#34 Missouri Softball 2018 Preview

Missouri Tigers
Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #12 SEC
Missouri snuck into the NCAA Tournament last season with a 29-28 overall record and a 7-16 mark in SEC play. By Missouri standards that was a disappointing season and the two losses in the NCAA Tournament did not help matters. The Tigers had the worst ERA in the conference and that could be an issue again in 2018. Cheyenne Baxter was the most productive pitcher on the roster and she now needs to be replaced. Madi Norman and Danielle Baumgartner have plenty of talent, but were inconsistent as sophomores last season. That could leave an opening for newcomers Nalani Scates and Lauren Rice to make an impact. But no matter who is in the circle, the Tigers must improve or they will struggle to win more SEC contests.
2017: 29-28, 7-16
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ehren Earleywine
Key Departed Players:
Kirsten Mack, C, .333 BA, 9 HR, 38 RBI
Cheyenne Baxter, P, 2.47 ERA, 16-10 W-L, 161.2 IP, 115 SO
Key Returning Players:
Kolby Romaine, IF, .325 BA, 1 HR, 21 RBI
Cayla Kessinger, OF, .298 BA, 6 HR, 19 RBI
Braxton Burnside, IF, .297 BA, 12 HR, 52 RBI
Regan Nash, OF, .340 BA, 9 RBI, 17 SB
Rylee Pierce, IF, .264 BA, 8 HR, 20 RBI
Madi Norman, P, 4.08 ERA, 7-10 W-L, 108.0 IP, 89 SO
Even when Coach Ehren Earleywine’s team allows quite a few runs, they can still win games. The team belted 52 homeruns last year and three of their top power hitters are back this season. Braxton Burnside led the way with 12 homeruns and 52 RBIs. Rylee Pierce added eight homeruns, while Cayla Kessinger hit six. With players like Regan Nash and Kolby Romaine consistently getting on base, Missouri will be able to put up points in a hurry. It may not be enough for Missouri to seriously compete for an SEC title, but it should be enough for this group to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament