March 3, 2011
-No. 18/17 Missouri heads out to St. Louis, Mo. for the annual Missouri Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament, hosted this season by SLU. Missouri will play SEMO at 1:30 p.m. CT on Friday and Saint Louis at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Tigers will play two on Sunday, facing Missouri State at 11 a.m. before taking on UMKC at 1 p.m.
-After starting the year 1-2, Mizzou has won four straight and six of their last seven to improve to 7-3 on the year. Missouri swept a midweek doubleheader against Drake this past Wednesday, winning 5-0 and 8-1 over the Bulldogs in Missouri’s home opener.
-Redshirt sophomore Chelsea Thomas tossed the first seven inning perfect game in 20 years for the Tigers in game one with Drake, as she picked up her first win of the year. Thomas set down all 21 batters she faced, striking out 11, on just 77 pitches. It was the fifth no-hitter of Thomas’ career. Ingrid Werner tossed a perfect game against Rhode Island on Feb. 17, 2002 in five innings. The last seven inning perfect game was from Karen Snelgrove on April 26, 1991 against UMKC in a 5-0 victory. Thomas is now 1-2 on the season with a 0.95 ERA. She has 32 strikeouts to just four walks and opponents are hitting .122 against her.
-Junior Kristin Nottelmann won her fourth game of the year in the second game of the twin bill as she tossed her third complete game of the year. She allowed just one run while striking out seven. Nottelmann is 4-0 with a save and 1.17 ERA. She’s struck out 22 batters while walking five and limiting opposing hitters to a .186 average.
-Senior Rhea Taylor picked up two hits to extend her hitting streak to 12 games. Her second hit was a grand slam home run, putting Mizzou up 4-0 in the fourth. It was the second grand slam of Taylor’s career and the second home run she’s hit this season. Taylor’s hitting streak was snapped in game two.
-Nicole Hudson hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to push the lead to 5-0. Hudson leads all Tigers with three home runs and 10 RBI.
-Maddison Ruggeberg had a big day, going 2-for-3 in game one and following that up with a 1-for-2 performance while driving in four RBI in the second game. In 12 at bats, Ruggeberg is hitting .417 on the season with one home run and five RBI.
-Senior Abby Vock continued her strong start at the plate, as she picked up two hits in game one and another in game two. Known mostly for her defense, Vock has been solid with the bat this year, hitting .368 with a .429 on-base percentage and a .526 slugging percentage. She has seven hits already this year after having eight in 58 at bats last year.
SEMO comes into the weekend with a record of 3-7 overall, but having won two of their last three. They started the year 1-6, picking up a 6-2 win against Indiana State in the third game of the ULM Mardi Gras Classic before losing four straight. Last weekend at the Red & Blue Classic, the Redhawks were winners over Louisiana Tech and Austin Peay before dropping the finale to Ole Miss by a 4-2 score.
The Redhawks are hitting .260 as a team and have a 4.78 team ERA. Carmen Fowler leads all Redhawks with a .433 batting average and 10 RBI. Missouri is 21-3 all-time against SEMO and defeated the Redhawks by a 13-0 final at last year’s tournament.
Saint Louis stands at 10-4 so far on the season and are riding a six game winning streak. They went 3-2 to start the year at the Southeastern Lion Classic, earning wins over Southern, Akron and Nicholls State before dropping the last two contests to SE Louisiana and Tennessee-Martin. The following weekend the posted a 3-2 record again, beating Villanova and Florida Gulf Coast while splitting two with Georgetown and losing to Michigan State. Last weekend the Billikens went 4-0, beating Stephen F. Austin, Eastern Kentucky, Radford and Lipscomb.
The Billikens are led offensively by Rachel Faletto, who is hititng .382 with five doubles, a triple and five RBI. Their top pitcher is Hannah Huebbe, who is 5-0 with a 1.51 ERA. Mizzou has won 62 of the 64 games these two have played. The Tigers swept the three games they played last year, winning 6-0, 8-0 and 9-0.
SCOUTING MISSOURI STATE
Missouri State is 2-3 on the year, defeating Colorado State to open the season before splitting with Wisconsin and dropping two to Texas. The Bears have not played since Feb. 20.
Offensively, the Bears are hitting .266, led by Kirsten Cutter and Ashley Brentz. Cutter has five hits in eight at bats for a .625 average, while Brentz is 5-for-10 with two runs scored. Savannah Wiggins leads the team with a 3.00 ERA and a 1-0 record. The Tigers are 29-13 all-time against Missouri State. Mizzou won 8-0 last season.
UMKC has won nine of their 14 games this year and have won five of their last seven. They opened the year with a 4-1 weekend in Hammond, La., defeating Jackson State, Southern, Nicholls State and SE Louisiana while falling to Tennessee-Martin in extra innings. They followed that up with a 2-2 weekend in Clarksville, Tenn., losing to Belmont and Austin Peay before beating Cleveland State and Ball State. Last weekend they went 3-2, beating Maine, North Florida and Central Florida before dropping games to Michigan and Villanova.
