MO State HS Sports

No. 14/15 Softball Moves to 9-0 with Pair of Wins at Tracy Beard College Classic

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DENTON, Texas – The No. 14/15 University of Missouri softball program (9-0) registered two more wins Saturday at Lovelace Stadium in the second day of the Tracy Beard College Classic to push its 2024 record to 9-0.

Missouri’s 9-0 start is its best opening to a season since 2020, when the Tigers also won nine straight to commence the year.

Starting pitchers Lilly Whitten and Cierra Harrison were dominant in the circle Saturday, combining to allow just one run over the two games. 

Mizzou first swept the two-game series with South Dakota State (4-4), downing the Jackrabbits, 7-1, before shutting out host, North Texas (2-3), 10-0.

No. 14/15 Mizzou 7, South Dakota State 1

In the top of the first, Lilly Whitten, in her first collegiate appearance, would face runners on first and third with one out. However, the moment wasn’t too big for the sophomore from Tunas, Missouri, as she sat down the next two SDSU batters to escape the early jam with zero damage.

Whitten allowed just one run on six hits with eight strikeouts in her Mizzou debut after redshirting in 2023. 

Mizzou then drew first blood in the game in the bottom of the second, using a fielder’s choice induced by Jenna Laird to bring home Maddie Gallagher and give MU a 1-0 lead.

The Tiger offense kept rolling in the bottom of the third, as the first four batters got on base, including an RBI single from Mya Dodge. Gallagher would bring in another on an RBI groundout, and Dodge would come in to score on an error, as Missouri saw its lead jump to four.

Later in the inning, with two outs and the bases loaded, another Jackrabbit miscue would bring all three Tigers – Kayley Lenger, Stefania Abruscato, and Laird – around to score, widening the gap to seven heading into the fourth.

South Dakota State would get on the board in the top of the fifth, using a single to push one across, but Whitten didn’t crack under pressure with the bases juiced with one out, as she struck out the next two Jackrabbits to preserve the lead.

Whitten in the sixth and Jayci Kruse in the seventh would sit down six of SDSU’s next seven batters, including three strikeouts, to close out the win, 7-1.


  • Jenna Laird went 1-for-2 with an RBI, run and a walk.
  • Julia Crenshaw drew a career-best three walks.
  • Mya Dodge, Kayley Lenger and Maddie Gallagher all logged RBIs as well, with Gallagher finishing the day with a pair of walks.
  • Four Tigers – Julia Crenshaw (3), Maddie Gallagher (2), Stefania Abruscato (2), and Kara Daly (2) – recorded multiple walks in the victory.
  • The Tigers scored seven runs in the contest without recording a single extra-base hit.
  • Lilly Whitten recorded her first collegiate start and appearance in the game.
  • Lilly Whitten finished her collegiate debut with a line of 6.0 innings pitched, allowing one run on six hits, and eight strikeouts for the win. 
  • Jayci Kruse made her first appearance of the 2024 season, and the fourth of her Mizzou career. She collected one strikeout over the final inning to secure the win.  

No. 14/15 Mizzou 10, North Texas 0

On the heels of her first career no-hitter, sophomore Cierra Harrison allowed only two hits while striking out four over six innings Saturday. With the win, she improved to 4-0 in 2024. 

The Tigers wasted no time getting on the board in the second game Saturday, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Leadoff batter Jenna Laird drew a walk, followed by another walk to Alex Honnold. After a pop out, Kara Daly walked to load the bases. 

Maddie Gallagher then singled to left field, driving in Laird for the game’s first run. Mizzou added two more runs on RBI bases-loaded walks to Stefania Abruscato and Kayley Lenger, putting the Tigers up 3-0 early. 

Mizzou added another run in the second on an RBI groundout by Julia Crenshaw.

Crenshaw then drove in another run courtesy of a sacrifice fly to push the margin to 5-0 in the fourth. 

Mizzou then burst the game open with a five-run seventh. Gallagher led off with a base hit before coming home on an RBI double from Abruscato.

Mya Dodge drove in another run with a groundout, and Laird followed with an RBI sacrifice fly.

Crenshaw notched an RBI double to left center before Daly capped the scoring with an RBI single, providing Mizzou a 10-0 lead. 

Closer Taylor Pannell wrapped the contest in the seventh, striking out a pair while allowing just one hit. 


  • Maddie Gallagher finished with a career-best 4-for-4 day at the plate with a run and an RBI.
  • Julia Crenshaw and Stefania Abruscato each knocked doubles in the win. 
  • Alex Honnold drew a season-best three walks.
  • Leadoff hitter Jenna Laird scored three times, walked twice, went 1-for-2, and posted an RBI. She is currently on a three-game hitting streak.
  • Stefania Abruscato notched a career-best two RBI, going 1-for-3 with a run and walk. She has posted a hit in each of the last two games. 
  • On the heels of her first career no-hitter, sophomore Cierra Harrison allowed only two hits while striking out four over six innings Saturday.
  • Cierra Harrison improved to 4-0 (2-0 at the 2024 Tracy Beard College Classic).
  • Taylor Pannell made her second appearance of the season, matching a season-best two strikeouts.


Mizzou next takes on North Texas Sunday at 11 a.m., CT to conclude the 2024 Tracy Beard College Classic.


For all the latest on Mizzou Softball, stay tuned to and follow the team @MizzouSoftball (TwitterInstagramFacebook).

This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics