Tigers, Bears Battle This Weekend in Columbia

Angela Randazzo

Angela Randazzo

March 29, 2012

No. 12 Mizzou vs. No. 17 Baylor

  • Date: March 30-April 1
  • Game One: Friday, March 30 - 6 p.m. CT
  • Game Two: Saturday, March 31 - 3:30 p.m. CT
  • Game Three: Sunday, April 1 - Noon CT
  • Stadium: University Field
  • GameTracker: Game One | Game Two | Game Three
  • Live Video ($)
  • Television: FSN (Saturday)
  • Media Notes

The No. 12 softball squad will close out the month of March with their third Big 12 series of the season. The Tigers are set to host a three-game series against the No. 17/20 Baylor Bears this weekend, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. CT. Game two of the series will take place at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday and will be aired live on FSN, with Sunday’s finale beginning at Noon. Live stats will be available at mutigers.com, with live video for subscribers at mizzounetwork.com.

Baylor comes into the weekend with a 22-9 record on the season and is 1-3 in Big 12 action. They have lost four of their last five games dating back to March 17 when they fell by a 1-0 score to Buffalo. Last weekend, they lost the first two games to Oklahoma before winning the finale, 1-0. On Wednesday, the No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies beat the Bears by a 6-1 final. The Bears are ranked No. 17 by the NFCA/USA Today and 20th according to ESPN.com/USA Softball.

Offensively, the Bears are batting .260 on the season and have hit just four home runs as a team. Clare Hosack has two of those homers and is tied with three others with 11 RBI, most on the team. Kathy Shelton leads the squad at .382 with a homer, five doubles and 11 RBI. Hosack is also perfect on the bases, stealing 17 bases in as many attempts. Holly Holl has seven doubles on the year and 11 RBI, while Megan Turk is batting .275 with a homer and 11 driven in.

All-American pitcher Whitney Canion saw her season come to an unfortunate end back in late February, tearing her ACL while running out a grounder againts North Texas on Feb. 26. She was 5-1 with a 0.35 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 40.0 innings before suffering the injury. Courtney Repka and Liz Paul have stepped in in her absence. Repka is 10-4 on the season with a 0.92 ERA in 20 appearances, while Paul is 6-4 with a 2.04 mark. Both pitchers have 41 strikeouts on the season.

The Bears took two out of three from Mizzou last year, splitting the two-game set in Waco, Texas, while eliminating the Tigers from the Women’s College World Series in a 13-inning affair. Overall, Missouri leads the all-time series by a 27-17 mark.
Live stats will provided via GameTracker at mutigers.com for all three games. Saturday’s contest will air live on FSN, with Greg Lucas and Tracy Warren on the call. 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.

The Tigers head to Austin, Texas next weekend for a three-game set with the Texas Longhorns. The series will begin on Thursday, April 5 at 7 p.m. and conclude on Saturday, April 7 at Noon. For more information, stay tuned to mutigers.com.

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 weekend’s series with Baylor is the official Gold Rush Weekend for the 2012 softball season. Fans are encouraged to wear gold to all three games.

Saturday’s game against the Bears will be televised on FSN. Greg Lucas and Tracy Warren will have the call. This marks the first time this season that Missouri has appeared on television. Last season, the Tigers went 6-2 in televised contests.

As mentioned earlier, the Baylor Bears ended Missouri’s season last year with a victory in a game for the ages at the Women’s College World Series. The two teams battled late into the night, as Chelsea Thomas and Whitney Canion were dominant in the circle. The Bears eventually pulled out a 1-0 win, as Holly Holl hit a solo home run on Thomas’ 192nd pitch of the evening on an 0-2 count. Canion got the win, giving up just two hits in 13.0 innings. Thomas went 12.2 innings and struck out a career-best 19 hitters, the second most ever in a game at the WCWS.

The No. 12 Missouri softball team recorded two non-conference victories, sweeping a doubleheader against the Evansville Purple Aces at University Field. The Tigers were able to pull out a 4-2 win in the first game before the offense took control of game two, winning 7-0.

The Aces got the first run of the game in the second inning, but Mizzou tied it in the bottom half with Brianna Corwin’s first career hit and RBI. The Tigers added two in the third, one off an RBI single by Angela Randazzo. The Aces cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth, but Missouri got that run back in the bottom half with an unearned run.

In game two, Missouri broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning on Kelsea Roth’s third home run of the season, a three-run shot. Ashley Fleming hit her team-leading seventh homer of the year in the next inning to make it 4-0, and Rachel Hay added the team’s second three-run home run of the game in the sixth, her first of the year.

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 13-0 on the season and has won 18 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 four runs (two earned) in those contests. They are hitting .368 at home with 15 homers and 84 RBI, while the pitching staff has an incredible 0.19 ERA in home games.  Chelsea Thomas is a perfect 6-0 in home games this year and hasn’t allowed a single run. Opponents have a 9.17 ERA at University Field against the Tigers.

In the history of Missouri softball, only seven players have drawn 80 or more walks in their career. Three of those are on this year's squad. Senior Ashley Fleming is third all-time with 84 walks, while junior Jenna Marston is currently tied for fifth with 82. Fellow junior Nicole Hudson has drawn 80 walks so far in her career. The all-time record holder is Jen Bruck, who drew 115 from 2005 to 2008.

Mizzou’s 18 straight victories at University Field is one of the best home winning streaks in all of Division I softball. Below are the top-seven active streaks through games on March 28.

Through March 28
1. Louisiana (Lafayette) - 33
2. BYU - 27
3. Boise State - 23
T4. Florida State - 18
T4. Missouri - 18
T6. Indiana - 15
T6. Texas - 15

The first RPI rankings of the season came out on Monday, March 26, and the Tigers found themselves in 15th in the initial poll. The Tigers are 7-2 against the RPI’s top-30 on the season.

Redshirt junior pitcher Chelsea Thomas is the nation’s leader in hits allowed per seven innings, giving up just 2.67 hits per game according to the latest NCAA Division I statistics report, released on March 26. The second place pitcher is Monica Perry of Florida State, who has allowed 3.25 hits per game. After her one-hit performance on Wednesday, Thomas lowered her hits per game average to 2.61.



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