circle. She matched her career-high of 10 strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
Brooke Wilmes had another productive day for Mizzou. The senior went 2-for-4 at the plate with a key three-run home run to break open the contest.
Mizzou snaps an eight-game Super Regional losing streak.
Mizzou Softball Stadium broke the previous night's attendance record with a crowd of 2,679.
Hatti Moore reached 50 RBIs on the season for the first time in her career.
Cayla Kessinger recorded the third two-home run game of her career and second of the season.
Brooke Wilmes extended her hitting streak to nine games.
Laurin Krings matched her career-high of 10 strikeouts.
Krings did not throw a seven-inning complete game during the regular season. In each of her NCAA Tournament starts, she has tossed seven innings and struck out 10 batters each time.
Krings did not walk a batter in the contest and only reached one three-ball count.
Mizzou will look to book a trip to the Women's College World Series on Sunday, May 29th at 11 a.m. on ESPN in the finale of the Columbia Super Regional against James Madison.