Mizzou Closes Home Stand Wednesday With WIU

Mizzou Softball

Mizzou Softball

April 17, 2012

No. 10 Mizzou vs. Western Illinois

Missouri finishes off their longest remaining homestand of the season with a non-conference game against the Western Illinois Leathernecks on Wednesday. Action from University Field will begin at 4 p.m. CT. The game is the annual Power in Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The Tigers will wear pink jerseys that will be auctioned off at mutigers.com in the coming days. All proceeds will go to Susan G. Komen.

Western Illinois has an overall record of 22-18 this season and is 12-3 in the Summit League, currently good enough to put the Leathernecks in a tie for first place. They are 6-4 in their last 10 contests but dropped their last two games to Wisconsin last Tuesday. This Tuesday, April 17, the Leathernecks will play at Illinois before coming to Columbia for Wednesday’s game.

The Western Illinois offense is led by Sammy Marshall, who is batting .420 and is perfect in stolen bases, stealing 45 times this season. They are batting .285 as a squad and have 22 homers and 151 RBI in 40 games. Ashley Campbell is tops on the team with six home runs, while Jamie Goss and Megan Kelly have five each. Goss is second on the team with a .364 batting average and leads the squad with 32 runs batted in.

The Leathernecks have a team ERA of 3.14 and have two pitchers who see the majority of the time in the circle. Hailey Bickford is 8-8 with a 2.62 ERA in 28 appearances, while Kelsey Michelini is 12-7 with a 3.07 ERA in 30 appearances. Overall, WIU has struck out 146 hitters and walked 105 in 267.2 innings pitched while allowing an opponent batting average of .256.

Mizzou is 25-4 all-time against the Western Illinois Leathernecks and have own the last seven meetings between the two teams. Last year, the Tigers swept a doubleheader in Columbia by scores of 7-2 and 5-0.

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 the 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 the day.

Missouri heads back on the road, this time in a huge Big 12 series at Oklahoma. The three-game series begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 20. Saturday’s game will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with Sunday’s finale, airing live on ESPN and ESPN3.com, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

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.

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 now second all-time with 97 career walks after walking twice over the weekend against Texas Tech. Fellow junior Nicole Hudson is fourth all-time with 88. Senior Ashley Fleming has walked 87 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.

With 22 strikeouts against Texas Tech, Chelsea Thomas became the third pitcher in Mizzou history to strike out 800 batters in her career. She now stands at 819 strikeouts in her career and is well on her way to breaking the school record this season. 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.

In the latest RPI, released on Monday, April 16, the Tigers found themselves in 16th in the most recent rankings. The Tigers are 12-5 against the RPI’s top-40 on the season.

Mizzou’s top-two starting pitchers are finding themselves climbing up the career wins list. Redshirt junior Chelsea Thomas currently has 77 wins in her career is tied for fifth with Jen Bruck. She is just two 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.

Missouri saw their home winning streak of 22 games come to an end on Friday night against Texas Tech and lost the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday - the first time all season that the Tigers lost two in a row - before salvaging a victory in the series finale later that day. On Friday night, the Tigers managed just one hit - a first inning triple by Corrin Genovese - and Texas Tech scored two runs off Chelsea Thomas despite not recording a hit, plating runs on a wild pitch and a bases loaded walk.

On Saturday, Mizzou couldn’t hold an early 2-0 lead in game one, as Texas Tech pushed arcoss five runs in the next two innings. A two run homer by Ashley Fleming in the fifth cut the lead to 5-4, but the Tigers couldn’t manufacture any more runs, falling 5-4. They bounced back in game two with a 4-1 win in extra innings. The Red Raiders scored an unearned run in the fourth, but Nicole Hudson evened the game with a solo homer to lead off the sixth. In the eighth, Mackenzie Sykes delivered a three run walk off homer, the first homer of the season for her. Thomas struck out 11, didn’t issue a walk and only allowed two hits in eight innings.

The Missouri softball team has announced the addition of a non-conference, midweek doubleheader against Murray State on Wednesday, May 2. The Tigers and Racers will play at 3 p.m. CT at University Field, with game two starting at approximately 5 p.m. Mizzou and Murray State have never played before.



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