All Jordan Weber could do was watch as Arizona starter Devyn Netz carved through the Tigers’ lineup inning after inning.
Despite another strong pitching performance from Weber, Missouri softball’s season came to a close with the Tigers’ 1-0 loss to Arizona on Sunday at Mizzou Softball Stadium in the Columbia Regional.
Netz hurled a two-hitter to eliminate Missouri. She walked three, struck out three and was backed by stellar defense in the shutout.
“I know I’m at my best when I just go at hitters and when I go at our opponents,” Netz said. “It helps knowing that it’s not just me out there. There’s nine of us, and there’s actually 18 of us because I know each of my teammates have me.”
Both of Missouri’s hits were singles, and neither were enough to spark the offense. Kendyll Bailey’s second-inning hit came with two outs. Kara Daly’s single in the bottom of the fourth was followed by a fielder’s choice and a walk before a strikeout left two runners on base. The Tigers never advanced a runner to third.
“Honestly, we were pressing a little bit,” Missouri designated player Kimberly Wert said. “We’re an older lineup. We knew this could have been our last game. That’s always in the back of your mind. You don’t want it to be, but it’s kinda how it is in a tournament like this.”
Weber surrendered four hits and walked two as she kept the Tigers in the game for seven innings. Similar to her start against Arizona on Saturday, Weber worked around base runners in the early portion of the game. She stranded eight Wildcats in total.
Both teams scattered pop-ups throughout the game for routine outs, but Arizona right fielder Paige Dimler’s pop-up in the top of the fourth turned disastrous for Missouri. Bailey and Jenna Laird miscommunicated in the middle of the infield. Laird was charged with an error on a dropped pop-up and Dimler reached second base to lead off the inning.
Weber navigated around the error, collecting three outs on a pop-up and two fly balls to keep the game scoreless.
One inning later, Arizona catcher Sharlize Palacios came through with the deciding hit. Palacios launched Weber’s 1-2 pitch, sailed to deep left-center field for a solo home run.
For a slumping Tigers offense, any deficit was too much.
Down to its final inning, Missouri mounted a comeback attempt in the bottom of the seventh. Hatti Moore drew a one-out walk, putting the tying run on first and sending the winning run to the plate. But two batters later, a fielder’s choice spelled the end of the Tigers’ season.