April 23, 2013
TIGERS VS. LADY TOPPERS
Game One: Wednesday, April 24 - 2 p.m.
Game Two: Wednesday, April 24 - 4 p.m.
Live Video: Mizzou Network
Radio: KTGR (Game One)
Live Twitter: @MizzouSoftball
Live Stats: MUTigers.com
MIZZOU Media Notes | WKU Media Notes
No. 11 Mizzou (26-7) returns to action at University Field, hosting Western Kentucky (31-13) for a mid-week non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday, April 24, scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. starts. The Tigers and Lady Toppers have never met on the softball diamond, but head coach Ehren Earleywine has faced WKU as a head coach. The first team under his direction, the 2004 Georgia Tech squad, picked up a five-inning, 13-0 win over WKU.
Mizzou finished a series win at No. 11 LSU on Sunday, April 21, with a 3-2 victory over LSU that was powered by senior 3B Nicole Hudson's two home runs. The two-run shot in the third inning and solo long ball in the fifth were all that was needed to top LSU. Mizzou previously took a 6-1 win in the series opener on Friday, April 19. Hudson batted 6-for-10 over the weekend.
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas earned Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday, April 22, for her efforts against LSU. In the Friday and Sunday wins, Thomas struck out 23 batters for a rate of 1.64 strikeouts per inning. She walked just one batter in the two victories. Thomas struck out 13 batters and allowed just two hits in Mizzou's initial 6-1 win on Friday before leading the Tigers to a 3-2 victory on Sunday, in which she fanned 10 batters and scattered five hits.
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.
Thomas became Mizzou's all-time winningest pitcher with her performance in the 6-1 win at LSU (April 19), her 103rd career victory. She surpassed the 30-year old record of 102 set by Teresa Wilson from 1980-83. She earned win No. 104 with the 3-2 victory at LSU (April 21).
Senior catcher Jenna Marston and Hudson are working their way up the all-time hits chart at Mizzou. Marston currently has 204 hits, good for No. 6 in Mizzou's record book. Hudson is just outside the top 10 with 195 base knocks, needing just two more to match Leanne Bowers (2004-07) for 10th all-time. Marston additionally moved into the school's top 10 for career at-bats, where she currently ranks 10th all-time with 630.
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 132 walks after recording 33 so far in 2013, while Marston follows at 127 with 18 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.
Hudson's season total of 33 walks currently ranks tied for seventh all-time at Mizzou. The program record of 46 was set by Marston last season.
Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth recently matched former Mizzou standout Mary McGrane (1999-2002) for No. 1 in career fielding percentage all-time in program history with her .995 mark.
FOLLOW THE ACTION VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY
Mizzou's doubleheader vs. Western Kentucky will be streamed live on the Mizzou Network to its subscribers at MizzouNetwork.com. The initial 2 p.m. game will be covered by KTGR (100.5 FM, 103.1 FM & 1580 AM). The games will have continual updates to the official Twitter of Mizzou Softball, @MizzouSoftball.
SCOUTING WESTERN KENTUCKY
Western Kentucky has compiled a 31-13 overall record in 2013 and has batted .291 as a team. The squad is 10-9 in away venues. Three regular starters bat over .300 for the Lady Topppers, led by junior infielder Olivia Watkins' .370 average. She also leads the team in hits (51) and stolen bases (28-for-32). Junior Amanda Thomas leads the team in RBI (45) and home runs (12) while batting .286.
Three pitchers have seen time in the circle for the Lady Toppers, led by junior Emily Rousseau, who has compiled an 18-5 record with 1.81 ERA. She has pitched 158.2 of WKU's 286.0 innings pitched. Senior Mallorie Sulaski has logged 84.0 innings for the squad, going 9-6 with a 2.58 ERA.
Mizzou is away at SEC foe Kentucky from Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28. Friday's series opener begins at 5 p.m. CDT., before a Saturday contest set at noon. The Sunday, April 28, series finale at noon will be televised live by Fox Sports South.
