Outlook: Currently holding the MU single-season strikeout record and among the top-10 in six of Missouri's career records (career appearances, fifth-126; career complete games, eighth-48; career innings pitched, sixth-615.5; career strikeouts, fourth-625; career shutouts, sixth-21 and career wins, sixth-55), right-handed pitcher Erin Kalka returns for her final campaign looking to top the record books.
"Erin is by all accounts one of the toughest and strongest mental game competitors," Head Coach Ty Singleton said. "She dominates on the mound and has been an invaluable asset to the team during her career."
2004: Named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on April 8, and selected to the All-Big 12 First team at the conclusion of the season, Kalka was one of three Missouri captains and started in 39 of the Tigers' games. By the end of the campaign, Kalka recorded seven solo shutouts and combined for six more totaling 286 strikeouts and 22 of Missouri's 29 wins, advancing the Tigers to their second consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. Moving to fourth on the MU career strikeout chart (625), Kalka pitched Missouri's longest game of the season, 14 innings, against Oklahoma State at home on April 3, nine of which went down as a no hitter. Kalka recorded an MU school record 25 strikeouts and moved to third in the NCAA record book for most strikeouts in a single game. Kalka currently stands first in the Missouri Season Strikeout Chart with 286. During the course of the season, the Okla., native had back-to-back shutouts in Kansas (April 14, 1-0) and at home against Baylor (April 17, 1-0). Pitching in MU's second game of the Big 12 tournament on May 14, Kalka tossed the Tigers' first extra inning game of the 2004 Conference Championships against Texas A&M (eight innings) recording her seventh shutout of the season. Kalka went on to tally six strikeouts in six innings of action against Oklahoma in the semifinals of the Big 12 Conference Softball Championships helping Missouri to the championship round for the first time since 1997. All together, Kalka had 16 strikeouts in 23.2 innings at the Big 12 tournament. Traveling to Los Angeles for the NCAA Regional Championships, Kalka made her final start of the season against Louisville on May 20, and ended her year against Mississippi Valley State on May 21, finishing the season with a 1.38 ERA.
Honors: All-Big 12 First Team, 2004: Pitcher of the Week
2003: Kalka finished the season seventh in career strikeouts at Missouri (339), holding a 19-13 win-loss record in 39 appearances on the mound. With a 2.22 ERA, Kalka started in 34 games claiming 10 solo shutouts and one combined shutout with Samantha Fleeman. Earning a career-high 17 shutouts, Kalka stands seventh on the Missouri shutout list. A total of 211.2 innings pitched, Kalka surpassed her 2002 record number of strikeouts (137) with a total of 202. 2003 saw Kalka walk just 57 batters and reach the 10 strikeout mark three times on the year. Named to the Auburn Invitational All-Tournament team after a 4-1 team record, Kalka pitched back-to-back complete games against Boston College and No. 1 ranked UCLA on March 2, giving up no earned runs in either game and striking out 10 batters in the game against UCLA. Against fourth-ranked Oklahoma, Kalka picked up a three-hit shutout victory, striking out six and walking just one in the game. Throwing against fifth-ranked Texas, Kalka pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out eight, later throwing 15 shutout innings in the doubleheader against Iowa State on April 10. In her only plate appearance of the year, Kalka had a single against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Feb. 21. For the week of April 1, Kalka was named Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week.
Honors: All-Big 12 Second Team, Big 12 Pitcher of the Week
2002: The ace of the Tiger pitching staff, Kalka led MU in innings pitched (171.2), strikeouts (137), ERA (1.88), wins (14) and appearances (41), finishing with a 14-13 record and four saves. With a team-best three complete games, Kalka had a stretch of 23 straight innings without giving up a run between April 14 and April 21. Opening the season against San Diego, Kalka had a season-high 11 strikeouts, later pitching a complete game four-hit shutout against Massachusetts on Feb. 22 and a complete game five-hit shutout against New Mexico on Feb. 24. On April 2, Kalka recorded 10 strikeouts in four innings of work against Saint Louis, later making saves in back-to-back games against Connecticut and Loyola.
Before joining the Tigers, Kalka played for the Oklahoma Ultimate club. The Ultimate finished in the top 10 at the ASA Nationals in 2001 under Head Coach Ken Richardson.
Chandler High School: One of the top high school pitchers in the state of Okla., Kalka was an All-State selection and a four-time All-District, All-Conference and All-City selection. The MVP of the conference, Kalka was a two-time team MVP with the Lions, and was selected as Team Offensive Player of the Year. Led by Head Coach Mary Ann McClain, Kalka was a four-time Academic letter award winner and served as class president and a member of her student council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
Personal: Erin Kalka is the daughter of Mark and Karla Kalka and was born in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Jan. 12, 1983. Kalka is majoring in family studies and plans to master in marriage and family therapy.