May 3, 2011
-The Tigers close out their regular season with a stretch of six straight home games, beginning on Wednesday, May 4 with a doubleheader against the Western Illinois Leathernecks to finish off the non-conference portion of their schedule. Game one starts at 3 p.m. CT, with the second game beginning at approximately 5 p.m. Fans can listen to the first game live on KTGR 100.5 FM/1580 AM, while Mizzou All-Access subscribers can listen and watch live at www.mutigers.tv.
-Wednesday is Military Appreciation Day at University Field. Military personnel with a military ID will get free admission to University Field. The Tiger squad will also be wearing camouflage jerseys. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch will be Master Sergeant Julie Hixson, while the National Anthem will be sung by Lieutenant Albers. The colors will be presented by the University of Missouri Air Force ROTC.
-In the rankings this week, Missouri jumped back in the top-10 of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll, moving up from 12th to ninth. It’s the first time since the Feb. 15 poll that the Tigers have been in the top-10. Missouri still sits in fifth in the latest RPI poll, released last Wednesday. The Tigers are 17-5 this year against team’s in the top-50 in RPI.
-The Tigers took game one against No. 16 Oklahoma State on Saturday, while Sunday’s contest was rained out. Chelsea Thomas completely shut down the Cowgirls on Saturday, facing just one batter over the minimum in her 10th complete game shutout of the year, improving to 23-4 on the season. She allowed just one hit - an infield single - while striking out 13. Nicole Hudson and Jenna Marston collected two hits each, while Princess Krebs hit her third home run of the season. Sunday’s game was postponed due to rain with no makeup date announced at this time.
-With her win over Oklahoma State on Saturday, Chelsea Thomas now has 51 wins for her career, tying her for eighth-most all-time. She also now has 10 solo shutouts this season, matching her career-best from 2009, which is tied for the 10th-most in a single season at MU. After striking out 10 batters against SIUE last Wednesday, Thomas became just the seventh pitcher in school history to reach 500 strikeouts. Now at 283 strikeouts for the season, Thomas is just four away from breaking the single season strikeout record, held by Erin Kalka who struck out 283 batters in 2004.
-Ashley Fleming has set a new career-best in runs batted in after driving home three last week, giving her 47 on the year - one shy of joining the top-10 for RBI’s in a season. Last year she drove home 44, and now the 10th-most all-time at Missouri with 107 in her career. She’s also tied for the Big 12 lead with 15 doubles, tied for fourth-most in a single season at Missouri and five shy of setting the record.
-Mizzou increased their national-best home winning streak to 33 consecutive games last Wednesday in a 10-0 rout of SIU-Edwardsville. Chelsea Thomas and Kristin Nottelmann combined for a five inning perfect game, the third perfect game for Mizzou this season and 10th in program history. All of the Tigers’ 10 runs came in the first three innings, led by Jenna Marston’s three RBI and a pair driven in by Ashley Fleming.
-Jenna Marston has drawn 31 walks this season, tying her for sixth-most in a season with Nicole Hudson who reached that total last year. Hudson’s 31 walks in 64 games last season was the most on the team, while Marston has already reached that total in just 46 team games. She’s four away from moving into second. Jen Bruck’s total of 43 walks in 2008 is the current record.
-Abby Vock continued her career-year with yet another home run two weekends ago, delivering the first run of the game in Saturday’s 4-1 victory of the Cornhuskers. Entering the season with just two career home runs and a .208 batting average, Vock is hitting an astounding .321 this year with four home runs and 10 RBI. Her on base percentage is more than .100 points higher than her career best at .452, and her slugging percentage is almost .150 points higher than her best year ever at .500. After having just eight hits last season, Vock has 27 this year.
-Rhea Taylor is just seven hits away from 300 in her career, which would make her just the second Big 12 player ever to reach that milestone. She’s also two stolen bases shy from jumping into the top-10 for most stolen bases in a season for the fourth time in her career.
-The Tigers have 17 shutouts on the year, 12 of which came the month of March. They are walking just 1.60 batters per seven innings, the best in the conference. The staff’s .168 opponent batting average is best amongst Big 12 teams. The team is second in the league in strikeouts per seven innings, as they average 9.45, and is second in the conference with a 1.30 earned run average. The team’s 1.04 ERA during conference play is the best in the league.
SCOUTING WESTERN ILLINOIS
Western Illinois comes into the doubleheader with 19-23 overall record, but stand in fifth in the Summit League with a 14-10 record. They have won six of their last eight games and just took two out of three from South Dakota State last weekend.
The Leathernecks are strong at the plate, boasting a team batting average of .307. Erin Schlotfeldt leads the team in batting average (.419), home runs (seven), on base percentage (.479) and slugging percentage (.752). Five other regulars in the lineup are hitting over .300, including Jamie Goss, who is hitting .338 with six home runs and a team-high 46 RBI.
Where Western Illinois suffers is in the circle, as they have a team ERA of 5.38. Opponents are hitting .331 against them, and they’ve walked almost as many batters (144) as they’ve struck out (167). Hailey Bickford and Kelsey Michelini see the most time at pitcher. Bickford is 9-7 in 30 appearances with a 4.10 ERA, striking out 75 to 42 walks in 107.2 innings pitched. Michelini is 6-11 with a 6.21 ERA in 28 appearances and 23 starts, pitching 106.0 innings with 64 strikeouts and 79 walks.
Missouri holds the series edge with a 23-4 record all-time against WIU. The Tigers have won five straight, which includes a sweep last season in Macomb, Ill. Mizzou won 5-1 in game one and 7-1 in the nightcap.
Live stats and play-by-play will be available via GameTracker, found on the Softball schedule page at mutigers.com. Fans can also follow @MIZLive on Twitter to get updates. Game one will be broadcast live on KTGR 100.5 FM/1580 AM, with Will Palaszczuk on the call. Mizzou All-Access subscribers can watch live video at www.mutigers.tv
Missouri hosts No. 3 Texas for a two-game series that will decide the fate of the Big 12. Saturday’s contest begins at 2 p.m. CT, while Sunday’s game, starting at Noon, will air live nationally on ESPN. Cara Capuano, Jessica Mendoza and Danielle Lawrie will have the call. Fans are encouraged to arrive early, as record-setting crowds are expected for both games. Fans are also encouraged to wear BLACK all weekend long, with Sunday’s contest set as the official Black Out game. New Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith will throw out the first pitch prior to Sunday’s game.
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 entire athletic department at twitter.com/mutigersdotcom. Assistant Coach Pete D’Amour is also on Twitter at twitter.com/MizzouSBcoach. On Facebook, fans can search “University of Missouri Softball Team” to track down the team’s official page.
MIZZOU’S HOME WINNING STREAK LONGEST IN NATION
With their quick 10-0 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Wednesday, the Tigers pushed their home winning streak to 33 straight games dating back to last season. Here’s a look at the top-five active home winning streaks in Division I softball.
1. Missouri – 33
2. Hofstra – 25
3. Alabama/South Dakota – 20
5. Texas A&M/BYU - 19
Playing at University Field has been a major advantage for the Tigers since head coach Ehren Earleywine took over in 2007. In 121 games played at home under Earleywine, the Tigers have won 104 of them for an .860 winning percentage on their home field. Of their 17 losses, 13 of them came in two combined seasons. In Earleywine’s first year the Tigers went 17-7 at home, and in 2009 they went 17-6. In 2008, Mizzou finished 22-1 at home while last year they went 31-3, winning their last 15 home games of the season. So far this year the Tigers are 17-0.
THOMAS WINS FIFTH BIG 12 AWARD
For the third time in four weeks and fifth time this season, redshirt sophomore Chelsea Thomas has been named as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week, She’s won a Big 12 weekly award more times than any other player in the conference, and has now been named Pitcher of the Week seven times in her career.
Thomas led the Tigers to a 2-0 record on the week, as she picked up victories in both games. She threw the first four innings in a five inning game against SIU-Edwardsville on Wednesday, combining with Kristin Nottelmann for the team’s third perfect game of the season. She struck out 10 batters in those four innings in Mizzou’s 10-0 win. On Saturday, Thomas allowed just one hit – an infield single – in her win against then-No. 16 Oklahoma State. She struck out 13 batters in seven innings and faced just one over the minimum as she didn’t allow a single walk. For the week, Thomas posted a 0.00 ERA to go with 23 strikeouts, one hit allowed and zero walks.
SOFTBALL SIGNS CARLIE ROSE
The Missouri softball team has announced the addition of Carlie Rose to the 2011 signing class, as she becomes the 10th prep standout to sign a National Letter of Intent with the University of Missouri. Rose will join nine previous signees who signed during the early period as next year’s freshman class.
Noteworthy Accolades: All-Conference all four seasons in high school ... named Co-Conference Player of the Year as a senior ... selected to the All-District team all four years ... three-time All-Ozarks selection ... First Team All-Region and First Team All-State as a junior and senior ... hit over .500 with 15 home runs in her last season with the Firestix ... posted a .630 batting average during her senior season while hitting 12 home runs - second most in the state ... tied the state record with a 1.370 slugging percentage ... also tied the state record with 55 runs batted in and broke the state record for extra base hits with 34 ... had a .490 career batting average ... set team season and career records for hits, home runs, runs batted in, batting average, slugging percentage, extra base hits and runs.
THOMAS STIFLES NO. 16 COWGIRLS
The No. 8 Missouri Tigers improved to 40-6 on the season and 11-2 in the Big 12 after beating the No. 16 Oklahoma State Cowgirls by a 5-0 score. The Tigers scored their five runs on seven hits, while playing flawless in the field.
Redshirt sophomore Chelsea Thomas was dominant, facing just one batter over the minimum in her 10th complete game shutout of the year, improving to 23-4 on the season. She allowed just one hit - an infield single - while striking out 13. Krebs led all Tigers with two RBI and hit her third home run of the year, while Marston and Hudson collected two hits each and scored twice.