Hatti Moore was locked in Friday night.
The Missouri sophomore catcher hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs en route to leading the Tigers to a 7-4 victory over Cal State Fullerton in her team's NCAA Los Angeles Regional opener at University of California, Los Angeles' Easton Stadium.
Missouri (33-23) now advances to the winners bracket in the double-elimination NCAA tournament and will face either No. 3 UCLA or Weber State at 5 p.m. Saturday. In an early-season matchup on Feb. 22, UCLA defeated the Tigers 11-3.
Moore hit her first home run of Friday night to left center field in the bottom of the first inning, scoring teammate Jazmyn Rollin and putting the Tigers up 2-0 early. Cal State Fullerton's Daisy Munoz answered with a two-run shot of her own in the second inning, taking a pitch from MU pitcher Madi Norman over the right field fence.
Ari Williams put Cal State Fullerton (38-17) in front with an RBI double in the third inning, but Norman limited the damage to just one run in the frame.
Kolby Romaine started Missouri's rally in the fifth inning with a single, then Cal State Fullerton handed Missouri a gigantic break. CSFU second baseman Alexa Neil couldn't handle a grounder off the bat of Callie Martin, botching a potential double play ball and extending the inning for Brooke Wilmes. Wilmes singled through the middle, but Williams gunned down MU pinch runner Abby George at the plate from center field. Missouri's Reagan Nash tied the game with a double to left field, then Rollin walked in the next at-bat to set the stage for Moore with the bases loaded.
Moore lifted a 1-0 pitch from Titans pitcher Dani Martinez so far it clanked off UCLA's scoreboard in left center field. Moore's grand slam broke the game open and put the Tigers ahead 7-3.
Norman ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing a run with two outs that reduced Missouri's lead to 7-4. Missouri coach Larissa Anderson then removed Norman and handed the ball to her closer, Eli Daniel. Daniel struck out Alexa Neil to end Cal State Fullerton's sixth and pitched a clean seventh inning to earn her ninth save this year.
Norman picked up her 18th win of the season, tossing 5 2/3 innings in the circle while allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out four batters. Martinez took the loss, lasting 4 2/3 innings and allowing seven runs on seven hits.
Offensively for Missouri, Nash was 3-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a double, while Wilmes was 1-for-3 with a run. Grain Valley High School graduate Kendyll Bailey started at second base for the Tigers and went 0-for-2.
Williams had the only multi-hit game for Cal State Fullerton, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.