Curd tosses gem versus Missouri, Duke takes first game in Columbia

Courtesy of Duke Athletics

There were plenty of complaints about the strike zone in Columbia, especially on the Duke side. But Cassidy Curd didn’t seem to mind. The sophomore lefty relieved starter Jala Wright in the second inning and controlled the game from then on.

Curd ended her 5.1 outing with eight strikeouts and didn’t allow a hit. Curd retired 11 straight batters at one point and 14 of the last 15 batters she faced.

Duke saw the bottom of its order produce the early lead before Missouri tied the game. The Blue Devils stars stepped up to give Curd a lead. Claire Davidson singled before Aminah Vega hit an opposite-field double off the bottom of the wall. The bounce and a bobble from Alex Honnold in center allowed Davidson to score from first as the go-ahead run.

Gisele Tapia was able to leg out an infield single later in the inning. Aleyah Terrell raced around from second to attempt to score but was originally ruled out. After review, she clearly got her hand in before the tag on a very good slide.

Duke tacked on an insurance run in the seventh on a double steal. Francesca Frelick hit a two-run home run and D’Auna Jennings had an RBI triple for the Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils seek their first-ever trip to the Women’s College World Series with a win at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday. There’s a decent chance we see Wright back in the circle for the Blue Devils, while Missouri has its entire staff at its disposal.

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