Mizzou currently holds a No. 15 RPI (ratings percentage index) from the NCAA (April 22). The squad received a No. 5 ranking in the initial NCAA RPI of the 2013 season, released March 25. Last season, the Tigers began with a No. 15 RPI ranking.
WELCOME TO TIGER PARK, Nicole Hudson!
Senior 3B Nicole Hudson did the heavy lifting in Mizzou's 3-2 win to clinch the series at LSU on April 21, hitting two home runs in a game for the third time in her career. Her two-run shot in the third inning and the following solo long ball in the fifth pushed her season total to 12 and her career amount to 42. The second home run hit the top of Tiger Park's scoreboard beyond the right field wall. Hudson batted 6-for-9 in the two wins at LSU.
ANOTHER STRONG PERFORMANCE FOR THOMAS
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas struck out 13 and 10 batters, respectively, in her two wins at No.11 LSU (April 19, 21). She also recently fanned 10 batters in the middle contest of the Arkansas series (April 13), pitching 11.0 innings. The number of games that the Pleasantville, Iowa, native has struck out 10+ batters has risen to 46 games out of 149 career appearances, essentially once every three times Thomas steps into the circle. Mizzou's record in those games is 38-8.
Thomas earned her fourth SEC Pitcher of the Week award for her efforts at LSU. With the recognition, Thomas leads all SEC players in weekly awards this season, as well as distancing herself from the rest of the conference's pitchers, with three league pitchers having two honors apiece.
NO WALKS? NO PROBLEM!
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas issued zero walks in her start of the 6-1 win at No. 11 LSU on April 19. For her career, she's completed this feat 38 times out of 136 starts. Mizzou holds an outstanding 35-3 record in those starts, holding its opponents to less than one run per game (0.92). In those 38 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.
Three of the biggest bats in the SEC belong to Tigers. Senior 3B Nicole Hudson ranks fourth with her .818 overall slugging percentage, while sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth and sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo come in at seventh and eighth, respectively, with marks of .802 and .788. In conference action, Roth ranks second in RBI with 24 and fourth in slugging percentage (.792). Randazzo comes in fourth in RBI with 21. Roth is tied for third in the league in conference home runs (7) and is second with seven long balls in conference games only.
Hudson and Roth, both with 12 home runs in 2013, ranked tied for 14th in the NCAA in home runs per game (0.36) on April 22. Randazzo ranked fifth in the nation in RBI per game, averaging 1.30.
Senior catcher Jenna Marston is tops in the SEC in doubles, tied for first with six in conference play. Crane is tied for ninth in overall games with 11 doubles.
As a team, Mizzou ranks third in the SEC in conference games with a .302 batting average. The Tigers are also third in runs scored (109) and slugging percentage (.484). Missouri's on-base percentage of .418 ranks second.
SKY IS THE LIMIT
As previously mentioned, senior 3B Nicole Hudson and sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth both have smacked 12 home runs 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 42 four-baggers in her career, while Roth has hit 19. Joining them in the home run spree are sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo with 10 and junior OF Mackenzie Sykes with seven. The previous season-best for both Randazzo and Sykes was two.
CAN YOU BE PERFECT?
Junior OF Mackenzie Sykes batted 3-for-3 in Mizzou's 9-0 win over Arkansas on April 12, which included her seventh home run of the season. Sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo followed in the series finale on April 14 with a 2-for-2 performance with three walks, a season-high for a Tiger batter.
Sophomore SS Corrin Genovese batted 2-for-2 in the April 5 game at No. 4 Alabama, smacking two singles and drawing a walk. Sophomore OF Kayla Kingsley followed with a 3-for-3 performance in the 9-4 win over the Crimson Tide (April 6), hitting three singles with two runs scored, one RBI and two stolen bases.
Freshman 2B Emily Crane and redshirt freshman OF Carlie Rose both hit 3-for-3 in the opening game (12-0 ) 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.
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.
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.
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.