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Softball Starts 2013 Out West at UCSB Gaucho Classic

MUTIGERS.COM Head coach Ehren Earleywine enters his seventh season leading the Mizzou softball squad.
MUTIGERS.COM
Head coach Ehren Earleywine enters his seventh season leading the Mizzou softball squad.
MUTIGERS.COM

Feb. 12, 2013

Mizzou Softball Notes - at UCSB Gaucho ClassicGet Acrobat Reader

FOLLOW THE GAUCHO CLASSIC LIVE
• Live statistics will be available through UCSB's athletics website. Visit: livestats.prestosports.com/ucsb.

LEADING OFF
• No. 8/7 Mizzou begins its 2013 season at UC Santa Barbara's Gaucho Classic from Friday, Feb. 15 - Sunday, Feb. 17, played at the host school's Campus Diamond in Santa Barbara, Calif. Mizzou begins the event with the host Gauchos (Friday - 10:30 a.m.) before facing Fresno State at 12:30 p.m. The Tigers get the Bulldogs again to start the second day at 1:15 p.m. before facing San Diego at 3 p.m. Mizzou finishes with the Gauchos at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

• After making the program's fifth-straight NCAA Super Regional in 2012 with 10 newcomers on the roster, the Tigers appear poised to be contenders in 2013 with 15 returning letterwinners. Head coach Ehren Earleywine's squad returns the sound pitching of two-time All-American and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Chelsea Thomas as the squad embarks on its first campaign in the Southeastern Conference. A 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. Overall, the Tigers played to a 47-14 overall record, outscoring their opponents 314 - 114.

• Mizzou picked up plenty of individual conference recognition in its final season of action in the Big 12 Conference. MU returns the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in sophomore SS Corrin Genovese. Thomas and junior utility player Mackenzie Sykes earned First Team All-Big 12 recognition, while senior 3B Nicole Hudson senior catcher Jenna Marston and sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth were named Second Team All-Big 12.

SCOUTING THE GAUCHO CLASSIC
• The Tigers' opponents for the Gaucho Classic have appeared sparingly in Mizzou's past season records. MU is 1-0 all-time against UC Santa Barbara, with that victory coming in 2001. Mizzou is also 1-0 in program history against San Diego, defeating the Toreros to begin the 2012 season. Fresno State has gotten the better of the Tigers in the all-time series between the two programs, holding MU to an 0-9 mark. Missouri first faced the Bulldogs in 1991 and last matched up against the team in 2011.

• The UC Santa Barbara squad posted a 30-28 record in 2012, boosted by the pitching of then-freshman Shelby Wisdom, who set UCSB's school record for single-season wins (24). The sophomore started 50 of the Gaucho's 58 contests between pitching and appearing as a utility player in her initial season. In 37 pitching starts, Wisdom recorded a 2.31 ERA and earned All-Big West First Team recognition. UCSB set the pace on the base paths with junior OF Jessica Soria, who ranked 49th in the country in stolen bases per game in 2012, averaging 0.43, while batting .291 last season. The Gauchos are led by sixth-year head coach Brie Galicinao. To open its 2013 campaign, the Gauchos went 5-0 at ULM's Mardi Gras Classic (Feb. 7-9) to claim the tournament title.

• Fresno State recorded a 36-23 mark for the 2012 season, finishing second in the 2012 WAC Tournament. The Bulldogs bid farewell to Michelle Moses, who was a leader for the squad in the circle (7.1 strikeouts per 7 innings) and also the batter's box (18 home runs. Fresno State returns two sophomore pitchers in Kiley Shae Aldridge and Destinee' Levesque who hurled a total of 27 innings in 2012. Two junior Bulldog sluggers (Brooke Ortiz and Stesha Brazil) batted over .300 last season, with the former Bulldog swinging .312 with 18 RBI and the latter hitting .304 with 33 RBI. Third-year head coach Trisha Ford leads the Bulldogs. Fresno State posted a 4-1 record to start its 2013 season at its Fresno State Kick-Off tournament from Feb. 8-10.

• San Diego returns two experienced pitchers from its squad to played to a 26-19 record in 2012. Juniors Cassidy Coleman and Jenny Lahitte both ranked in the Top 60 in the country in strikeouts per seven innings, with Coleman averaging 8.2 (32nd) and Lahitte at 7.5 (60th). Both pitchers earned 12 wins for the Toreros on the season. Senior RF Lauren Tomey returns to the squad after batting .364 with four HR and 23 RBI. The Toreros are mentored by 12th-year head coach Melissa McElvain. The Toreros started off 2013 by splitting a double header with McNeese State on Feb. 7, losing 3-1 before winning a 2-0 game.

