University of Missouri

Missouri drops winner-take-all game to No. 2 UCLA 13-1 as season ends in NCAA Tournament

Missouri softball did enough on Sunday to extend its season one more game, but came short in a winner-take-all finale against No. 2 UCLA.

The Bruins run-ruled the Tigers 13-1 in five innings on Sunday after MU won the earlier matchup 5-1.

The Tigers finish their first season under Larissa Anderson with a 35-25 record.

Just like it did in its first matchup against UCLA on Saturday, errors killed MU. The Tigers had three against the Bruins, the first of which led to UCLA’s first run in the finale. The Tigers’ sloppy play led to three unearned runs, which put MU in a 5-0 hole in the first two innings.

The Tigers didn’t score until sophomore Hatti Moore’s solo home run in the fourth inning. The Bruins continued to pour it on, scoring five runs in the bottom of the fourth to put UCLA up 12.

In the earlier game, Missouri capitalized on strong pitching by senior Madi Norman and junior Eli Daniel. Brooke Wilmes’ two-run home run in the sixth inning gave MU all the insurance it needed to force another game in the regional final.

Missouri was picked almost unanimously to finish in the cellar of the Southeastern Conference and finished seventh while getting to the final game of a regional final against a No. 2 national seed.

Anderson’s debut season wraps up as something to build on, after surprising many around the country.

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.