No. 7 Mizzou Heads to No. 4 Alabama for Top 10 Series

MUTIGERS.COM
Seventh-year head coach Ehren Earleywine

MUTIGERS.COM
Seventh-year head coach Ehren Earleywine
MUTIGERS.COM

April 4, 2013

MIZZOU AT ALABAMA - APRIL 5-7 - RHOADS STADIUM
Game One: Friday, April 5, 8 p.m. (WatchESPN)
Game Two: Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m. (WatchESPN)
Game Three: Sunday, April 7, Noon (RollTide.com)
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LEADING OFF
No. 7/6 Mizzou (22-2, 7-1 SEC) continues on the road for Southeastern Conference action at No. 4/7 Alabama from Friday, April 5-Sunday, April 7. 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. Head coach Ehren Earleywine first led Mizzou against the Crimson Tide in the 2008 NCAA Super Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to start a current run of five-straight NCAA Super Regional appearances. The Tigers went on to make three-straight Women's College World Series (2009, 2010, 2011). Earleywine has posted a 2-4 mark against Alabama in his time leading the Tigers.

RECENT SWINGS
• Mizzou completed its sweep of Missouri State in its doubleheader on Wednesday, April 3, winning a five-inning, 12-0 result before taking game two with a 7-0 score. The Tigers smacked seven home runs in the two-game day, including four in the initial 12-0 win. The two victories improved the Tigers' winning streak to 12 games dating back to a doubleheader sweep vs. Evansville on March 13.

• Sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo continued her home run-hitting ways with a long ball in both of the Missouri State wins, including a three-run bomb in the first contest. She also put on a show during the South Carolina doubleheader on Saturday, March 29, hitting three home runs. She smoked three-run and two-run long balls in the initial 12-3 win before hitting a second two-run home run in the second game.

• Two-time All-American pitcher Chelsea Thomas (13-1) started both games against Missouri State, winning the opening 12-0 game with 4.0 innings pitched, zero runs allowed and six strikeouts against one hit and one walk. Fellow senior Nicole Hudson threw the final 4.0 innings in the second game to take the win (6-0). Thomas struck out 1.54 batters per inning in three starts and wins in the South Carolina series (March 28-29). She allowed zero runs and only surrendered five hits and six walks in the three games. Thomas' latest outings have dropped her season ERA to 0.58 and opposing batting average to .124, both of which top the conference in overall games.

MIZZOU MILESTONES
Chelsea Thomas earned her 100th career win at Mizzou with her pitching performance vs. Missouri State in the five-inning, 12-0 win in the first game of the doubleheader on Wednesday, April 3. She became just the second Tiger to reach the 100-win plateau. Teresa Wilson holds the program record with 102 victories (1980-83).

• Senior 3B Nicole Hudson and catcher Jenna Marston are in a tight race to be Mizzou's all-time walks leader by season's end. Hudson is currently Mizzou's all-time leader with 125 walks after recording 26 so far in 2013, while Marston follows at 121 with 12 this season. Marston originally surpassed former standout Jen Bruck's former No. 1 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.

FOLLOW THE ACTION VS. ALABAMA
Mizzou's series at Alabama will be televised nationally on ESPNU on Friday (8 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.). The series will have continual updates to the official Twitter of Mizzou Softball, @MizzouSoftball. Live statistics will be available at mutigers.com. Video coverage for Sunday's game will be provided at RollTide.com.

TIGERS VS. CRIMSON TIDE
Alabama holds a slim 4-5 lead in the all-time series vs. Missouri, with the Tigers winning two of the last four meetings. Mizzou won the last three-game series between the two programs at the beginning of the 2010 season (Feb. 13-14), which also took place in Tuscaloosa, Ala. A sophomore Thomas pitched the Tigers to a 2-1 win on Feb. 13, 2010, before helping the team secure a five-inning, 9-0 win on Feb. 14, 2010.

SCOUTING ALABAMA
• The fourth-ranked Alabama softball team has compiled a 33-5 overall record thus far, including an 8-4 mark in SEC action. The Crimson Tide have stayed strong at home with a 15-2 record inside the confines of Rhoads Stadium. As a team, Alabama is batting .330 with a .520 slugging percentage and .426 on-base percentage.

• The Crimson Tide is led at the plate by freshman outfielder Haylie McCleney's .475 batting average. She has knocked a team-leading 58 hits through 38 games. McCleney is tied for the team lead in doubles with Kaila Hunt at 10 each. Senior outfielder Kayla Braud is second on the squad with 50 base knocks. Standout junior pitcher Jackia Traina has hit the Crimson Tide's most home runs with 13 so far in 2013. Hunt follows with 10.