MIZZOU IN SEASON OPENERS
Missouri is 28-8 all-time in season openers and is 5-1 in openers under head coach Ehren Earleywine. Mizzou's only season opening loss under Earleywine came in a 2-0 defeat in 2008 to Virginia Tech. Last season, the fifth-ranked Tigers held off Ball State by a score of 3-2 at the Quality Inn Classic in Troy, Ala. Since 1990, Missouri is 21-2 in season openers, with the other loss coming against Georgia Tech, 11-6, in 2006. That Georgia Tech squad was coached by Earleywine.

ON DECK
The Tigers stay on the West Coast to play in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Softball Classic from Feb. 21-22, facing Maryland, San Diego State and Florida. Mizzou takes on the Terrapins and Aztecs at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, Feb. 21. MU takes on the Gators at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22. The Tigers will then head to Fullerton, Calif., for a double-header against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, Feb. 23 (4 p.m. & 6 p.m.).

THOMAS SELECTED TO USA SOFTBALL'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas was named to the "Watch List" for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) and USA Softball announced on Feb. 1. Thomas was one of three finalists for the award in 2011 after not being named in the initial watch list. She was on the 2010 and 2012 editions of the list. Thomas enters her final Mizzou campaign with two All-America and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year recognitions to her name.

SQUAD RANKED SEVENTH AND EIGHTH TO START 2013, PRESEASON TOP 10 FOR FOURTH-STRAIGHT SEASON
Mizzou received preseason rankings of seventh and eighth from the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 and USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 polls, respectively. Beginning its first campaign in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Mizzou has received Top 10 recognition in both preseason polls for four consecutive seasons.

MIZZOU PICKED SECOND IN SEC EASTERN DIVISION
The Tigers were picked to finish second in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division in the league's annual preseason coaches' poll. The Tigers totaled 30 points in the poll, the fourth-lowest total across the entire conference.

Conference Champion: Alabama (8), Tennessee (5)

Eastern Division
1. Tennessee (12 points)
2. Missouri (30 points)
3. Georgia (34 points)
4. Florida (38 points)
5. Kentucky (58 points)
6. South Carolina (65 points)

Western Division
1. Alabama (12 points)
2. LSU (28 points)
3. Texas A&M (31 points)
4. Arkansas (51 points)
5. Mississippi State (56 points)
6. Auburn (63 points)
7. Ole Miss (74 points)

WHAT DO THE TIGERS RETURN?
The Missouri squad's primary group of contributors from its 2013 team makes their return this season - 15 letterwinners overall. The following is a closer look at what the Tigers return, statistically:

At Bats: 1407 of 1585- 88.8%
Runs: 268 of 314 - 85.4%
Hits: 354 of 419 - 84.5%
Doubles: 61 of 73 - 83.6%
Triples: 6 of 6 - 100.0%
Home Runs: 36 of 52 - 69.2%
RBI: 220 of 271 - 81.2%
Total Bases: 535 of 660 - 81.1%
Walks: 193 of 218 - 88.5%
Hit By Pitch: 26 of 35 - 74.3%
Stolen Bases: 71 of 80 - 88.8%

The pitching staff returns nearly everything from 2012. Graduated senior Kristin Nottelmann made 22 appearances overall and started 18 games. She compiled a 12-5 record with a 2.41 ERA in her final Tiger season.

Wins: 35 of 47 - 74.5%
Appearances: 38 of 61 - 62.3%
Games Started: 43 of 61- 70.5%
Complete Games: 27 of 40- 67.5%
Shutouts: 21 of 26- 80.8%
Innings Pitched: 304.0 of 412.0- 73.8%
Strikeouts: 363 of 460 - 78.9%

THREE NEWCOMERS FOR THE 2013 SQUAD
The Missouri softball team has three new faces in freshmen Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) and Sarah Moore (Chino Hills, Calif.), along with sophomore transfer Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.).

Emily Crane | SS/CF | Fr. | Troy, Mo.
Career high school batting average of .518, on-base percentage of .567 and slugging percentage of .753 ... holds Missouri state records for career hits (205) and career runs scored (168) ... set Missouri single season hits record in 2011 with 63 ... three-time First Team All-State ... four-time First Team All-Conference, All-District and All-Region ... 2010 First Team St. Louis All-Metro ... 2010 and 2011 Conference Player of the Year ... 3.9 grade point average ... National Honor Society member ... received Scholastic Award for Geometry ... sports a perfect attendance.

Sarah Moore | OF | Fr. | Chino Hills, Calif.
Travel ball team was 2010 National Champions and 2010 ESPN National Champions ... high school squad was 2010 CIF Champions ... was named 2009 Rookie of the Year ... selected as Best Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 ... 2011 Offensive Player of the Year.

