April 18, 2013
TIGERS VS. TIGERS
Game One: Friday, April 19 - 6 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, April 20 - 6 p.m.
Game Three: Sunday, April 21 - 1 p.m.
Television: CST - Cox Sports Television (Sunday)
Live Video: GeauxZone (Friday & Saturday)
Live Stats: LSUSports.net
MIZZOU Media Notes
No. 12/11 Mizzou (24-6, 9-5 SEC) hits the road for a three-game series at No. 11/12 LSU (36-9, 11-4 SEC), playing from Friday, April 19-Sunday, April 21. The Friday and Saturday contests both begin at 6 p.m., while Sunday's finale is set for 1 p.m. with live coverage on Comcast Sports Television (CST).
Head coach Ehren Earleywine has led the Tigers against LSU four times in his seven years leading the program. Mizzou notched a win in the 2012 NCAA Super Regional hosted at University Field, taking a 5-1 victory on May 27, 2012.
TIGERS VS. TIGERS
Mizzou first met LSU in 1981, with the Black & Gold Tigers posting a 4-0 shutout of their opponents. Missouri picked up its second win of the series in last season's Super Regional. The Tigers were led by a 2-for-4 batting performance from then-junior Nicole Hudson.
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas, a two-time All-American, was named a Top 25 finalist for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the ASA and USA Softball announced April 10. Thomas' inclusion in the 2013 Top 25 marks her third career USA Softball Top 25 recognition. Thomas was one of three overall finalists for the award in 2011 and also advanced to the final 25 finalists last season.
Mizzou went 1-2 against Arkansas from Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 14, starting with a resounding five-inning, 9-0 shutout of the Razorbacks in the Friday contest. Two highly contested extra-inning games went to the visitors on Saturday and Sunday by scores of 4-1 (11) and 11-10 (8). Sophomore OF Kayla Kingsley batted 4-for-7 (.571) in the three-game series, recording three runs, two HBPs and one stolen base. Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth slugged .929 against the Razorbacks with two home runs and two doubles inside 5-for-12 (.357) batting, with seven RBI.
The Tigers will move forward without the services of Kingsley, who suffered a knee injury in the final moments of Mizzou's Sunday game against Arkansas. The speedy outfielder had become a constant threat at the bottom of the Tigers' lineup, batting .327 over the course of the 2013 season. Kingsley increased her productivity from a .271 mark from her freshman season in 2012.
Senior catcher Jenna Marston's three base knocks in the Arkansas series moved her past the 200-hit barrier for her career, helping her become just the eighth Tiger to accomplish the feat. Marston currently stands with 202 hits, good for No. 7 on Mizzou's all-time hits chart. Marston additionally moved into the school's top 10 for career at-bats, where she currently ranks 10th all-time with 622.
Thomas matched Mizzou's program record with her 102nd career pitching victory in the five-inning, 9-0 win over Arkansas (April 12). With her earlier 100th win, she became just the second Tiger to reach the 100-win plateau. Thomas' next pitching victory will set her alone at the top of the school's all-time wins list. Thomas is currently tied with former Mizzou standout Teresa Wilson (1980-83).
Hudson and 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 131 walks after recording 32 so far in 2013, while Marston follows at 126 with 17 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 AT LSU
Mizzou's series at LSU will have continual updates to the official Twitter of Mizzou Softball, @MizzouSoftball. Live streaming video will be available to subscribers on the Geaux Zone at 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The Sunday finale is set for 1 p.m. with live television coverage on Cox Sports Television (CST).The series will have radio broadcasts by local station KYPY 104.9, which can also be found online at www.countrylegends1049.com.
LSU has built a 36-9 (11-4 SEC) record over the 2013 season, including a 20-2 mark at home. The team is led by five starters batting over .300, starting with junior utility player Jacee Blades .367 mark. Her 51 hits are second on the team to sophomore outfielder A.J. Andrews' 57 base knocks from a .363 batting average. Freshman infielder Bianka Bell leads the team with 11 home runs.
Andrews is the most active LSU player on the base paths, going 19-for-20 in stolen bases. Junior outfielder Simone Heyward follows with a 12-for-13 rate in steals. Bell leads the team in errors committed with 12.
The bulk of LSU's pitching has fallen on senior Rachele Fico, who has thrown 172.1 of the team's 309.1 innings pitched this season. Fico has compiled a 22-7 record and 1.91 ERA, striking out 198 batters and issuing 74 walks. She has additionally hit 18 batters. The rest of LSU's innings have been split between juniors Meghan Patterson (69.0) and Ashley Czechner (67.2), who have built 1.62 and 2.69 ERAs, respectively.
