Wilmes, Moore power Tigers to doubleheader sweep of Western Illinois

Ben Miglore

Brooke Wilmes woke up feeling dangerous.

The Missouri softball center fielder went 5 for 8 with six RBI over the course of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Western Illinois, with one hit standing out in particular.

She came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth of Game 1. A single likely would have ended the game via the run rule, but Wilmes went for the dramatic, putting the ball over the centerfield wall for a walk-off grand slam.

The slam ended the first game 10-0 in five innings and Missouri kept its perfect home record intact through the second game, winning 6-0.

The Tigers shifted their lineup slightly for the midweek games. Starting third baseman Kimberly Wert was rested as Megan Moll got the start at the hot corner. Jenna Laird also was moved up to the No. 2 spot in the order from her usual place in the bottom.

Over the course of the two games, Missouri coach Larissa Anderson was given the opportunity to rest a few of her regulars at times throughout the day, something she was happy about.

“They need some rest,” Anderson said, “I was so glad that we were able to give some run support to be able to have some of those kids sit down and be able to get some younger players some experience.”

Laurin Krings took the circle, looking to right the ship after being hit hard by Georgia over the weekend. She looked much cleaner against the Leathernecks, pitching five shutout innings. She gave up two hits and two walks to go with a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Her counterpart in Game 2, Megan Schumacher, was threatened a little more than Krings. WIU loaded the bases on an Abrianna Gracia single with two outs in the top of the fifth, which represented the best chance of the day for the Leathernecks. They squandered that opportunity but created the same in the next inning. Once again Schumacher got the final out to prevent anyone from scoring.

Schumacher went the full seven innings, giving up eight hits and striking out six.

It was hard to top what Wilmes did on offense, but Hatti Moore gave her a run for her money. The Tigers catcher hit three home runs on the day, accounting for five RBI. The three blasts also moved her into ninth on the Missouri all-time home run list, passing teammate Cayla Kessinger.

It sets up an interesting race between Moore, Kessinger and Wert over the rest of the season to see who ends up the highest on that list. Kessinger sits 10th with 28 homers, Moore on 29 and Wert tied for seventh with 32.