Sami Fagan | Utility | So. | Dunnellon, Fla.
Will sit out the 2013 season due to Southeastern Conference transfer rules ... hit .378 in her first year of collegiate softball at the University of Florida in 2012, the second-best mark on the Gators and fifth-highest average in the SEC ... smacked five triples, tied for most in the conference and 14th-most in the entire NCAA .. named to Freshman All-SEC Team and SEC All-Tournament Team to close her initial collegiate campaign ... 2011 Gatorade Florida Softball Player of the Year out of Dunnellon High School ... All-State selection in 2009-10 and an NFCA First Team High School All-American in both 2009 and 2011.

REVIEWING 2012
THREE CROWNED ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
Three members of the 2012 Missouri softball team were named Capital One Academic All-Americans, as announced by the College Sport Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday, May 24, 2012. This marks the first time since 2009 (Lindsey Ubrun) that Missouri had a member of the squad named an Academic All-American, and the three selections ties the program record that was set in 1991. Then-junior Jenna Marston (3.98 GPA) was selected to the First Team, the first time the Tigers have had a First Team selection since Karen Snelgrove was recognized in 1991. Graduated senior Ashley Fleming (3.78 GPA) and then-redshirt junior Chelsea Thomas (3.48 GPA) were named to the Second Team.

THREE NAMED TO ALL-MIDWEST TEAM
Three Missouri softball players were named to the 2012 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Midwest Region team, as announced Thursday, May 17, 2012, by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Fleming and Thomas were selected to the All-Midwest First Team. Fleming left Mizzou as a three-time All-Region honoree, while Thomas was selected for the second time. Nicole Hudson was selected to the Second Team as an outfielder.

MIZZOU TOOK BIG 12 PITCHER, DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The Missouri softball program captured a pair of the major Big 12 yearly awards in the squads' final season in the league. Thomas was named the conference's Pitcher of the Year for a second straight season, becoming just the second player in Big 12 history to win this award more than once. She led the Big 12 with a 1.08 earned run average in 20 conference appearances and posted an 11-6 record while leading the league with 160 strikeouts. Corrin Genovese earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in her first year of collegiate softball, marking the second straight season and second time overall that a Mizzou player has won this award. Genovese spent time at second and third base before settling in as the team's shortstop later in the season. She made just two errors in 90 chances during conference play for a .978 fielding percentage.

SIX NAMED TO ALL-BIG 12 TEAMS
For the third time in four seasons, Mizzou had six players named to the All-Big 12 team, tying a program record. Thomas and five other Tigers earned All-Big 12 honors, with three being placed on both the First and Second Teams. Joining Thomas on the First Team were Fleming and then-sophomore Mackenzie Sykes, while Hudson, Marston and then-freshman Kelsea Roth were Second Team honorees.

EIGHT SELECTED TO ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
From a total of 55 student-athletes named to the 2012 Academic All-Big 12 Softball Team, eight were members of the Missouri softball team. All eight of Missouri's honorees were first team selections. Marston was recognized with a 4.0 grade point average for the second straight year, and is one of just six in the Big 12 to post a perfect GPA. Joining Marston were graduated seniors Kristin Nottelmann and Fleming, Thomas, Hudson and Muller and then-sophomores Brianna Corwin and Sykes. Fleming, Nottelmann and Thomas were recognized for the third straight year, while Hudson and Marston pick up their second career Academic All-Big 12 award. Muller, Corwin and Sykes were honored for the first time.

THOMAS BREAKS CAREER STRIKEOUTS RECORD
With her ninth strikeout in the 2012 regular season finale against Oklahoma State, Thomas became the program's all-time strikeout leader, surpassing Teresa Wilson's record of 893. The record was set in 1983, making it nearly three decades old. Thomas went on to finish the game with 13 strikeouts, giving her 898 in her career.

MARSTON CLAIMS MOST WALKS IN ANY SEASON AT MU
With two walks on Friday night, Jenna Marston became the school record holder for most walks in a season with 44. She broke Jen Bruck's record, who took 43 walks in 2008. Last season, Marston drew 41 walks. She is nine walks shy of breaking Bruck's career record of 115.

700 CLUB
Against Arkansas on March 14, 2012, Chelsea Thomas became just the fifth Tiger in program history to record 700 strikeouts in a career. The last person to reach the milestone was Erin Kalka in 2005.

COACH EARLEYWINE PICKED UP CAREER WIN NO. 400
The Mizzou win over Alcorn State on March 9, 2012 marked the 400th career victory for head coach Ehren Earleywine. Earleywine entered the 2012 season as the ninth winningest coach amongst all active coaches with a .747 career winning percentage.

EARLEYWINE WINS NO. 250 AT MIZZOU
With Mizzou's 3-1 victory over Missouri State on March 4, 2012, Earleywine won his 250th game as head coach of the Missouri Tigers.