April 12, 2012
No. 9 Mizzou vs. Texas Tech
The No. 9 Missouri Tigers begin the second half of the Big 12 Conference schedule this weekend with a three-game home series against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Friday’s opener will begin at 6 p.m. CT from University Field, with game two taking place on Saturday at 2 p.m. The finale will begin at Noon on Sunday.
SCOUTING TEXAS TECH
The Red Raiders come into the weekend with a 32-9 record and is in fifth place in the Big 12 with a 5-4 record. They’ve split their last four games, but those two wins came against then-No. 5 Oklahoma last Friday and current No. 5 Texas on Wednesday. Prior to those four contests, the Red Raiders had won 13 straight, their longest winning streak of the season.
Offensively, the Red Raiders possess a lot of power, as they have hit 53 home runs as a team this season in 41 games. Two hitters are in double digits, as Adriana Perez leads the team with 13 and Mikey Kenney comes in with 11. Sandy James has added eight homers herself. They are hitting .304 as a team, led once again by Perez (.397) and Kenney (.339). They’ve stolen 51 bases in 62 attempts, get on base at a .383 clip and have a slugging percentage of .513.
Texas Tech has two pitchers who see the majority of the time in the circle. Brittany Talley has appeared 20 times and started 12 games and has put together a 9-2 record with a 2.07 ERA. She doesn’t strike out many hitters, recording just 47 in 88.0 innings. Cara Custer is the team’s top started with a 19-6 record in 30 appearances. She has an ERA of 2.19 and has 116 strikeouts to 43 walks in 147.0 innings. As a staff, Texas Tech has a 2.38 combined ERA, while opponents are hitting .233 off them.
Missouri is 28-14 all-time against Texas Tech and has won the past six games dating back to 2009. Last year, the Tigers swept the series in Lubbock, winning 4-1 in game one before run-ruling the Red Raiders, 10-1, in the finale.
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 broadcast Saturday’s game 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.
Missouri concludes their five-game home stand on Wednesday with a single non-conference game against Western Illinois. The Tigers and Leathernecks will face off beginning at 4 p.m. CT from University Field.
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.
POST-GAME AUTOGRAPHS ON SATURDAY
After Saturday’s 2 p.m. game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, members of the Missouri softball squad will be available for autographs. Free posters will be provided for fans to have signed.
RUN THE BASES SUNDAY
On Sunday, kids 13 years of age and under will be able to run the bases on University Field following the series finale between the Tigers and Red Raiders.
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 17-0 on the season and has won 22 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 eight runs (five earned) in home contests. They are hitting .338, while the pitching staff has an incredible 0.34 ERA in home games. Offensively, the Tigers have hit 20 homers and driven in 103 RBI in the 17 home games, with Ashley Fleming and Kelsi Jones leading the team with four each. Chelsea Thomas is 8-0 in home games this year and hasn’t allowed a single run. Opponents have an 8.20 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 95 career walks after walking in all four plate appearances on Wednesday. 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 22 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 11.
Through April 11
1. Louisiana (Lafayette) - 36
2. Boise State - 23
3. Missouri - 22
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 62 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.
THOMAS ON THE LIST OF 25 FOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Redshirt junior Chelsea Thomas has been named as one of the 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, as announced Wednesday afternoon by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America. This is the second straight year she has been in the final 25, and last year Thomas was one of the three remaining finalists to win the award.
Just before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be announced on May 9. The three finalists will be announced May 23, while the winner of the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be revealed on May 29 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.
NO. 9 TIGERS DEFEAT NORTHERN IOWA, 3-1
The No. 9 Missouri Tigers took care of business on Wednesday, April 11, winning a non-conference game over Northern Iowa by a final score of 3-1. The Panthers jumped ahead on a first inning home run by the second batter of the game to take the early 1-0 lead. Missouri evened things up in the second on an RBI double by Mackenzie Sykes, scoring Corrin Genovese on the play to tie the game at 1-1. In the third, Nicole Hudson gave the Tigers their first lead of the day with a sacrifice fly to right field, with Jenna Marston just getting around the tag on the play at the plate. The Tigers added some insurance in the fourth inning, drawing four walks in the frame, three of which came with two outs. Senior Kristin Nottelmann improved to 10-2 on the season with five solid innings, surrendering just the one run on two hits while striking out seven. Freshman Bailey Erwin came in to record the save, tossing the last two innings while giving up two hits and recording two strikeouts.