Jan. 22, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Missouri softball program has been ranked eighth in the nation, according to the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll, released Tuesday. Embarking on its first season in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Mizzou has received Top 10 billing in the preseason poll for four consecutive seasons.
Missouri is joined in the poll's Top 10 by four fellow SEC squads: No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 9 Georgia and No. 10 LSU. Fourteenth-ranked Florida and No. 17 Texas A&M round out the poll for the conference.
The Tigers return the bulk of their 2012 squad that went 47-14 overall en route to an NCAA Super Regional appearance, including two-time First Team All-American pitcher Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa). A redshirt senior, Thomas posted a season earned run average (ERA) of 1.16 with a 27-9 record. Thomas twice earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, taking the honor as a sophomore in 2011 and junior in 2012. Mizzou finished the 2012 season at No. 11 after falling one win short of a fourth-straight trip to the Women's College World Series.
Five additional Tigers earned Big 12 postseason accolades last season, including sophomore shortstop Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.), who earned Defensive Player of the Year. Junior utility player Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.) received All-Big 12 First Team honors, while senior 3B/OF Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.), senior catcher Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.) and sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth (Yorba Linda, Calif.) were named Second Team All-Big 12.
The initial USA Today
/NFCA poll can be viewed in its entirety here.
The Tigers open their 2013 campaign with the annual Black & Gold Game exhibition on Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. Location details will be announced at a later date. For more information on Mizzou softball, visit mutigers.com and follow the team on Twitter (@MizzouSoftball).