No. 7 Softball’s Rally Falls Short in Season-Ending Super Regional Loss to No. 10 Duke

COLUMBIA, Mo. – In front of the largest home crowd in program history, the No. 7 University of Missouri softball’s (48-18) extra-inning rally fell short in a 4-3 loss to No. 10 Duke (52-7) in Sunday’s winner-take-all 2024 NCAA Columbia Super Regional Game 3 at sold-out Mizzou Softball Stadium.

The Tigers were attempting to make their seventh NCAA Women’s College World Series appearance and first since 2011. The double-elimination WCWS starts Thursday in Oklahoma City.

Trailing Duke 4-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Mizzou clawed back behind Abby Hay‘s three-run opposite-field home run to right, but the Tigers couldn’t get any closer as Duke starter Cassidy Curd re-entered the game and pitched around a two-out Kara Daly single to extinguish the Tigers’ final flicker.

Anchored by a standout senior class, Mizzou’s 2024 team delivered the fourth-most wins (48) in program history.

“The wins are great. Going to Super Regionals are great,” head coach Larissa Anderson said. “But it’s the standards of their work ethic, their discipline, their self-motivation, they’re trusting the process … that’s what the senior class did. Last year we underachieved and from the second our season ended, this group got together and said, ‘This is what we’re going to live by. These are going to be our mottos. We’re going to uphold it and we’re going to carry it out.’ And they never wavered. So, it’s those standards that the younger players have learned from our upperclassmen. That’s not going to change.”

With Sunday’s game scoreless through eight innings, Duke’s D’Auna Jennings led off the ninth with a solo home run over the right-field fence, but Jennings appeared to nearly miss home plate before celebrating with her teammates outside of the dugout, causing a stoppage in the game while the umpire crew reviewed the play. The home run was upheld, good for a 1-0 Duke lead, and ended the day for Mizzou starter Laurin Krings, who was otherwise dominant in the circle.

Making her seventh consecutive postseason start, Krings (17-10) surrendered one run on four hits in eight innings, retiring 16 consecutive Blue Devils during one stretch.

With Taylor Pannell in the circle for Mizzou, Duke added to its lead with three two-out RBI extra-base hits, a triple to right by Amiah Burgess, Ana Gold’s double to right and Kelly Torres’ double on a blooper behind first base.

The Tigers were down but not out. In the ninth, after allowing a leadoff single by Jenna Laird, Curd (13-3) couldn’t handle Alex Honnold‘s liner up the middle, giving the Tigers a pair of runners on with no outs.

With reliever Lillie Walker in the circle for Duke, Hay crushed her fifth home run of the season on a 3-1 pitch. After Julia Crenshaw‘s groundout, Daly’s single up the middle put the winning run at the plate, but Curd returned to the circle to retire Madison Walker on a lineout to center field to clinch the victory.

Duke outlasted the Tigers in front of a Mizzou Softball Stadium record crowd of 4,021. The three-day Super Regional attendance total of 11,608 also marked a program record for a three-game series.

The Tigers had trouble solving Duke’s Curd, who scattered six hits over 8 1/3 innings.

Mizzou’s Kayley Lenger led off the third inning with a single to right field, but Curd retired the next three Tigers and didn’t allow another Mizzou baserunner until Crenshaw’s two-out single in the seventh.


  • Abby Hay blasted her fifth home run of the season to cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth.
  • Abby Hay, a 2024 NFCA All-Region selection, notched her seventh multi-RBI game of the season, finishing with three RBI and a run, going 1-for-4.
  • Jenna Laird, Alex Honnold, Maddie Gallagher, Julia Crenshaw, Kara Daly, Kayley Lenger (1-for-2) and Abby Hay each had a hit Sunday.
  • With a run Sunday, Jenna Laird finished her career with 200 career runs which ranks fourth in Mizzou program history.
  • Jenna Laird completes her career as the all-time Mizzou consecutive games played leader with 246 career games (all starts).
  • Jenna Laird finishes her career ranked in Mizzou’s top 10 for batting average (.351, ninth), at bats (794, second), hits (279, third), doubles (50, fifth), runs (200, fourth) and stolen bases (84, fifth). She also ranks sixth for runs in a single season (58), ninth for hits (73) and third for at bats (211).
  • Laurin Krings, a 2024 NFCA All-Region selection, pitched eight innings, allowing just on earned run on four hits with a trio of strikeouts.
  • Laurin Krings finishes her Mizzou career ranked in the Tigers top-10 for appearances (136, eighth), innings pitched (604.2, ninth), strikeouts (599, sixth) and wins (56, 10th).
  • Alex Honnold, a 2024 NFCA All-Region selection, finishes her Mizzou career ranked in the program’s top-10 for doubles (50, fifth) and walks (98, seventh). In a single season she is the program leader for doubles (21), along with ninth for hits (73), and fourth for hits (210).
  • Chantice Phillips, Laurin Krings and Stefania Abruscato all finished the season with 1.000 fielding percentages (minimum 25 chances).
  • Mizzou made its 10th Super Regionals appearance in program history and hosted for the sixth time. The Tigers are 9-15 all-time in Super Regionals.
  • Duke now leads the all-time series with Mizzou 2-1.
  • Head coach Larissa Anderson is now 2-4 in Super Regional games at Mizzou.


This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics
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