TEMPE, Ariz. — Gina Fogue knows what it takes to win big, and the new Missouri softball coach saw enough positive signs from her team to feel good about its showing in the desert.
The Tigers went 2-3 in the season-opening Kajikawa Classic at Arizona State University, finishing up on Sunday morning with a 3-1 loss to Oregon State (4-1).
“There were some good things for us here, and some things we can build on,” said Fogue, who played on Missouri’s 2009 and 2010 Women’s College World Series teams. “Our hitters are swinging the bats well, just hitting it right at people.”
The Tigers hit .302 at the tourney with five home runs according to the MUTigers.com report. Freshman catcher Trenity Edwards led Missouri with two home runs and paced the Tigers with 6 RBIs in the tourney.
Missouri, which has four returning position starters and features 10 freshmen, opened the tourney Friday with a 3-0 win over UTEP and 19-10 victory against Cal-State Northridge.
The wins were important for a program just two weeks removed from replacing coach Ehren Earleywine 11 seasons into his tenure, leading athletics director Jim Sterk to promote Fogue.
Saturday’s action in Arizona provided the Tigers their first taste of adversity. Missouri fell to No. 3-ranked Oregon by a 14-2 count in five innings before dropping a 6-3 decision to No. 21-ranked Oklahoma State on Saturday night.
“Oregon is a great team, but I don’t think the score was indicative of how we played,” Fogue said. “There were a couple of errors there and a mistake pitch, and you take those things away, we’re right in the game.”
Sunday’s game brought the promise of improved pitching. Madi Norman pitching the first 2 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and one earned run, and Lauren Rice came in to throw the final 4 2/3 innings, yielding four hits and an earned run.
“The pitching was much better today and we’re excited about that,” Vogue said. “We talked about how are pitchers needed to do a better job on 0-2 pitches.”
Missouri returned to Columbia on Sunday, ready to turn its attention forward to the Michele Smith Invitational in Clearwater, Fla., where it will next play South Florida at 3 p.m. on Friday.
The post Missouri softball takes first steps at Arizona tourney under new coach Gina Fogue appeared first on SEC Country.
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