March 28, 2013
No. 7/6 Mizzou (17-2, 4-1 SEC) continues at home with its second Southeastern Conference series at University Field, welcoming South Carolina (18-11, 1-5 SEC) for an initial Friday, March 29, nationally televised game on Fox Sports South at 7 p.m. Play-by-play will be provided by Dave Neal, with analysis from Cheri Kempf. The series will conclude with a Saturday, March 30, doubleheader (4 p.m. & 6 p.m.). South Carolina leads the all-time series 3-0, with Mizzou last facing the Gamecocks in 2002.
TIGERS VS. GAMECOCKS
Game One: Friday, March 29 - 7 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, March 30 - 4 p.m.
Game Three: Saturday, March 30 - 6 p.m.
MIZZOU MEDIA NOTES | USC MEDIA NOTES
FOLLOW THE ACTION VS. SOUTH CAROLINA
Mizzou's series vs. South Carolina will begin with the Friday, March 29, game broadcast live by Fox Sports South. The Saturday, March 30, doubleheader will be covered live by the Mizzou Network and made available for its subscribers at MizzouNetwork.com. The games will have continual updates to the official Twitter of Mizzou Softball, @MizzouSoftball. Live statistics will be available at mutigers.com.
WATCH THE TIGERS ON TV
Channels to watch Mizzou's 7 p.m. game vs. South Carolina on Friday, March 29
Mediacom - Ch. 57.7
CenturyLink - Ch. 748 and 1748
DirecTV - Ch. 644, 645, 646, 654, 671 or 672
Dish - Ch. 418, 420, 423 or 5423
Seventh-year head coach Ehren Earleywine led Mizzou to a sweep of Georgia Tech in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 23, winning both games by run-rule with 8-0 (5) and 16-0 (5) scores. Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas started both games against the Yellow Jackets and picked up both pitching victories to improve to 9-1 in 2013. She tossed 3.0 shutout innings in the initial matchup, striking out five and allowing just one hit. Thomas also surrendered only one hit in the second game shutout, working 4.0 innings with another five strikeouts and one walk.
Sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo and senior catcher Rachel Hay hit grand slams during both of Mizzou's wins in the Georgia Tech doubleheader. Randazzo's bases-clearing rocket came in the six-run second inning of the Tigers' five-inning, 8-0 win in the first game. Hay's four-run long ball came in Mizzou's six-run second inning in the five-inning, 16-0 victory in the second game.
In total, five Tigers hit home runs against the Yellow Jackets, with senior 3B Nicole Hudson hitting her ninth of the season during game two action. Junior OF Mackenzie Sykes and sophomore SS Corrin Genovese also blasted long balls in the second game, both of the two-run variety.
Sykes, Randazzo and redshirt freshman catcher Carlie Rose batted .600 or better in the two Georgia Tech games. Randazzo and Rose both hit 2-for-3 (.667) from the plate and also earned walks. Sykes hit 3-for-5 with all three hits going for extra bases: two doubles and one home run.
Hudson and senior catcher Jenna Marston are currently tied for Mizzou's all-time walks mark with 118 each in their careers. Marston originally surpassed former Tiger standout Jen Bruck's mark of 115 (2005-08) with her 116th walk in the fifth inning of Mizzou's 12-0 (5) win at Ole Miss on March 17.
TIGERS VS. GAMECOCKS
Mizzou trails 3-0 in the all-time series vs. South Carolina, although the two schools have not met on the softball diamond since 2002. The Tigers first played the Gamecocks in 1992, a season after Mizzou played in its second-ever Women's College World Series. Likewise, Mizzou and USC met again in 1995 after the 1994 Tigers advanced to the WCWS.
SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina enters its series against Mizzou with an 18-11 overall record and 1-5 mark in the SEC. The Gamecocks have posted a 6-5 record in away games. The team ranks third in the SEC with a .330 batting average, which is bolstered by the hot hitting of senior utility player Samie Garcia, who is a swinging at a .430 clip.
