April 10, 2012
No. 9 Mizzou vs. Northern Iowa
The No. 9 Missouri softball team returns to Columbia for their longest remaining homestand of the season, beginning this Wednesday, April 11, at 4 p.m. CT against Northern Iowa. Wednesday's game is Military Appreciation Day, and military personnel receive free admission with their military ID. The Tigers will play their next five contests at University Field, highlighted by a three-game set against Texas Tech this weekend.
SCOUTING NORTHERN IOWA
Northern Iowa comes into the midweek contest riding a 15-game winning streak that dates back to March 14 and includes three-game sweeps over Evansville and Drake, along with an 8-0 run-rule at Iowa State. The Panthers are 28-9 overall on the season and are perfect in conference play with a 12-0 record in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Panthers are batting .301 as a team and are led by Mackenzie Daigh, who is hitting .414 on the year with 14 odubles, two triples, three homers and 24 RBI. Three others are batting over .300, as Laura Turner is batting .367, Whitney Plein hitting .330 and Samantha Reimer at .315. Plein and Gina Brown lead the team with six homers apiece, and four Panthers have 20 or more runs batted in.
Jamie Fisher is the team's ace, appearing in 21 games and posting a 14-1 record with a 1.67 ERA. She has 124 strikeouts in 117.2 innings pitched and has walked 42 batters. Also seeing time in the circle are Jaye Hutcheson, who is 11-6 with a 2.15 ERA, and Jessica Severinsen, who is 3-2 with a 2.62 earned run average. Opponents are hitting .208 off UNI pitchers.
Mizzou is 24-5 all-time against the Northern Iowa Panthers. The Tigers won last year at UNI by a 7-2 margin and defeated the Panthers by a 3-0 score in Columbia the year before. Overall, the Tigers have won the last five against Northern Iowa, dating back to the 2006 season.
Live stats will be provided via GameTracker at mutigers.com for all three games. Mizzou Network subscribers will be able to watch live at mizzounetwork.com. For those unable to watch on the Mizzou Network, Will Palaszczuk will have the call for KTGR on 1580 AM/100.5 FM and online at ktgr.com. The official Mizzou Softball Twitter account, @MizzouSoftball, will provide updates throughout each day.
Mizzou hosts a three-game series against Texas Tech this weekend, as the two Big 12 foes kick off the set on Friday, April 13, at 6 p.m. CT. Saturday's game begins at 2 p.m., with Sunday's finale starting at Noon.
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.
MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY
Wednesday's contest is Mizzou softball's annual Military Appreciation Day. Military personnel receive free admission to the game with their military ID. The First Pitch will be thrown by Sgt. Derek Bishop, a member of the United States Marines Corps, who has been very helpful to the Athletic Department with arranging the Color Guard for many Mizzou events. The colors will be presented by the Mizou Navy ROTC program. The Mizzou softball team will wear camouflage jerseys in honor of the military.
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 16-0 on the season and has won 21 in a row on their home turf dating back to last year. This season, Mizzou has won nine of their home games by run-rule, and have only allowed seven runs (four earned) in home contests. They are hitting .348 at home witer is a 3, everyone else is a 5 20 homers and 100 RBI, while the pitching staff has an incredible 0.29 ERA in home games. Chelsea Thomas is 8-0 in home games this year and hasn't allowed a single run. Opponents have an 8.53 ERA at University Field against the Tigers.
PATIENCE PAYS OFF
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. Junior Jenna Marston is currently third all-time with 91 career walks, while fellow junior Nicole Hudson is fourth all-time with 88. Senior Ashley Fleming has walked 86 times in her career, the fifth-most at Mizzou. Jen Bruck is the program's all-time record holder, walking 115 times between 2005-08, while Micaela Minner drew the second-most walks ever with 96 from 2004-09.
HOME WINNING STREAK ONE OF BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Mizzou's 21 straight victories at University Field is one of the best home winning streaks in all of Division I softball. Below are the top-four active streaks through games on April 8.
Through April 8
1. Louisiana (Lafayette) - 36
2. Boise State - 23
3. Missouri - 21
4. Western Michigan - 13
THOMAS NOW THIRD ON ALL-TIME K'S LIST
After recording 27 strikeouts in three games against Texas, Chelsea Thomas moved up to No. 3 on the all-time strikeouts list at Missouri, as she's set down 797 batters in her career. She's just three strikeouts shy of becoming the third Mizzou pitcher ever to strike out 800 batters in a career. Teresa Wilson is the program's record-holder with 893 strikeouts from 1980-83, while Stephanie Falk is second all-time with 865 career K's.
TIGERS 14th IN LATEST RPI
In the latest RPI, released on Monday, April 9, the Tigers found themselves in 14th in the most recent rankings. The Tigers are 12-3 against the RPI's top-40 on the season.
PITCHERS CLIMBING CAREER WINS LIST
Mizzou's top-two starting pitchers are finding themselves climbing up the career wins list. Redshirt junior Chelsea Thomas currently has 76 wins in her career and stands in sixth all-time. She is just three victories away from moving up to third all-time. Senior Kristin Nottelmann has won 61 games over the last four seasons, the ninth-most ever. Immediately in front of her are Erin Kalka, who won 65 career games, and Kacey Marshall, who won 67 times in her career. Teresa Wilson is the program's record-holder at 102 wins.
FLEMING NAMED USA SOFTBALL NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Missouri senior outfielder Ashley Fleming has been selected as the USA Softball National Player of the Week for the week of April 2-8, as announced by American Softball Association (ASA) on Tuesday afternoon. This is the second career award for Fleming, who was recognized as a sophomore on May 4, 2010, and the fourth time a Tiger has received this honor. Fleming led the Tigers to a big weekend over then-No. 3 Texas, guiding Mizzou to two victories in the crucial three-game series. She hit safely in each contest, batting .600 (6-for-10) for the weekend. She also drove in eight of the team's 16 RBI over the course of the series.
MISSOURI SWEEPS CONFERENCE WEEKLY AWARDS
For the fifth time in program history and second time this season, the Missouri softball team has captured both the Big 12 Player of the Week and Big 12 Pitcher of the Week awards for the week of April 2-8. Senior Ashley Fleming was selected as Player of the Week for the second time in her career, while redshirt junior Chelsea Thomas was named Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season and 11th time in her career. Fleming finished the series with a .600 batting average, one home run and eight of the team's 16 RBI, along with a .667 OBP and 1.000 SLG. Thomas went 2-1 on the weekend with wins on Saturday and Sunday. She struck out 12 batters in Saturday's game and followed it up with a complete game shutout in the rubber game. Of the 24 hits she allowed on the weekend, half of those stayed on the infield.
MIZZOU WINS TWO IN CRUCIAL SERIES AT TEXAS
In a pivotal series for Big 12 standing, the Missouri Tigers were able to win the series at then-No. 3 Texas on April 5-7, knocking off the first place Longhorns twice in the three games. Despite blowing a 3-0 lead in game one, the Tigers bounced back on Friday with an 11-4 victory over the Horns to even the series. The two teams were tied 4-4 in the top of the seventh inning before the MU offense exploded for seven runs, highlighted by a three-run homer by Corrin Genovese off Longhorn ace Blaire Luna. Chelsea Thomas struck out 12 while earning her 15th win of the season. In Saturday's rubber match, Thomas dominated again, throwing a complete game, five-hit shutout while striking out nine. Kelsea Roth singled in a run and Ashley Fleming hit a solo homer to lead the offense in the 2-0 victory.