• Alabama has depended on Traina and Leslie Jury in the pitching department, with Traina tossing 124.2 innings for a 1.74 ERA and 15-3 record. Opposing batters are averaging .179 against her, while Jury has allowed a .210 average. July has posted an 11-2 record in 81.1 IP, along with a 1.72 ERA. Lauren Sewell has also seen time in the circle for the Crimson Tide, throwing 40.1 innings for a 7-0 record and 2.26 ERA. As an entire unit, Alabama has compiled a 1.82 ERA, .191 opposing batting average and has struck out 262 batters to 129 issued walks.

ON DECK
The Tigers head to UMKC for a mid-week doubleheader on Wednesday, April 10 at the Kangaroos' Missouri 3&2 Complex (9600 Blue River Rd., in Kansas City, Mo.). The games are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Mizzou then hosts SEC foe Arkansas for a three-game series from April 12-14. The Sunday, April 14, game at 2 p.m. will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

RADICAL RANDAZZO!
• Sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo made it five home runs in a four-game span with her two long balls in the Missouri State doubleheader (April 3). In game one, she batted 2-for-3 with four RBI from a three-run home run and RBI double in the incredible 10-run top of the fifth for Mizzou. She batted 2-for-3 again in game two, hitting a solo home run and single.

• The three run-rule wins for Mizzou in the South Carolina series (March 29-30) had help from Randazzo, who batted 5-for-7 with three home runs, one double and nine RBI for the weekend. Her two home runs and five RBI in the five-inning, 12-3 victory over the Gamecocks (March 30) both set new career-bests. Her back-to-back two-hit outings in the doubleheader also matched career-bests.

THIS IS NO PAPER TIGER
Mizzou is on a 12-game winning streak, the longest current streak in the SEC, outscoring its opponents 109-10 in that stretch. During the past twelve wins, Mizzou has:
• Outhit its opponents 109-38
• Blasted 49 extra-base hits against seven for its foes
• Hit 21 home runs to just one opponent long ball
• Earned 59 walks, while Tiger opponents have walked 12 times
• Struck out 80 opposing batters, while Tigers have struck out only 20 times (Chelsea Thomas fanned 64 of those batters)

NCAA RPI
Mizzou currently holds a No. 8 RPI (ratings percentage index) from the NCAA (April 1). The squad received a No. 5 ranking in the initial NCAA RPI of the 2013 season, released Monday, March 25. Last season, the Tigers began with a No. 15 RPI ranking.

BOMBS AWAY
• Heading into the week, senior 3B Nicole Hudson led the Southeastern Conference in all games with a 1.020 slugging percentage over 22 games played. She ranked in a tie for 10th in the conference with sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth with nine home runs (currently 10 for Hudson). Roth followed Hudson at No. 2 in the league with her 0.979 slugging percentage. Hudson ranked second in the league in batting average (.431) and on-base percentage (.597). Freshman 2B Emily Crane was tied for ninth in the league with nine doubles (currently 10).

• As a team, Mizzou ranked second in the SEC in slugging percentage with a .598 mark. The Tigers also ranked second with a .333 batting average.

THE BALL HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
In Mizzou's five-inning, 12-0 win over Missouri State on Wedneday, April 3, the Tigers hit four home runs. Mizzou also matched that feat in the 16-0 victory over Georgia Tech on March 23. 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.

RUNAWAY TIGERS
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 and Kelsea Roth have smacked 10 and nine home runs, respectively, thus far in 2013. The two big swingers have already surpassed their 2012 (61 games) totals in long balls, during which both recorded seven apiece. Hudson has blasted 40 four-baggers in her career, while Roth has hit 16.

CLEAR THE BASES
• Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth hit her second grand slam of the season in the first inning of Mizzou's six-inning, 10-2 win over South Carolina (March 29). The blast, her ninth home run of the season, opened the scoring for the game.

• 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.

• Roth hit Mizzou's first grand slam of the 2013 season came 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) and her second start of the Missouri State doubleheader (April 3). For her career, she's completed this feat 37 times out of 128 career starts. Mizzou holds an outstanding 34-3 record in those starts, holding its opponents to less than one run per game (0.94). In those 37 outings, opposing batters average 0.41 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.

COMBINED NO-HITTERS
• 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.

CAN YOU BE PERFECT?
• Freshman 2B Emily Crane and redshirt freshman OF Carlie Rose both hit 3-for-3 in the opening game (12-0 [5]) of the Missouri State doubleheader on April 3. Crane hit her second home run of the season, along with a double and single for two RBI. Rose smacked three singles in the game.

• Junior OF Mackenzie Sykes batted 2-for-2 in the initial game of the March 30 doubleheader vs. South Carolina, knocking two singles for one RBI while also drawing one walk.

• 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.

• 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.

 

 

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