The Gamecocks' pitching staff has allowed a season ERA of 3.16, which ranks 11th in the 13-team league. Opposing batters are hitting .240 against USC pitchers, recording 170 hits to 110 strikeouts. USC has allowed just 54 walks, however, which ranks third-best in the conference behind Mississippi State (46 walks/29 games) and the Tigers (23 walks/19 games).
Garcia leads the Gamecocks in hits (43), doubles (8) and triples (6). The speedster is also a perfect 15-for-15 in steal attempts. She is second on the team with 13 walks behind freshman outfielder Alaynie Page's 14. Page is second on the squad in RBI with 25. Sophomore outfielder Kristen Struett is the team-leader in RBI with 30. She has batted .329 for the Gamecocks thus far in 2013.
Senior pitcher Audrey Broyles has received the most work in the circle for the Gamecocks, throwing 66.2 innings in 13 appearances. She has compiled a 7-4 record with a 2.94 ERA, striking out 32 batters while surrendering 59 hits. Freshman hurler Katie Marks has made 15 appearances for 56.2 innings pitched, recording a 5-6 mark with 54 hits allowed and 46 strikeouts.
Mizzou will next hit the road for a mid-week doubleheader at Missouri State on Wednesday, April 3. The Tigers and Bears are scheduled to play a 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Killian Stadium in Springfield, Mo. Mizzou continues on the road from Friday, April 5-Sunday, April 6 at SEC foe Alabama. The Friday and Saturday games (8 p.m. & 2 p.m. CT) in Tuscaloosa, Ala. , will be televised nationally on ESPNU. The Tigers and Crimson Tide finish the series with a Noon start on Sunday.
FIRST NCAA RPI
Mizzou received a No. 5 ranking in the initial NCAA RPI (ratings percentage index) of the 2013 season, released Monday, March 25. Last season, the Tigers began with a No. 15 RPI ranking.
THIS IS NO PAPER TIGER
Mizzou is on a seven-game winning streak, the second-longest current streak in the SEC, outscoring its opponents 60-5 in that stretch.
During the past seven wins, Mizzou has:
Outhit its opponents 56-23
Blasted 28 extra-base hits against four for its foes
Hit nine home runs to just one opponent long ball
Earned 32 walks, while Tiger opponents have walked four times
Struck out 47 opposing batters, while Tigers have struck out only 16 times (Chelsea Thomas fanned 32 of those batters)
Senior 3B Nicole Hudson currently leads the Southeastern Conference with a 1.109 slugging percentage in 19 games played. She ranks in a tie for sixth in the conference with nine home runs. Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth follows Hudson at No. 2 in the league with her 0.975 slugging percentage. Hudson ranks second in the league in batting average (.457) and on-base percentage (.597). Roth is tied for 12th in the conference with eight home runs, while freshman 2B Emily Crane is tied for sixth in the league with nine doubles.
As a team, Mizzou ranks third in the SEC in slugging percentage with a .584 mark. The Tigers rank fifth with a .322 batting average.
THE BALL HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
In Mizzou's five-inning, 16-0 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday, March 23, the Tigers smacked four home runs. The long ball total was the most in a game since Mizzou hit five in the squad's season-opening, five-inning, 11-3 win at UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 15.
The previously mentioned 16-run total for Mizzou in its closing victory of the Georgia Tech doubleheader on Saturday, March 23, was a significant amount. The Tigers' 16 runs were the most in a game since Mizzou won 16-0 over Drake on April 2, 2008.
SKY IS THE LIMIT
As previously mentioned, Nicole Hudson has smacked nine home runs thus far in 2013. Teammate Kelsea Roth has hit eight home runs. The two big swingers have already surpassed their 2012 (61 games) totals in long balls, during which both recorded seven apiece. Hudson has blasted 39 four-baggers in her career, while Roth has hit 15.
