Palm Springs, CA - For the third consecutive day, a late comeback against a ranked team fell just short as No. 18 Missouri defeated No. 13 Arizona 3-2 on the third day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
The Cats stranded the tying run at third base in the top of the seventh after UA rallied for one run in the frame.
Missouri scored two runs five batters into the bottom of the first before a pitcher's duel broke out between Michelle Floyd (4-2) and two Missouri pitchers.
Paige Lowary (5-0) went four innings and allowed one run on two hits before Tori Finucane entered to get the three-inning save (2). Finucane allowed one run on two hits as well.
Floyd tossed six innings and allowed three runs on four hits. The sophomore struck out a career-high-tying six in her fourth start of the year while walking four.
Kellie Fox remained hot for the Cats, going 1-for-2 with the lone UA RBI in the game. Mo Mercado, Lauren Young and Eva Watson had the other three hits for Arizona.
The Tigers wasted little time in getting to Floyd, using a walk and two singles, the latter of which, an RBI Sami Fagan single gave Missouri a 1-0 lead three batters into the game. Floyd walked the next batter to load the bases with no one out. Floyd was able to get out of the jam with just one more run allowed on a sacrifice fly.
After two hitless innings, Watson picked up Arizona's first hit to lead off the third. An error and a groundout moved her to third before Fox's two-out single brought Watson home to get Arizona on the board.
The teams traded zeros on the scoreboard until Angela Randazzo hit a two-out solo home run, her first of the year, to insure Mizzou's lead.
In the top of the seventh, UA put the pressure on Finucane with back-to-back two-out singles. A groundout moved the tying runs into scoring position with two out. A wild pitch scored one run and brought the tying run 60 feet away, but a fly ball to left field ended the game.
Arizona returns to action
when it hosts the Wildcat Invitational
Feb. 27-March 1
. The Cats take on Colorado State and UTEP in a doubleheader beginning at
4 p.m. on Friday
to open the Invitational.
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