The Roos are hitting .304 as a team and have a staff ERA of 2.75. Emily Ott and Kaelene Curry are hitting over .400 for UMKC, with Ott leading the way at .457 and Curry coming in at .404. Ott has six doubles, two triples and 12 RBI while Curry has driven in four and is 7-for-7 on stolen bases. Deanna Friese is the team’s ace, boasting a 7-3 record and 2.23 ERA with 73 strikeouts to 19 walks. Missouri is 47-1 all-time against UMKC and knocked off the Kangaroos by a 9-3 score last season.
Each game will have live stats and play-by-play through GameTracker. Links to each game’s GameTracker can be found at mutigers.com.
Missouri plays the first of 11 straight at University Field on Wednesday, March 9 when they take on Arkansas at 3 p.m. CT.
FOLLOW MIZZOU SOFTBALL ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
Tiger softball fans can follow along with the season through many of the program’s social media options. On Twitter, Mizzou fans can follow the entire athletic department at twitter.com/mutigersdotcom. Assistant Coach Pete D’Amour is also on Twitter at twitter.com/MizzouSBcoach. On Facebook, fans can search “University of Missouri Softball Team” to track down the team’s official page.
Rhea Taylor RECORD TRACKER
Senior outfielder Rhea Taylor has done nothing but rewrite the record books in her first three years as a Tiger. As expected, she’s about to do the same this year. Here’s a look at what records she’s tracking down this season:
-Batting Average: Already the all-time leader at Mizzou with a .421 career batting average, a record that is theoretically impossible for give relinquish before the end of the season (Jenna Marston is second all-time at .359, two others are tied for third all-time at .352), Taylor should also graduate as the Big 12 Conference’s record holder as well. She currently holds that mark, ahead of former Husker Ali Viola, who hit .409 from 1996-98.
-Hits: After getting two hits in game one against Drake on Wednesday, Taylor is just three hits away from breaking Mary Babb’s Missouri record of 262. Last season, Taylor broke Babb’s runs scored record in the second half of the season. Taylor is now eighth all-time amongst Big 12 hitters with 260 hits. If she matches her three season average of 82 hits a year, she would find herself tied with Norrelle Dickson of Oklahoma, the conference’s all-time hits leader at 328.
-Runs: Entering the season as Missouri all-time runs leader and eighth in the conference, Taylor is expected to flirt with the Big 12’s all-time record as well. Dickson, who played for OU from 2004-07 and also holds the league’s hits record, is the current record holder at 234. Scoring three runs in the doubleheader against Drake, Taylor has scored 12 times this year, giving her 194 for her career and bumping her up to seventh all-time in the Big 12. If she matches her yearly average of 61 runs, she’ll find herself ahead of Dickson with 244 career runs scored.
-Stolen Bases: Taylor shattered the school’s stolen base record early on in her junior year, surpassing Julie Link’s mark of 110 on March 31, 2010. Now with 148 career stolen bases, Taylor finds herself just six shy of topping the Big 12’s record book. With four games scheduled for this weekend, Taylor should find herself breaking that record here in the near future.
THOMAS THROWS PERFECT GAME, TIGERS SWEEP DRAKE
Redshirt sophomore Chelsea Thomas tossed a perfect game and junior Kristin Nottelmann won her fourth game of the season as the Tigers swept Drake in a doubleheader on Wednesday by scores of 5-0 and 8-1.
Thomas threw the first perfect game for Missouri since Feb. 17, 2002, and first seven inning perfect game for the Tigers since April 26, 1991. She struck out 11 of the 21 batters she faced and threw only 77 pitches as she won her first game of the year. The perfect game was the fifth no hitter of her career, tying her for the school record for most individual no hitters in a career.
Tied at 0-0 in the fourth, senior Rhea Taylor broke the scoreless affair with her second home run of the season as she blasted a grand slam over the right-center field wall to make it 4-0 Tigers. Singles by Maddison Ruggeberg and Abby Vock put a pair of runners on for Missouri, and a walk to Mackenzie Sykes set up Taylor’s blast, which came on a 1-1 count. Taylor singled in the first inning to extend her hitting streak to 12 games. The streak was snapped in game two, tying her for the sixth longest streak in program history. Nicole Hudson hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the fifth to extend the Tiger lead to 5-0. The blast was her third of the season. Taylor, Ruggeberg and Abby Vock all had two hits apiece for Missouri.
Nottelmann won her fourth game of the year with a complete game, as she allowed only four hits and one run while striking out seven.
Drake jumped ahead in the first on an RBI double by Erin Mollohan, driving in Amy Pierce who walked and stole second with one out. Missouri would even the score in the fifth on an unearned run to make it 1-1. Taylor led off with a walk and then stole second base, advancing to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Ruggeberg then drove her in with a sacrifice fly.
The Tigers added three more unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth, capped off by a two run double by Ruggeberg that scored Taylor and Lisa Simmons. Alaina Burkhart scored earlier in the inning when Taylor reached on an error. Another fielding error by Drake in the fifth added another run for the Tigers. Vock reached when the Drake right fielder dropped a fly ball, allowing Hudson to score from second base.
Mizzou tacked on three more in the bottom of the sixth to push the lead to 8-1. Ruggeberg drove Shana White home on a sacrifice fly, and a double by Ashley Fleming scored Jenna Marston. Marla Schweisberger singled in to left on the first pitch she saw, plating Marston. Ruggeberg finished the game with a team-best four RBI on a 1-for-2 day at the plate. Fleming had a pair of hits, a run and an RBI while Taylor scored twice.