March 16, 2010
WHEN: March 17, 2010 - 3 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. CT
WHERE: University Field - Columbia, Mo.
The No. 3 Missouri Tigers continue their 14-game homestand with a twin-bill on Wednesday against the Wichita State Shockers from the Missouri Valley Conference. Game one of the doubleheader will begin at 3 p.m. CT, with game two starting approximately 30 minutes after game one's conclusion. The Tigers are currently riding a 14-game winning streak, which dates back to their 10-5 victory over No. 2 Arizona on Feb. 21. In their eight games at home this season, Missouri has outscored their opponents by a 53-5 margin.
SCOUTING THE SHOCKERS
Wichita State comes into Wednesday's doubleheader with a 9-10 overall record. In their home opener on Monday night, the Shockers beat Rutgers by a 6-3 final. After starting the year 2-5, WSU has gone 7-5 in their last 12 games. The Shockers are led by head coach Mike Perniciaro, who is now in his fifth year with the Wichita State program, and are assisted by Holly Burris and Amber Knickerbocker.
The Shockers' top performer at the plate this year has been junior catcher Heather Gerritse. Hitting a team-high .417 on the season, Gerritse has also has team-leading totals in hits (20), home runs (4), RBI (15), total bases (33), slugging percentage (.688), walks (11) and on base percentage (.533). Gerritse was a first-team All-MVC selection last season.
In the circle, sophomore Kasha Kolb and freshman Katie Armagost have split the majority of the work for the Shock. Kolb has appeared 10 times, and has put together a 4-5 record with a 2.75 ERA. She easily leads the team in strikeouts, as she's K'ed 53 hitters so far this season, while walking just 17. Armagost has appeared in 13 games and is sitting on a 4-3 record. Her 2.79 ERA is second on the team, and she's walked just 10 hitters this year.
MIZZOU VS. WICHITA STATE
This meeting will mark the 21st time the Tigers and Shockers have played, with Missouri holding an 18-2 edge in the all-time series. The Tigers have won six straight against the Shockers, with WSU's last win against Missouri coming in 1999 when they beat the Tigers 1-0. The first-ever meeting between the two schools came in 1980, with Missouri securing a 2-0 victory. The last time these two teams met was back in 2008. The Tigers and Shockers met three times during the season, with Missouri winning all three games. At the Lobo Invitational in New Mexico, Mizzou beat Wichita State, 2-0. In a double header later in the season in Wichita, Kan., Mizzou swept the Shocks 3-2 and then run-ruled them 13-5 in six innings.
MIZZOU AGAINST THE MVC
With victories against Northern Iowa, Bradley and Illinois State last week, Missouri now has a 138-46 record all-time against the MVC's ten programs, good for a .750 winning percentage. The Tigers have now won eight in a row against the conference dating back to 2008. Mizzou's last loss against an MVC squad came in 2008 against Bradley, with the Tigers dropping a 5-4 decision.
FOLLOW THE GAMES
Live stats and score updates will be provided at www.mutigers.com. Mizzou All-Access will provide live video at www.mutigers.tv, and KCOU 88.1 FM will host live audio coverage at their website, www.kcou.fm, and on the radio at 88.1 FM.
Missouri will host their third and final tournament of the regular season this weekend as the team welcomes four other programs to University Field for the Demarini Invitational. Joining the Tigers will be Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Northern Colorado and Northwestern. Play will begin on Friday and run through Sunday afternoon. Missouri is set to play at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
TIGERS HOLD STRONG AT NO. 3
In the fifth week of the regular season rankings, the Missouri softball team held strong in both polls at No. 3 following their 4-0 week. In the NFCA poll, Mizzou again ranks third behind No. 1 Washington and No. 2 Arizona. Continuing their push towards the top of the rankings, the Tigers gained 18 points on the top two teams this week. Coming in 56 points behind No. 2 Arizona in last week's poll, Mizzou is now just 38 points behind the second-ranked spot. Missouri got the same result in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. The Tigers increased their margin over the No. 4 ranked team from 17 points to 21 points, and closed the gap on the top two squads. Down 47 last week to Washington and 25 to Arizona, Mizzou sits just 39 and 20 points behind the two programs, respectively. Both Washington and Arizona will compete at the Judi Garman Classic this weekend, while the Tigers host Wichita State for two and host the Demarini Invitational beginning on Friday and running through Sunday.
