Tigers Ranked Seventh in ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll



Jan. 29, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Missouri softball program has been ranked seventh in the nation, according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll, released Tuesday. Beginning its first campaign in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Mizzou has received Top 10 recognition in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball poll for four consecutive seasons.

Missouri is joined in the poll's Top 10 by three fellow SEC squads: No. 1 Alabama, No. 5 Tennessee and No. 8 Georgia. Twelfth-ranked LSU, No. 15 Florida and No. 17 Texas A&M round out the poll for the conference.

The Tigers return 15 letterwinners from their 2012 squad that went 47-14 overall en route to an NCAA Super Regional appearance, including two-time First Team All-America pitcher Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa). A redshirt senior, Thomas posted an earned run average (ERA) of 1.16 with a 27-9 record last season, allowing just 127 hits while recording 306 strikeouts.

The latest Tiger ranking joins the previous Top 10 billing received from the USA Today/NFCA Division I Preseason Poll on Jan. 22, in which Mizzou was tabbed as No. 8. The Tigers are joined by the Crimson Tide, Lady Vols and Bulldogs as the only conference members to earn Top 10 recognition in both preseason polls.

The ESPN.com/USA Softball poll in its entirety can be viewed here.

Mizzou opens its 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 Tiger softball, visit mutigers.com and follow the team on Twitter (@MizzouSoftball).



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