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At 6:30 Saturday evening, the MU softball team will take on LSU in their fifth straight super regional appearance. MU is one of the final 16 teams vying for a national championship. Despite the team’s success, softball hasn’t typically been a big draw in Columbia — last year’s super regional against Washington set record attendance, but even then they had fewer than 3,000 fans in the stands.
Here are five reasons why Columbians might want to check out MU this Memorial Day weekend.
- Because the Tigers are guaranteed to win! Get it? LSU is also the Tigers! So it’s… ok, just kidding. On to the real list.
- Ehren Earleywine can coach. MU under Earleywine is 17-1 in post-season games played in Columbia. It’s not easy to improve upon the stellar regular-season performances Earleywine’s teams put together year after year, but MU’s been stepping up in big games. Your odds of seeing a couple wins this weekend aren’t bad.
- Chelsea Thomas is dealing. That’s nothing new. She rarely isn’t phenomenal. But in her past six appearances, she’s been lights out. Since her May 4 win at Oregon, Thomas has pitched 41.1 innings, struck out 58 batters, given up just 16 hits and allowed only one earned run. It literally can’t get much better than that.
- The bats are coming alive. Offense hasn’t been Mizzou’s forte for most of this season. The team finished 6th in team batting average in Big 12 play and 4th in runs scored. Defense and pitching propelled MU up to second in the final standings. But with Ashley Fleming’s walk-off homer to beat DePaul in extra innings last Saturday and Kayla Kingsley catching fire as the season comes to a close, these Tigers are looking a little more ferocious as of late.
- In six weeks, MU will officially be a member of the Southeastern Conference. This weekend’s matchup with LSU will serve as a trailer for next year’s blockbuster schedule. It’s like Cannes, but for softball.
- MU is one of six teams that have active super regional streaks of at least five years (Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal and Georgia are the others). Only Alabama, Arizona and Arizona State have longer active streaks. If you’ve been paying attention, you know MU softball has been successful. But it goes beyond that. This team is special. They’ve earned Columbia’s support, and then some.
- UPDATE: Mizzou softball team loses first game in Women’s College World Series
- Rain delays regional softball tournament
- Columbia Cougars head to the quarterfinals
- Following the Tigers to D.C.? Get everything you need to know right here.
- Tiger Treasures rummage sale is a bargain hunter’s dream
- SEC you later Big 12
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