April 25, 2013
TIGERS VS. WILDCATS
Game One: Friday, April 26 - 4 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, April 27 - Noon
Game Three: Sunday, April 28 - Noon
Live Twitter: @MizzouSoftball
Live Video: UK Tube (Game Two)
Television: Fox Sports South (Game Three)
Live Stats: MUTigers.com
Times - CDT
MIZZOU Media Notes
No. 11 Mizzou heads to No. 19 Kentucky (35-14, 10-8 SEC) for a three-game Southeastern Conference series from Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28, at the UK Softball Complex in Lexington, Ky. Friday's opener begins at 5 p.m. CDT., before Saturday's noon start. The Sunday, April 28, finale at noon will be televised live by Fox Sports South. Head coach Ehren Earleywine leads the Tigers against UK for the first time at the helm of the Mizzou program.
Mizzou split a mid-week doubleheader against Western Kentucky on Wednesday, April 24, with the Tigers taking a 7-1 win in the second game. The Tigers were led in the doubleheader with two-hit outings from both sophomore SS Corrin Genovese and senior catcher Jenna Marston. Senior Nicole Hudson, the all-time program leader with 135 walks, set a career best for walks in a season with her 36th of 2013, passing her previous best of 35 from last season.
Missouri finished a series win at No. 11 LSU on Sunday, April 21, with a 3-2 victory over LSU that was powered by 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 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).
Marston and Hudson are working their way up the all-time hits chart at Mizzou. Marston currently has 206 hits, good for No. 6 in Mizzou's record book. Hudson is just outside the top 10 with 196 base knocks, needing just one 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 636.
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 135 walks after recording 36 so far in 2013, while Marston follows at 128 with 19 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 36 walks, a career best, currently ranks fourth 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. KENTUCKY
Mizzou's series at Kentucky will have continual updates to the official Twitter of Mizzou Softball, @MizzouSoftball. The Friday, April 26, game (4 p.m. CDT) will be carried on tape-delay on Fox Sports South by the UK/IMG Sports Network, with the Sunday series finale at noon broadcast live. Saturday's game (noon) will be streamed live on Kentucky's UK Tube (www.ukathletics.com/allaccess). Live statistics will be available at MUTigers.com.
TIGERS VS. WILDCATS
Mizzou first played Kentucky on the softball diamond in 1997, with the Tigers winning by stout scores of 7-1 and 9-0. Missouri bested UK against in 1999 with a 9-1 victory. The Wildcats rebounded to take two games in 2003 by results of 8-5 and 4-1.
Kentucky enters the game with a 35-14 overall record and 10-8 mark in the SEC, powered by six regular starters who bat better than .300 at the plate. Junior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess leads the Wildcats with a .363 batting average and is the team-leader in base knocks with 58, as well as RBI (38) and home runs (11). She is tied for the squad-best in doubles with sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner at 12. Freshman outfielder Sylver Samuel has been the team's best threat on the base paths, stealing 16-of-17 bases.
UK's pitching staff has compiled a 2.54 ERA as a staff, with freshman Kelsey Nunley throwing 192.0 innings for a 21-6 record (2.04 ERA). Cumbess has backed up Nunley, pitching 99.1 innings to record a 10-5 mark and 3.52 ERA. In 338.1 total innings, UK has struck out 260 batters.
Mizzou continues on the road for a mid-week, non-conference doubleheader at Western Illinois on Wednesday, May 1, in Macomb, Ill. The games are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at Mary Ellen McKee Stadium.
The Tigers then return home to University Field for their final home regular season action, a three-game series against SEC foe Tennessee from Friday, May 3-Sunday, May 5. The Friday game starts at 6 p.m., while the Saturday, May 4, contest will be televised nationally by ESPN at 6:30 p.m. The series concludes with a noon first pitch on Sunday.
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.
THOMAS IN FINAL 25 FOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
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.