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Missouri softball blanks Stony Brook

COLUMBIA — It wasn’t the prettiest win, but the Missouri softball team will take it.

The Tigers’ offense Friday night consisted of a three-run home run by Jenna Marston, but it was enough to power them to a 3-0 win over Stony Brook in the second game of the Columbia Regional.

The Tigers, who improved to 36-11, will face Hofstra (44-11) at noon today in the event. Hofstra topped Oregon State 2-0 in Friday’s first game.

“Not exactly happy about our performance, obviously we didn’t swing the bats very well, and it was tight,” Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine said. “But at the end of the day we got a win, and that’s the most important thing this time of the season.”

After Rachel Hay and Emily Crane drew walks in the sixth, Marston smacked the game’s biggest hit. Each team had just two hits in the contest.

It was the first home run for Marston, a senior, since her sophomore year.

“It’s nice, in a game like this, to get one like that,” she said. “It’s kind of embarrassing when your whole team has to run out there and greet you at home plate.”

That homer helped a gamble pay off for Earleywine, as he sat ace pitcher Chelsea Thomas for the game.

Instead, Nicole Hudson came up with a clutch two-hitter, striking out one and walking two over seven innings.

“Typically that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me a whole lot, but I know if that gamble doesn’t work tonight, then this weekend is our last tournament,” Earleywine said. “You can’t win five games in two days with one pitcher, just being realistic, it can’t happen. And so there was a tremendous amount of pressure on me for making that decision.”

Allison Cukrov was the tough-luck loser, allowing just the two hits while striking out four and walking six.

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