COLUMBIA — Missouri softball's 5-0 start made an impression.
The Tigers went from unranked in three preseason polls to ranked in all four, highlighted by a jump from unranked to No. 10 in Softball America's poll released Tuesday. Missouri also moved from the receiving votes category of the ESPN/USA Softball poll to No. 18, from No. 25 to No. 18 in the D1Softball poll and from receiving votes to No. 19 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll.
The team's opening weekend at the NFCA DI Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla., featured a 7-4 upset of then-No. 7/8 Minnesota in eight innings, a 9-1 run-rule win against Baylor in five innings and wins against South Alabama, Notre Dame and Louisville.
Sophomore shortstop Jazmyn Rollin was named to the all-tournament team after hitting .529 (9-of-17) and slugging 1.059 on the weekend. Four of Rollin's nine hits went for extra bases, as she homered twice, tripled once and doubled once.
The Tigers are back in Clearwater this weekend for another invitation-only tournament, the ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Invite.
Missouri opens the tournament at noon Thursday with a game against Kansas (1-4) on ESPNU. The Jayhawks opened the season with three losses to ranked teams in Arizona, Tennessee and Arizona State, and lost both head-to-head games against the Tigers last season, 3-2 and 12-0 (5 innings).
Missouri plays Liberty (1-4) at 1:30 p.m. and No. 16 Oklahoma State at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Virginia Tech (4-1) at noon and No. 20 James Madison (0-0) at 5 p.m. Saturday and rematches with No. 14 Minnesota (3-2) at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.
Apart from Kansas, all games will be streamed online via ESPN3.
The Missouri baseball team did not receive ranking nods in any national preseason polls, and was picked to finish sixth in the East, ahead of Kentucky, by the league's coaches in a preseason poll.
RHP Ian Bedell was given third-team preseason All-American honors by both D1Baseball and Perfect Game. Bedell had a 1.56 ERA in 40 innings of mostly bullpen work for the Tigers a year ago, notching a team-best five saves, and walked 12 and struck out 36 while allowing a .193 batting average.
During the summer, Bedell pitched in the Cape Cod League and went 4-0 in six starts for the Wareham Gatemen with a 0.52 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Missouri opens its season this weekend in Alabama. The Tigers play a three-game series at Jacksonville State, with 3 p.m. first pitches scheduled for Friday and Saturday and a noon start Sunday. The Gamecocks went 39-23 a year ago and won the Ohio Valley Conference with a 22-8 conference record, and had home wins against Auburn and Georgia.