April 1, 2011
|Date(s): April 2-3
||Live Video: www.baylorbears.com
|First Pitch: 3 p.m. CT / Noon CT
||Series Record: MU leads 26-15
|Location: Waco, Texas
||Mizzou Series Streak: Won 6
|Stadium: Getterman Stadium
||First Meeting: 1985 (Split series 1-0, 0-1)
|Live Stats: www.mutigers.com
||Last Meeting: 2010
|Live Twitter: @MIZLive
||Last Time Out: MU wins 9-2 and 11-6
-No. 11 Missouri closes out their 10-day stay in the state of Texas with a two-game set against No. 17 Baylor this weekend. The top-25 Big 12 matchup will begin at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday and conclude with a Noon CT start on Sunday.
-Missouri saw their 24-game winning streak come to an end this past Wednesday as they were upset in the second half of a doubleheader by North Texas, falling 9-2. The Tigers took game one by a 4-1 score behind a double, home run and three RBI by Ashley Fleming and 11 strikeouts by Chelsea Thomas, who improved to 13-2 on the year. North Texas scored nine runs and hit four home runs off Kristin Nottelmann in the second game, who suffered her first loss of the season. The nine runs allowed is the most allowed by Missouri this season.
-The Tigers broke the school record for most consecutive wins after sweeping Kansas on Wednesday to open Big 12 action. After starting the year 1-2, Mizzou has won 26 of their last 28 to improve to 27-4 on the year.
-The Tigers have 12 shutouts on the year, all of which came the month of March. They are walking just 1.23 batters a game, the best in the conference. The staff’s .165 opponent batting average is tops amongst Big 12 teams as well. The team is second in the league in strikeouts per seven innings, as they average 8.96.
-10 of the team’s last 19 wins have come by the mercy rule. In the month of March, the Tigers have outscored their opponents 157-19. Mizzou averaged 6.83 runs a game last month after averaging 3.88 in the month of February and gave up 1.26 runs per game in March.
-Chelsea Thomas continued her hot streak, winning her 13th straight game on Wednesday against North Texas. Thomas gave up one run on five hits, walked a batter and struck out 11. Her ERA this season is best in the nation at 0.52, and she entered the week with the fifth best strikeouts per seven innings ratio at 11.5. In 15 starts this season, Thomas has struck out double digits on nine separate occasions.
-Ashley Fleming continued her great 2011 campaign with her eighth home run of the year on Wednesday in game one. The junior had nine home runs last season and now has 21 for her career - ninth most in school history. Five of her home runs this year have come in the last eight games. She leads the team with 11 doubles, 36 RBI and an .841 slugging percentage.
-Last Sunday against Texas Tech, Princess Krebs became the first Tiger to hit two home runs in the same game since Rhea Taylor accomplished the feat last April against Iowa State. Krebs led off the fourth inning with a pinch hit solo shot to left field, and added a three run shot to dead center field in the fifth. Krebs had entered the game with no career home runs to her name.
-Catherine Lee’s home run on Sunday was her fifth of the season, putting her just one shy of matching last year’s total of six with right around half the season to go. She’s slugging .660 on the season, third best on the team.
-Freshman Maddison Ruggeberg has surprised a lot of people this year, emerging as one of the best hitters on the team in her first year of action. Second on the team with a .407 batting average, Ruggeberg also has blasted four home runs and driven in 16 RBI. She’s slugging .661 this season, second on the squad, and has struck out just six times in 59 at bats.
Baylor enters the weekend with a ranking of No. 17 in each poll. They are 27-5 on the season and 1-1 in league play after splitting last weekend’s series with Texas A&M. The Bears won 2-1 in 11 innings on Saturday before falling 6-5 in the finale. Baylor is 17-1 at home this season.
Dani Leal is the top hitter for the Bears, as she sports a .395 average with 10 home runs and 23 driven in, all team highs. As a squad, Baylor has a .297 batting average, a .387 on base percentage and a .447 slugging percentage. Baylor’s ERA is second best in the conference at 1.21. Their ace is Whitney Canion, a redshirt sophomore. She is 14-4 this season with a 0.92 earned run average and has tallied 152 strikeouts to 41 walks in 114.1 innings pitched. Like Chelsea Thomas, Canion was awarded with a medical redshirt last season after suffering a stress fracture in her forearm.
Missouri owns the series lead with a 26-15 advantage. The Tigers have won the last six meetings, and swept the Bears last year in Columbia with wins of 9-2 and 11-6.
Each game will feature live scoring and play-by-play through GameTracker. Links to GameTracker can be found on the softball schedule page at mutigers.com. Free audio will be available at www.baylorbears.com.
Missouri closes out their 10-day Texas trip this weekend with a two-game set against No. 17 Baylor in Waco, Texas. Saturday’s game starts at 2 p.m. CT with the finale coming at Noon CT 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 entire athletic department at twitter.com/mutigersdotcom. Assistant Coach Pete D’Amour is also on Twitter at twitter.com/MizzouSBcoach. On Facebook, fans can search “University of Missouri Softball Team” to track down the team’s official page.
HOME WINNING STREAK SECOND BEST IN COUNTRY
The Missouri softball team has taken advantage of playing at home, as they currently hold the second longest active home winning streak in all of the NCAA with 28 straight victories. Here’s a look at the five longest home streaks in the country.
1. Georgia - 32
2. Missouri - 28
3. Arizona State - 25
4. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - 23
5. Notre Dame - 21
Playing at University Field has been a major advantage for the Tigers since head coach Ehren Earleywine took over in 2007. In 117 games played at home under Earleywine, the Tigers have won 100 of them for an .856 winning percentage on their home field. Of their 17 losses, 13 of them came in two combined seasons. In Earleywine’s first year the Tigers went 17-7 at home, and in 2009 they went 17-6. In 2008, Mizzou finished 22-1 at home while last year they went 31-3. So far this year the Tigers are 13-0.
CAN’T K FLEMING
Junior Ashley Fleming has been one of the Tigers top hitters this year, and much of that is because she is so tough to strike out. This season, Fleming has struck out just six times in 88 at bats while drawing 12 walks. She hasn’t struck out in her last 42 at bats, and has struck out just once in her last 68 at bats.
THOMAS WINS BIG 12 PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Redshirt sophomore Chelsea Thomas has been named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the fourth time in her career, as announced Tuesday afternoon by the league office. This is the second time this season that Thomas has earned this award.
Throwing in all four games, Thomas went 3-0 with a 0.66 earned run average and a save as the Tigers swept Kansas and Texas Tech to improve to 4-0 in conference. She struck out 32 batters and walked just one in 21.1 innings pitched while scattering eight hits and giving up two earned runs.
MEAN GREEN SPLIT SNAPS TIGER WINNING STREAK
After opening up with a 4-1 victory in game one, No. 11 Missouri saw their 24-game winning streak come to an end in the second game, as the North Texas Mean Green upset the Tigers by a 9-2 final, hitting four home runs in game two.
In game one, Thomas struck out 11, walked one and allowed one run on five hits to pick up her 13th straight win. Fleming finished the game with two hits in four at bats, plus a double and a home run and three driven in. Nottelmann took her first loss of the year in game two, giving up nine runs on four homers to fall to 11-1.