March 6, 2013
FOLLOW THE ACTION AT UNIVERSITY FIELD
Mizzou's series will be broadcast live on the Mizzou Network to its subscribers at mizzounetwork.com. Live stats for each game of the series will be available at mutigers.com. Updates will also be posted to the official Twitter of Mizzou Softball, @MizzouSoftball.
NO. 5 TIGERS VS. NO. 7 AGGIES
Game One: Friday, March 8 - 6 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, March 9 - 2 p.m.
Game Three: Sunday, March 10 - Noon
Mizzou Media Notes | Texas A&M Media Notes
No. 5/7 Mizzou (9-1) begins Southeastern Conference action in the team's initial home games of the season, facing No. 7/5 Texas A&M (22-1) at University Field from Friday, March 8-Sunday, March 10. The Tigers begin with a Friday, 6 p.m. contest against the Aggies before a 2 p.m. start on Saturday. The two teams close the series with a Noon game on Sunday. Seventh-year head coach Ehren Earleywine has posted a 7-6 record against Texas A&M in his time in Columbia, Mo., including two 2-0 series wins over the Aggies in 2009 and 2011.
Missouri went 3-0 in its games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Feb. 21-22) in Palm Springs, Calif., including an exciting 4-3 win in 12 innings over new Southeastern Conference foe Florida (Feb. 22). The fifth-ranked Gators were stifled by the strong pitching of two-time All-American Chelsea Thomas, who went the distance (12.0 IP) for the win, struck out a career-high 19 batters and surrendered zero earned runs. Fellow senior Nicole Hudson batted 2-for-4 in the game and recorded two pivotal RBI, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the 12th to score junior Mackenzie Sykes. The Tigers prefaced their victory over the Gators with two wins on Feb. 21: Maryland in five innings (13-1) and San Diego State by a score of 2-1.
Hudson and freshman Emily Crane showed off their bats in the Mizzou squad's doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 23). Both Tigers hit home runs in the first game which Mizzou dropped to the Titans, 5-4. Crane's effort was the first home run of her collegiate career, while Hudson's long ball was the sixth of the season and 36th of her career. Hudson combined both games into a 5-for-7 hitting effort, while Crane batted 4-for-6. Their hot hitting helped pace Missouri to its 7-0 win in the second contest of the doubleheader. Hudson also pitched the entire second game for the Tigers, allowing just two hits and striking out four Titan batters.
The Tigers' bats were on display at the UCSB Gaucho Classic to start the squad's westward excursion. The Tigers started on Feb. 15 with an 11-3 win over UCSB in five innings before defeating Fresno State by a score of 4-0. In the victory over the Bulldogs, Thomas only allowed two hits and struck out nine. In Day Two action (Feb. 16), Missouri turned away Fresno State again by way of an 11-3 win in five innings and also won 5-0 over San Diego. The Tigers finished the event with a 12-1 triumph over UCSB on Feb. 17. Mizzou hit .374 over its five wins in the event and blasted 15 home runs out of UCSB's Campus Diamond.
TOP 10 MATCHUP AT HOME
The No. 5 Tigers vs. No. 7 Aggies series is the first Top 10 matchup at University Field since 2011. No. 8 Mizzou hosted No. 3 Texas for a two-game series from May 7-8, 2011. The Tigers took the series finale by a score of 6-3 after yielding a 2-0 result in the opening contest, with a sophomore Thomas pitching both games.
TIGERS VS. AGGIES
Mizzou trails Texas A&M in the all-time series, 35-25. The Tigers have played the Aggies every season since 1996.
Last season, the No. 10 Tigers went toe-to-toe with the No. 19 Aggies in College Station, Texas, with all three games decided by one run. Texas A&M took the initial game by a score of 2-1 on March 23, 2012 before Mizzou took a 6-5 result on March 24, 2012. The Aggies struck back with a 1-0 result in eight innings on March 25, 2012.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M enters the series with Mizzou with a 22-1 overall record, including 9-1 mark away from College Station, Texas. The Aggies have been powered by the strong pitching of senior Mel Dumezich, who has started the season 15-0 with a 0.96 ERA. In 19 total appearances, she has also recorded three saves. Dumezich has shown her worth at the plate, as well, hitting five home runs and batting .295. Junior catcher/1B Nicole Morgan leads the team with nine long balls from a .400 batting average. Junior IF Emily Albus leads the Aggies with a .403 average at the plate. Albus is additionally Texas A&M's individual steals leader with nine stolen bags on 12 attempts.
As a team, Texas A&M has hit 38 home runs and scored 153 runs while batting .337. The Aggies have only surrendered 44 runs to their opponents, limiting their foes to a .189 mark at the plate. Texas A&M's slugging percentage of .605 ranked second in the SEC heading into the week behind leader South Carolina (.615).
The Aggies have stolen bases at a stout rate, succeeding on 30-of-35 attempts. Texas A&M are tied for the second-most number of games played in the league (23) and tied for the league-lead in errors with 24.
