The Missouri softball team’s NCAA regional appearance opened with a mercy-rule loss. The Tigers, the No. 2 seed in the Norman, Okla., regional, fell 9-1 to No. 3 seed Tulsa in just five innings, as an eight-run difference after five innings ends a game.
Tulsa (34-23) did all of its damage in the third and fourth innings. The Golden Hurricane scored five runs in the top of the third and added four more in the next inning.
Mizzou (28-28) starter Lauren Rice pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on six hits. She struck out just one batter.
Tulsa starter Emily Watson struck out three batters, walked one and surrendered four hits. Missouri freshman Brooke Wilmes grounded out in the bottom of the third inning to score Callie Martin, MU's only run.
NCAA regionals are double-elimination tournaments. Mizzou will play to keep its season alive on Saturday, when it will face Boston University. Boston lost to Oklahoma 9-0 on Friday night.
Oklahoma, the top seed in the regional and the overall No. 4 seed in the field of 64, will face Tulsa at 4 p.m. on Saturday. That game will be followed by the Missouri-Boston game.