IT’S GAME DAY, and Mizzou is one of the Super 16 !! The Tigers will host the James Madison Dukes in a super regional game for a shot to make the Women’s College World Series in a best-of-three game. This will be the first time Missouri host a Super Regional Series at Mizzou Softball Stadium and their first appearance in the Supers since 2016. The last time the Tigers hosted a Super Regional? 2013 at University Field, when EE was a coach.
Think of this as your preview.
Last weekend we watched in awe of the Tigers pitching staff giving up just two shots at the whole weekend on some amazing games from Jordan Weber and Laurin Krings. Jordan and Laurin flirted with the flirtatious in the last inning of their games Friday and Saturday, and Jo finally got his no-no on Sunday, the Tigers’ first since 2011. I expect the Tigers to deploy Jordan like the starter tonight, because she’s the “normal” Friday starter, and our real star.
We also cheered loudly as the Tigers’ offense went wild, led by senior Brooke Wilmes, who hit three solo bombs in the regions and became the first Tiger to reach 50 RBI this season, and the catcher. Hattie Moore, who not only led her victory pitchers behind the plate, but was also 7-9 in the series with 4 RBIs and a brace. What about defense? OOOOOOHHHHH…. THIS DEFENSE. [insert heart eyes emojis]
Sports Illustrated detailed in its own super regional preview that the Tigers have legitimacy eight home run threats in their lineup, but their defense is even better, claiming that “Abby George’s Missouri outfield, Wilmes and All-SEC fielder Casidy Chaumont won’t let a lot of shots land. I of course agree with this analysis.
About the opponent:
JMU is currently on a 27-game winning streak and will compete in his third Super in five years. According to a preview on NCAA.com, JMU is led by one of the hottest pitchers nationwide, Oddici Alexander (1.04 ERA, 14-0, 11 CG, 6 SHO, 168 K on the season) who posted a performance of NINETEEN STRIKEOUT against Liberty in the first game. Other players who are on hot stadiums, along with their season stats, that Mizzou fans should probably take note of (via JMU Sports):
- I really don’t know how Oddici AlexanderThe arm of the device did not really FALL given its astronomical amount of use last weekend. Take a look at this:
– Game One vs Liberty, 12PM Friday: 10 (!) IP, CG, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 19 K
– Game Two vs Tennessee, 12PM Saturday: 7 IP, CG, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
– Game Three vs Liberty, 12PM Sunday: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 K, Save
- Alissa humphrey pulled out three and earned his 14th win of the season after pitching just 1.2 innings in Game 3. She is undefeated this season, with a 1.52 ERA, 11 complete games, 7 shutouts, 43 H, 19 ER, 29 BB and 135 K.
- Sara jubas went 4-for-12 with a triple and a double while scoring twice and leading four RBIs in the regionals. She beats .418 over the season with 41R, 51H, 33 RBI, 11 2G, 2 3G and only 3K.
- Kate gordon (18 HR, 55 RBIs over the season) had a three-point shot and tied the CAA Tour record (68). She beats .397 over the season with 43 R, 50 H, 11 2G, 1 3G, 18 HR and 55 RBI.
- Madison Naujokas hit a triple, and is batting .339 on the season with 31R, 37H, 2 2G, 4 HR and is a perfect 23-23 on SB attempts.
NOTE: If the stats sound scary – and some certainly do – remember JMU plays in the Colonial Athletic Association, which isn’t exactly the glove of varsity softball like the SEC (no disrespect). The best team on their schedule this season was George Washington, who reached the field of 64. But the Dukes are not to be outdone and are widely regarded as one of the best mid-majors in the country.
Coach Anderson knows what it’s like to be an underrated team and knows not to underestimate a school they used to face – and lose, too, regularly – at Hofstra.
From my Sunday recap and post-match presser:
The Dukes (37-1, haven’t lost since March 27), outside the CAA, are a very familiar team to Coach Anderson and some of his staff, as they play in the same conference as his old school, Hofstra. Said Anderson of the game, “The gods of softball always have a way of figuring it out. We played them in Florida (Clearwater, in Feb 2020) and they beat us (8-7 in extra innings) … They have an amazing offense and a deep stick.
And Coach Anderson is certainly aware that his Tigers need to find a way to stop Kate Gordon’s offensive firepower. Extract from Anthony Kristensen’s article in the Columbia Missourian:
“(Gordon is a) phenomenal player at every level,” said Anderson. “She has the ability to be a game changer. She’s a fierce thresher in the batter’s box, can hit bad balls. These types of players make me nervous because it’s really hard to get them out.
Hoping Mizzou’s launch staff are on fire again, eh?
Looking for a quick video preview? Check this out on the NCAA Twitter account. (Fast forward to 1:30 am to hear about Mizzou’s match)
How to watch
TIME: 8 p.m. CST
DATED: Friday May 28, 2021
LOCATION: Mizzou Softball Stadium, Columbia, Mo.
TV: ESPN U
TWITTER: @MizzouSoftball , #OwnIt, #RoadtoWCWS
ESPN +: ROCKMNATION
Looking for FuboTV? Try our registration link: FUBOTV
Here’s Sports Illustrated’s take on the series, from the same post I mentioned above:
Keys to move to the World Series for Mizzou: Mizzou has held his own against big pitchers all season, especially in the SEC, but he will need his pitching staff and defense to measure up to Odiccy Alexander. The Tigers are sure to hit a few home runs, and getting runners on base for their mighty bats will be key against dominant Alexander.
Keys to move to the World Series for JMU: Redshirt junior shortstop Sara Jubas will need to maintain her offensive production after leading by five points in the regional sweep. She and Gordon have been the Duke’s biggest bats, and they’ll have their work cut out for them against a Missouri team that only gave up two hits in their home region.
I don’t know about all of you, but I LOVE our chances. I’ll be back with recaps throughout the weekend, but until then let’s celebrate and get ready for tonight’s game. This team has a LOT of enthusiasm.