MIZZOU ADDS GAME WITH BSU
The Tigers and Ball State University will play twice at this coming weekend's Demarini Invitational, as announced Monday. The two teams will still play their originally scheduled meeting at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 19, and will now also play at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 21 to close out the last day of the tournament.
THOMAS K'S CAREER HIGH
Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Thomas struck out a new career high 14 batters on Saturday against Illinois State. The righty from Iowa used her 14 strike outs to propel her to her ninth win of the season, improving her record to 9-1. Ten of Thomas' first 14 outs were recorded via the strikeout. Thomas' previous career high was 12, which she achieved against then-No. 2 Alabama in her second start of the season. The 14 strikeouts are tied for the most in a seven inning game by a Missouri pitcher since 2004. In 2008, Stacy Delaney struck out 14 against Boston University, while Erin Kalka achieved the same feat in 2004 against Stephen F. Austin. Kalka struck out the most batters total in a game after sitting down 25 hitters in a 14-inning marathon against Oklahoma State, also in 2004.
Entering this week of action, junior Rhea Taylor is quickly closing in on Missouri's all-time career stolen bases record. Now sitting at 105, Taylor is within five swipes of tying Julie Link's 110 stolen bases. Link played for the Tigers from 1986-89. With Taylor's three runs scored this past week, the Buford, Ga., native now sits in seventh all-time at 133 runs, and is five away from sixth. She also sits at 176 career hits, eight away from moving into a tie for ninth, and her .517 career slugging percentage ranks her eighth all-time at Missouri.
MIZZOU GOES 3-0 AT CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL INVITE
In a weekend that saw numerous delays, postponements and cancellations, the No. 3 Missouri Tigers were only able to get three of their five scheduled games in. Unable to play No. 21/25 Illinois and San Diego State, Mizzou took care of business against New Mexico, Illinois State and Bradley to finish the weekend with a perfect 3-0 record.
In game one, Mizzou overcame an upset-minded New Mexico squad and a rain delay lasting one hour and six minutes on their way to a 2-0 win in the opening day of the Children's Hospital Invitational. Sophomore Chelsea Thomas pitched three innings of relief to secure the win, pushing her record to 8-1 on the season. Thomas scattered three hits while striking out five after relieving sophomore Kristin Nottelmann, who started the game and threw four innings, allowing two hits, three walks and striking out three.
On Sunday, Missouri gave up just two runs in two games and extended their winning streak to 14 straight, knocking off Illinois State, 3-1, and Bradley, 9-1, to close out the Children's Hospital Invitational. The Tigers hit four home runs on the day, including two from freshmen Nicole Hudson and Jenna Marston, an inside-the-parker from junior Rhea Taylor and junior Catherine Lee's first home run as a Tiger. Chelsea Thomas picked up her ninth win of the season in game one while Kristin Nottelmann secured the win in game two.
TIGERS BLANK UNI, 3-0
The No. 3 Missouri Tigers softball team blasted two home runs and used three pitchers to combine for a two-hit, shutout victory over the Northern Iowa Panthers, leading Mizzou to a 3-0 win. Senior Jana Hainey picked up her second win of the season, pitching two perfect innings of relief with three strikeouts. Sophomore Kristin Nottelmann picked up her first save of the year, also throwing two innings. With one out in the first inning, freshman Nicole Hudson crushed her third home run of the season over the 220 ft. sign in straightaway center, giving Mizzou a 2-0 lead. Junior Marla Schweisberger provided the other Tiger run, also hitting her third home run of the year. With two outs and a full count in the bottom of the fifth, Schweisberger connected for a deep home run over the left field fence, putting Mizzou ahead 3-0.
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