Kim Wert on Mizzou softball’s success
Ten years after a program-changing win over UCLA, Missouri is heading back to Westwood for its first NCAA Tournament berth under Larissa Anderson.
The Tigers drew Cal State-Fullerton in the UCLA regional of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The bid marks the program’s thirteenth consecutive in the tournament and first under Anderson.
Should Missouri win on Friday, the Tigers will face the winner of the Bruins’ game against Weber State. UCLA is the tournament’s No. 2 national seed and is 45-6 for the season. Missouri lost to UCLA 11-3 in six innings on Feb. 22 in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Friday won’t mark the first time Missouri played in a Westwood regional. In 2009, the Tigers went to Westwood as underdogs against the Bruins, who were again the No. 2 national seed. Missouri took the series in three games to advance to the Women’s College World Series.
Former coach Ehren Earleywhine said that series was pivotal to Missouri’s later success and for the pipeline to California players that fueled it.
Missouri went winless in last week’s SEC Tournament, after losing 3-0 to Auburn on Wednesday after a rain delay. The Tigers record is 32-23 entering the tournament.