The Tigers stay within the friendly confines of University Field to host Evansville for a midweek doubleheader on Wednesday, March 13. The games are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. with coverage for subscribers on the Mizzou Network. Live stats will be available at mutigers.com. KTGR (100.5 FM, 103.1 FM & 1580 AM) will broadcast the initial game of the doubleheader.
CAN YOU BE PERFECT?
Senior 3B Nicole Hudson ripped off a perfect 3-for-3 performance in the Tigers' 5-4 setback in the initial game of their doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 23). She hit her sixth home run of the season, along with two singles to score two runs and record one RBI.
Senior 1B Lindsey Muller batted a pristine 4-for-4 in Mizzou's 12-1 win over UCSB on Feb. 17, hitting three singles and blasting a two-run home run. The four hits set a new career-high for the Tiger. Muller finished the game with three RBI.
SHE'S A SLUGGER
Senior 3B Nicole Hudson currently leads the Southeastern Conference with a 1.179 slugging percentage in 10 games played, while also ranking third in batting average (.500). The Webb City, Mo., native started the season of a hot hitting with six home runs, which is tied for fifth-best in the conference.
THOMAS STRIKES OUT 19 GATORS
Senior Chelsea Thomas threw the complete game (12.0 IP) in Mizzou's 4-3 extra innings victory over No. 5 Florida on Feb. 22 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., recording a career-best 19 strikeouts and allowing zero earned runs. The performance edges past her previous best of 19 Ks in 12.2 innings of work vs. Baylor (June 4, 2011) in the Women's College World Series. Thomas earned SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 25 for her second-straight conference recognition.
FIRST LONG BOMBS FOR FRESHMEN TIGERS
Mizzou's two first-year collegiate players hit the initial home runs of their Tiger careers during the squad's California trip. Freshman OF Sarah Moore smoked a solo-run long ball out over the right center field wall in the third inning of Mizzou's 12-inning, 4-3 win over No. 5 Florida (Feb. 22). Freshman 2B Emily Crane followed in the initial game of Missouri's doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 23), hitting a three-run blast in the fourth inning.
The Mizzou squad set a school record by drawing 12 walks from Maryland's pitching staff in the team's 13-1 (5) win over Maryland on Feb. 21 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. Freshman OF Sarah Moore led the way for the Tigers by earning three walks. Senior 3B Nicole Hudson drew two base on balls.
CLEAR THE BASES
Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth hit Mizzou's first grand slam of the 2013 season in the five-inning, 13-1 victory over Maryland (Feb. 21). The four-run shot helped power a nine-run second inning that distanced the Tigers from the Terrapins. Coincidentally, Roth was previously the last Mizzou player to hit a grand slam. Her second-to-last long ball of her seven-home run freshman campaign cleared the bases at Iowa State on April 28.
DOUBLE THE HONORS, DOUBLE THE FUN
Seniors Nicole Hudson and Chelsea Thomas were named Southeastern Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday, Feb. 18. The two accolades are Missouri's first weekly softball awards as members of the SEC. The recognition is Hudson's third career honor, while Thomas has been honored 13 times as a Tiger.
Hudson started off her senior campaign in a big way at UCSB's Gaucho Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. Her first two at-bats of the year resulted in back-to-back home runs in the 11-3 victory in five innings over the host Gauchos on Feb. 17. Over the course of the three-day event, Hudson batted 7-for-12, including a 3-for-3 performance in the season opener. She finished the tournament with five home runs and 11 RBI. She additionally took to the circle and pitched Mizzou to an 11-3 win in five innings vs. Fresno State on Feb. 16.
Thomas picked up where she left off for her final Tiger season, striking out 19 total batters in two complete-game winning performances. In Mizzou's 4-0 win over Fresno State (Feb. 15), Thomas struck out nine and allowed just two Bulldog base runners from two hits. Thomas fanned 10 batters in the squad's 12-1 result over UCSB (Feb. 17), surrendering zero earned runs.
Senior 3B Nicole Hudson was certainly dialed in to start the 2013 season at UCSB's Gaucho Classic, hitting back-to-back home runs to begin her final Tiger campaign. Hudson finished Mizzou's season-opening 11-3 victory over UCSB (Feb. 15) batting 3-for-3 with four RBI. She also knocked a single through the middle in her third at-bat of the contest. Her two long balls set a new career-high.
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE
Season tickets for the 2013 season of Missouri softball are now on sale, with reserved seating starting as low as $50 for adults and $30 for youth and seniors. General admission season passes are available for $25, with parking set at an additional $20 with all ticket packages. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Mizzou Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-CAT PAWS (228-7297), in person at the Mizzou Arena Ticket Office during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or online.
FOLLOW MIZZOU SOFTBALL ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
Tiger softball fans can stay connected with the team all season long through its social media presence. On Twitter, Mizzou fans can follow the official account, @MizzouSoftball. Assistant Coach Pete D'Amour is also on Twitter (@MizzouSBcoach). On Facebook, fans can go to facebook.com/MizzouSoftball and "Like" the team's official page.