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No. 23 Mizzou softball prepares for start of 2023 season Friday in Florida


No. 23 Mizzou softball is set to kick off the 2023 season Friday in the NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Florida against some steep competition.

The Tigers face two ranked opponents in the Classic in No. 6 Texas and No. 8 Northwestern. Head coach Larissa Anderson said this will be the true test to see how prepared they are for the season.

"It's going to expose us right away," Anderson said. "It's going to show us exactly where we are right now in terms of practice and preparation and what we need to work on. You can take as many ground balls inside as you want on turf and you can face your own pitchers, but until you face another opponent you really don't know where you're at."

Although the 2023 season is starting, Mizzou will be on the road in Florida, California and Oklahoma before kicking off home games on March 8.

"Its huge for team building and it's huge to get an on the road routine," Anderson said. "Teams that play at home all the time when they go into post season really struggle if they've never experienced being on the road. We get that right out of the shoot, 10 days together."

Mizzou enters the 2023 season after they hosted an NCAA Regional for the second-consecutive year and made the SEC Tournament Championship game for the second time in program history. However, Anderson's group may look a little different this year after losing eight seniors.

"They left a legacy. They left championship banners on that outfield wall," Anderson said. "That's carried over into players like Megan Moll, Riley Frizell and Kara Daly. They learned from those upper classmen, they know what the expectations are and they know the legacy that they want to leave."

While there are holes to fill from last season, one things that remained consistent is the group in the circle. Mizzou is returns its entire pitching staff from a year ago, lead by Laurin Krings and Jordan Weber. Anderson also said Megan Schumacher has elevated her pitches this offseason.

"We know that we don't have the same experience defensively as we did last year because we lost a lot of starters, but we have that experience in the circle," Anderson said. "Now the onus is going to be on the pitching staff rather than the onus on the offense to be able to produce five, six, seven runs because your pitchers were giving up more.

The No. 23 Tigers will kick off the season against No. 6 Texas Friday at 3 p.m. in Clearwater.

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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.


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