MO State HS Sports

No. 11/11 Softball Sweeps Illinois in Braggin’ Rights Doubleheader Wednesday

Alex Honnold_BANNER_ILLINOIS_2024_ORG05805.JPG

URBANA, Ill. – The No. 11/11 University of Missouri softball team (22-3, 2-1 SEC) swept its Braggin’ Rights midweek doubleheader with Illinois (8-11) Wednesday afternoon at Eichelberger Field.

Trailing 4-3 in the seventh, Mizzou pulled off the comeback in game one with a two-run homer from Alex Honnold to take the opener 5-3. 

Mizzou then secured the midweek sweep with a 10-2 run-rule win over the Illini in game two. 

With the pair of wins, Mizzou improved to 22-3 which is the best start for Missouri since the Tigers opened the 2013 campaign 22-2 en route to a 38-14 finish.

No. 11/11 Mizzou 5, Illinois 4

Facing their final out in the seventh and down a run, Jenna Laird knocked a single to put the tying run on base to set the stage for Alex Honnold’s late game heroics.

Honnold followed with a two-run homer to left center to provide Mizzou a 5-4 heading into the home half of the inning. 

The home run was Honnold’s third in 2024 and accounted for her 100th career RBI. 

In the bottom half of the seventh, Tigers closer Taylor Pannell worked out of a first and second jam to secure the save and the game one victory. 

Laird opened Wednesday’s doubleheader with a leadoff single. Laird later picked up a stolen base to get into scoring position, however, the Tigers could not bring her home.

The next two and a half innings became a pitcher’s duel as Laurin Krings and Tori McQueen had strong pitching performances. Each team was held scoreless as both pitchers were able to get out of any jam they faced.

However, in the top of the fourth, Alex Honnold led off with a single to center. Julia Crenshaw then reached first and moved Honnold to third following an error by the Fighting Illini.

The error would prove to be costly as Katie Chester brought home Honnold on a groundout to the shortstop to give Mizzou a 1-0 lead.

Illinois responded in the bottom half of the fourth as the Fighting Illini notched a pair of one-out singles. With runners on the corners, Sydney Malott drove in Adisyn Caryl on a sacrifice fly to right field, to even the contest at 1-1.

In the top half of the fifth, Chantice Phillips led off with a bunt single. Phillips was able to advance into scoring position after a Claire Cahalan sacrifice bunt. Laird then drove in Phillips with a single to right field as the Tigers reclaimed the lead at 2-1.

Honnold followed with a double to center to score Laird to extend the Mizzou edge to 3-1. 

Despite the offensive spark from the Tigers, Illinois responded in the bottom half of the frame, scoring a trio of runs. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Stevie Meade homered to left field to give the Fighting Illini a 4-3 advantage.

Kara Daly then doubled to right to lead off the top of the sixth, however, McQueen worked out of a jam to keep the Fighting Illini in front. 


  • Jenna Laird paced Mizzou in game one, finishing 3-for-4 with two runs, a stolen base, and an RBI.
  • Jenna Laird notched her 100th career RBI, with an RBI single in the fifth inning.
  • Alex Honnold recorded three RBIs in the contest to also hit the 100 milestone in her career.
  • Alex Honnold finished 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. She was a triple shy of the cycle.
  • Abby Hay made her second-straight start at first base.
  • Kara Daly notched a double (1-for-3) in game one Wednesday.
  • Lilly Whitten made her third career appearance in the circle, tallying two strikeouts over 1.2 innings. She allowed no runs on three hits to improve to 3-0 in 2024. 
  • Taylor Pannell recorded her third save of the season, allowing just one hit over the seventh inning.
  • Laurin Krings was handed the no decision, allowing four runs on eight hits with a strikeout in her 12th start of the season. 

No. 11/11 Mizzou 10, Illinois 2 – Five Innings 

Mizzou utilized an offensive outburst punctuated by a six-run fifth to secure their fifth run-rule victory in 2024. 