CLEAR THE BASES
In back-to-back games of the Georgia Tech doubleheader (March 23), a Tiger hit a grand slam. In the five-inning, 8-0 win to start the day, sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo hit her grand slam during the six-run second inning. The blast was her third home run of the season. Hay's grand slam, her second home run of the season, came in Mizzou's six-run second inning of the five-inning, 16-0 victory in the second game.
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 in 2012. Her second-to-last long ball of her seven-home run freshman campaign cleared the bases at Iowa State on April 28.
DOUBLES? WE'VE GOT YOUR DOUBLES
In Mizzou's 6-1 victory at Ole Miss on March 16, the Tigers smacked six doubles as a team. It was the squad's best double-hitting performance in more than one year, with Mizzou hitting six against Alcorn State on March 9, 2012.
NO WALKS? NO PROBLEM!
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas issued zero walks in all three of her starts at Ole Miss (March 15-17), as well as in game one of the Georgia Tech doubleheader (March 23). For her career, she's completed this feat 35 times out of 123 career starts. Mizzou holds an outstanding 31-3 record in those starts, holding its opponents to less than one run per game (0.89). In those 35 outings, opposing batters average 0.42 hits per inning against the senior Tiger. Thomas is pitching "zero-walk starts" in roughly one out of every four starts in her career.
For her efforts at Ole Miss, Thomas earned her third SEC Pitcher of the Week honor (March 11-17). In her four starts during the week, she struck out 1.22 batters per inning for a total of 22 strikeouts over 18.0 innings pitched. Thomas finished the week with a 0.78 ERA.
Two-time All-American pitcher Chelsea Thomas received a helping hand from fellow seniors Nicole Hudson and Lindsey Muller to complete two combined no-hitters in Mizzou's first and third wins of the Ole Miss series, both five-inning affairs. In the 11-0 win on March 15, Thomas threw 2.0 innings and struck out four Rebels to start the game, with Hudson pitching 3.0 innings for the win, fanning four. To close the series on March 17, Thomas completed 3.0 innings of work for the win, again striking out four. Muller finished the Rebels off with 2.0 innings pitched and three strikeouts.
The two combined efforts were Thomas' 12th and 13th no-hitters of her outstanding Tiger career. The two results were the 36th and 37th no-hitters in Mizzou history.
ANOTHER STRONG PERFORMANCE FOR THOMAS
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas notched a one-hitter performance in Mizzou's 2-0 win over No. 7 Texas A&M on Friday, March 8. The Pleasantville, Iowa, native struck out 11 batters in the win, her second complete-game shutout of the season. Thomas went the distance again in Mizzou's 5-1 win over Evansville (7.0 IP), striking out 10 batters. The number of games that Thomas has struck out 10+ batters has risen to 43 games out of 136 career appearances, essentially once every three times Thomas steps into the circle.
CAN YOU BE PERFECT?
Sophomore SS Corrin Genovese and redshirt freshman OF Taylor Gadbois both batted 2-for-2 in Mizzou's five-inning, 16-0 win over Georgia Tech on March 23. One of Genovese's hits was a home run, a two-run blast that was the fifth of her career.
Senior 3B Nicole Hudson batted 2-for-2 against Ole Miss in the 11-0 win on March 15, also drawing two walks to reach base in every plate appearance. Hudson hit a double and home run against the Rebels. She also 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.
Sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo hit 2-for-2 in Mizzou's 11-0 win over Ole Miss, hitting a double and triple to record four RBI (matching a career-high). She was hit by an Ole Miss pitch in between her hits, reaching base in every plate appearance.
Freshman 2B Emily Crane posted a 2-for-2 performance with a double and a single in Mizzou's five-inning, 12-0 victory over Ole Miss on March 17. She also drew a walk.
Senior catcher Jenna Marston batted 2-for-2 in Mizzou's 3-1 win over Evansville in game one of the teams' doubleheader on March 13. The St. Louis native ripped a first inning single and a leadoff double in the third inning before getting hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.
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.