Mizzou returns from the road to host a mid-week non-conference doubleheader with Western Kentucky on Wednesday, April 24. The games are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at University Field. The Tigers are then away at Kentucky from April 26-28.
Mizzou currently holds a No. 18 RPI (ratings percentage index) from the NCAA (April 15). 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.
Three of the biggest bats in the SEC belong to Tigers. Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth leads in overall slugging percentage at .861. Sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo ranks fourth (.902) and senior 3B Nicole Hudson ranks 10th (.866) after 30 games played. Roth is tied for eighth in the league in overall home runs (12) and is second with seven long balls in conference games only.
Freshman 2B Emily Crane ranks 10th in the SEC in batting average with a .398 mark. Crane is also tied for sixth in doubles (11).
As a team, Mizzou tops the SEC in conference games with a .316 batting average, as well No. 1 marks in runs scored (100), doubles (25) and on-base percentage (.431). In overall games, the Tigers are ranked third in slugging percentage with a .581 mark. Mizzou's .333 batting average in overall games ranks fourth.
RIBBIES FOR ROTH AND RANDAZZO
Sophomores Kelsea Roth and Angela Randazzo top the SEC in conference game RBIs. Roth has recorded 22, with Randazzo following at 20. Roth added four RBI to her cause with her 3-for-4 batting performance with home run and double against Arkansas (April 12). She added a home run vs. the Razorbacks on April 13. Randazzo and Roth each notched two RBI in the April 13 game vs. Arkansas.
ANOTHER STRONG PERFORMANCE FOR THOMAS
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas struck out 10 batters in the middle contest of the Arkansas series (April 13), pitching 11.0 innings. Thomas went the distance again in Mizzou's 5-1 win over Evansville (7.0 IP), striking out 10 batters. She notched a one-hitter performance in Mizzou's 2-0 win over No. 7 Texas A&M (March 8). The Pleasantville, Iowa, native struck out 11 batters in the win. The number of games that Thomas has struck out 10+ batters has risen to 45 games out of 147 career appearances, essentially once every three times Thomas steps into the circle.
MIZZOU IN TOP 10 FOR 10-STRAIGHT POLLS, MATCHING PROGRAM-BEST
Mizzou was ranked eighth and ninth in the country by the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 and ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 polls, respectively, on Tuesday, April 9, putting the squad in the Top 10 for the 10th-straight poll to match a program best. Head coach Ehren Earleywine also led Mizzou to a 10-poll stay in the Top 10 rankings from the final poll of the 2009 season (June 9 - No. 8/8) to the Week 8 poll of the 2010 season (April 6 - No. 7/8).
KINGSLEY KILLS IT AT ALABAMA
Sophomore OF Kayla Kingsley was all over the base paths in Mizzou's 9-4 win at No 4 Alabama on Saturday, April 6, batting 3-for-3 with three singles. The hit output set a new career-high for the speedy Tiger, and she showed it with her base-running by matching a career-best with two stolen bases.
ROTH AND SYKES GO BACK-TO-BACK
Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth and junior OF Mackenzie Sykes helped the Tigers distance themselves from the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide in its 9-4 victory (April 6), hitting back-to-back home runs in the top of the seventh inning. Roth's shot straight out to center field was a two-run blast that also scored senior IF Princess Krebs. Sykes followed with the freshly clean bases and laced a sharp, solo long ball out over the right center field wall, setting the score at 9-0.
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.
SKY IS THE LIMIT
As previously mentioned, sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth and senior 3B Nicole Hudson have smacked 12 and 10 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. Joining them in the home run spree are sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo with eight and junior OF Mackenzie Sykes with six. The previous season-best for both Randazzo and Sykes was two.
THE BALL HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
In Mizzou's five-inning, 12-0 win over Missouri State on Wednesday, 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.
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.
WHAT A STREAK!
Mizzou put together a 12-game winning streak from March 13-April 13, beginning with a 3-1 win the first game of the Evansville doubleheader and ending with a 7-0 shutout in the second game of the Missouri State doubleheader , the longest current streak in the SEC, outscoring its opponents 109-10 in that stretch. During the twelve wins, Mizzou built the following statistical advantages:
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)
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. Senior Rachel 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 131 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.