Alex Honnold notched a one-out double before Julia Crenshaw added a base hit to put Tigers on the corners in the opening inning. Kara Daly then homered to left field to provide Mizzou an early 3-0 advantage. 

Cierra Harrison then pitched around a leadoff single in the bottom half of the first. 

After a 1-2-3 top of the second for Mizzou, Harrison utilized her defense to get out of a jam. With runners on first and second, Harrison induced a double play lineout from Jenna Laird before a groundout to conclude the frame. 

Maddie Gallagher added an RBI single in the third to increase the Mizzou lead to 4-0. 

The Fighting Illini would cut the deficit to two in the bottom half of the third with a two-run homer from Kelly Ryono.

Mizzou then wrapped the contest with a six-run fifth to secure the run-rule victory. 

Gallagher commenced the scoring with an RBI infield single before Katie Chester knocked a two-run double to widen the margin to 7-2. 

Freshman Madison Walker followed with a two-run single before Laird hit an RBI base hit for a 10-2 lead. 

Harrison then kept Illinois at bay, wrapping the game with three outs on six pitches to secure the victory. She improved to 8-0 in 2024 with her fourth complete game.


  • Jenna Laird extended her hitting streak to nine games, dating back to March 2 against Nebraska. She also extended her reach-base streak to 11 games.
  • Jenna Laird recorded her team-leading 11th multi-hit game of the season. Laird finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base in game two. She notched multiple hits in each of the two contests Wednesday. 
  • Kara Daly hit her team-leading fourth home run of the season. She finished 1-for-2 with two runs and three RBI. 
  • Kara Daly posted her fifth multi-RBI game of the season. 
  • Alex Honnold recorded her team-leading 11th multi-hit game of the season.
  • Alex Honnold finished 2-for-3 with three runs, two stolen bases, a double and a walk. She posted multiple hits in each of the games Wednesday. 
  • Alex Honnold tallied a double in each of the games Wednesday and now has 41 (11th in Mizzou history) in her career at Mizzou. Her 12 doubles in 2024 are a team-high and pace the SEC.
  • Alex Honnold scored five times over the two games Wednesday. 
  • Maddie Gallagher posted a 2-for-3 mark at the dish with two RBI and a run. 
  • Katie Chester added a 2-for-3 outing with two RBI (fifth multi-RBI game) and a double. 
  • Madison Walker knocked in a pair of Tigers with a run. It marked her fourth multi-RBI game (third two-RBI games in 2024). 
  • Four Tigers notched two hits in the second game of the doubleheader Wednesday.
  • Cierra Harrison notched her fourth complete game of the season, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. 
  • With the win, Cierra Harrison improved to 8-0 in 2024.
  • Cierra Harrison has now finished with a complete game in each of her last three starts.
  • Claire Cahalan made her first career start in left field. 
  • Mizzou posted its fifth run-rule win of the season.
  • Missouri improves to 16-4 against Illinois. Head Coach Larissa Anderson moves to 8-1 against the Fighting Illini.
  • The Tigers have now won six consecutive games in a row against Illinois.


  • Mizzou next heads to No. 8/9 Tennessee (19-4, 0-0 SEC) for a weekend SEC series in Knoxville, Tennessee. 
  • All three games will be available on SEC Network+ with Zack Nelson (play-by-play) and Faith Cain (analyst) on the broadcast.
  • The Tigers weekend matchup in Knoxville, Tennessee, against the No. 8/9 Vols features games on Friday (5 p.m., CT), Saturday (1 p.m., CT) and Sunday (12:30 p.m., CT) at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
  • Following the SEC weekend series, the Tigers head to Lawrence, Kansas, for a midweek matchup against Kansas on March 20. The Tigers will then return home, hosting No. 2/2 LSU for a three-game series March 22-24 at the Mizzou Softball Stadium. 


This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics