nfca d1 leadoff classic, Missouri, nfca, Missouri softball, mizzou softball

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Missouri knocked off No. 5 Clemson, 4-1, in a winner-take-all matchup to claim the outright title of the 2024 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic on Sunday morning at the Eddie C. Moore Complex. The Tigers (5-0) went undefeated during their opening weekend to earn their first Classic title in the 21st rendition of the Association’s tournament.

Highlighted by a three-run first, Mizzou jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and topped Clemson, 4-1. RBI singles by Alex Honnold, Julia Crenshaw and Katie Chester staked Missouri to the 3-0 first-inning advantage. An RBI groundout in the second by Honnold was all Laurin Krings (3-0) needed. She went the distance, allowing an unearned run on six hits with six strikeouts and four walks.  

Brooke McCubbin (2-1) suffered the defeat as she lasted just two thirds of an inning (3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 K). Honnold and Jenna Laird had two hits apiece for Mizzou, while Alex Brown and Valerie Cagle registered two hits apiece for Clemson.

Utah, which posted a 4-1, mark after a 3-1 victory over Iowa took home the runner-up trophy as it had the largest run differential amongst the 4-1 teams – Clemson, Indiana and South Alabama.

Tournament CentralTournament Central

Indiana blanked North Carolina Central, 4-0, while South Alabama edged Central Arkansas, (1-4) 3-2.

2024 All-Tournament Team

Ashton White, Army West Point

Bailie Runner, Central Arkansas

Julia Knowler, Clemson

Bri Copeland, Indiana

Soo-Jin Berry, Iowa

Katie Brooks, Kansas

Rachel Roupe, Liberty

Laurin Krings, Missouri

Olivia Krehbiel, Missouri State

Madison Inscoe, NC State

Kendall Smith, NCCU

Carlli Kloss, Notre Dame

Ariel Carson, Oregon

Olivia Lackie, South Alabama

Hannah Mearns, St. John's

Sarah Ladd, Utah

Katie Gardner, Western Kentucky

Also picking up wins on the final day of the tournament were No. 15 Oregon (4-2), NC State (2-3) and Notre Dame (3-2). Western Kentucky (3-1-1) and Kansas (2-2-1) finished in a 2-2 tie after seven innings due to the drop dead time.The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its competitive Leadoff Classics, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from a highly-regarded Awards Program to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and a National Convention.

2024 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic

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