March 27, 2012
No. 12 Mizzou vs. Evansville
After a disappointing weekend in College Station, the No. 12 Missouri softball team looks to right the ship this weekend, as they’ll play five games on their home turf at University Field. This week’s action gets started on Wednesday, with a doubleheader against the Evansville Purple Aces. Game one will begin at 3 p.m. CT, with game two starting at approximately 5 p.m. Live stats will be available at mutigers.com, with live video for subscribers at mizzounetwork.com
The Evansville Purple Aces stand at 8-18 on the season and just snapped a seven-game losing streak with their first conference win of the season, knocking off Missouri State by a 3-1 score in Sunday afternoon. Evansville is 3-9 on the road this year.
As a team, the Aces are hitting .266 with seven home runs on the year. Kayla Fortner leads the squad with a .442 batting average and has added a team-best five doubles along with three homers and 22 RBI, which is tops on the squad as well. She gets on base at a .517 clip and is slugging .649 for the season. Amy Gartner is also hitting over .300, coming in at .345. She has hit four homers this year, the most of all Evansville hitters, and has 19 RBI. Evansville is 38-for-45 in stolen bases this season.
Evansville has a team ERA of 4.29 and has allowed opponents to hit .277 off them this season. Sarah Patterson has appeared 17 times and is 5-7 with a 4.54 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 23 walks in 71.0 innings. Taylor Perry also sees quite a bit of time, appearing in 12 games. She is 1-4 with a 3.89 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 45.0 innings.
Missouri has won all 13 previous meetings between these two squads. Last year, the Tigers swept a doubleheader in Evansville, recording victories of 7-2 and 9-1.
Live stats will provided via GameTracker at mutigers.com. Subscribers of the Mizzou Network can get live video of each game at mizzounetwork.com. The official Mizzou Softball Twitter account, @MizzouSoftball, will provide updates throughout the day.
Missouri hosts their second Big 12 series of the year this weekend as they welcome the Baylor Bears to University Field. Action will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday evening. Saturday’s game, beginning at 3:30 p.m., will be aired live on FSN. The series finale will begin at Noon on Sunday.
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 official account, @MizzouSoftball. Assistant Coach Pete D’Amour is also on Twitter (@MizzouSBcoach). On Facebook, fans can go to facebook.com/MizzouSoftball to track down the team’s official page.
This matchup against the Evansville Purple Aces will welcome back two former Tigers. Evansville head coach Mark Redburn served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Mizzou for three years, from 2007-2009. Assistant coach Lisa Simmons, in her first year with the Purple Aces, played for the Tigers from 2008-2011.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES OF UNIVERSITY FIELD
Just as it was last year, University Field has been an extremely friendly place to play for the Tigers in 2012. Missouri is a perfect 11-0 on the season and has won 16 in a row on their home turf dating back to last year. This season, Mizzou has won nine of their 11 home games by run-rule, and have only allowed two runs (one earned) in those contests. They are hitting .384 at home with 12 homers and 74 RBI, while the pitching staff has an incredible 0.11 ERA in home games.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
With their 1-0 loss in extra innings to the Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday, March 25, the Missouri softball team was shutout for the first time in 2012. It also marks the first time since that the Tigers have been shutout since June 4, 2011 in the final game of the season against Baylor at the Women’s College World Series, breaking a stretch of 27 straight games that Mizzou has scored at least one run. On top of that, with losses on Friday and Sunday, Chelsea Thomas lost consecutive starts for just the third time in her career. She lost three straight starts to end her freshman season in 2009, losing to UCLA, Arizona State and Georgia.
SHORT AND SWEET
The Tigers have made a habit this season of quickly taking care of business. Of their 23 wins on the year, 12 have coming by run-rule, ending the game in the fifth or sixth inning. At the DeMarini Invitational in early March, the Tigers won all six of their games by run-rule.
TIGERS STRUGGLE AT A&M, LOSE TWO OF THREE
Despite getting outstanding pitching most of the weekend, the Tigers dropped two of three games to the No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies on March 23-25 in Big 12 Conference play. Chelsea Thomas surrendered a first inning two-run home run to Mel Dumezich on Friday but dominated the Aggies after that. However, the Tigers could only muster one run against Dumezich and fell 2-1. They bounced back with a 6-5 win on Saturday afternoon, overcoming four Aggie home runs to pull out the win and even the series. On Sunday, the Tigers were stifled by Dumezich again, getting just one hit on the day. Thomas had a no hitter through seven innings of work, but a leadoff double in the eighth eventually led to the winning run, giving A&M the series win.