Tigers Finish Off Non-Conference Slate

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MUTIGERS.COM

MUTIGERS.COM

May 4, 2010

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WHO: No. 9/14 Missouri Tigers vs. Western Illinois Leathernecks
WHEN: Wednesday, May 5 - 3 p.m. CT and 5 p.m. CT
WHERE: Mary Ellen McKee Softball Stadium - Macomb, Ill.
LIVE STATS: Game One | Game Two
LIVE VIDEO: WIUAthletics.com

The Missouri Tigers will finish off the non-conference slate of their 2010 schedule with a mid-week doubleheader against the Fighting Leathernecks of Western Illinois in Macomb, Ill.  The two games will take place on Wednesday, May 5, with game one beginning at 3 p.m. CT at Mary Ellen Mckee Softball Stadium.  Game two will take place at approximately 5 p.m. CT.  The Tigers are 31-3 in non-conference action so far this season.

SCOUTING THE LEATHERNECKS
Western Illinois enters the twin-bill with a 30-15 overall record this season.  They’ve already been named as the Summit League regular season champs after posting a 16-2 record in conference play.  They’re 8-2 at home this season, and share eight common opponents with the Tigers - Iowa State, Ball State, Southern Illinois, SIUE, Kansas, UMKC, Illinois State and Bradley.  The Leathernecks are 8-5 in the 13 games against common opponents, while Mizzou is 9-1.  WIU is coached by Holly Van Vlymen, now in her fifth season, and assisted by LaDonia Hughes and Tami Magner.

The Leathernecks hit a solid .295 as a team, and have five players hitting over .300.  Topping the list is Beth Golitko, who is batting .378 with the second-best OBP on the team at .397 while posting the second best slugging percentage on the squad at .535.  Though they aren’t much of a power-hitting team, Golitko has collected four of the team’s 21 home runs this season.  She’s also driven in 24, second-most on the team, and doubled eight times.

The two-headed pitching duo of Kamren Ferguson and Lori Pankratz has guided the Leathernecks to an impressive 2.04 team ERA this season.  The two have combined for to start 40 of the team’s 45 games.  Ferguson has gotten most of the action, appearing 28 times while putting together an 18-9 record and a 1.88 ERA.  She’s struck out 171 batters in 179.0 innings, while opponents are hitting just .203 off her.  Not to be outdone, Pankratz is currently 9-5 on the season with a 1.91 ERA, while striking out 90 in 99.0 innings.  The two have combined to throw 34 complete games this season.

MIZZOU VS. WESTERN ILLINOIS
The Tigers have dominated the all-time series, leading by a 21-4 margin.  Missouri swept a doubleheader last season in Columbia, winning 2-1 and 13-1 in five innings.  Mizzou is 4-1 against the Leathernecks under Coach Earleywine, with WIU’s lone win coming in 2007 by a 9-8 margin.

WHAT’S NEXT?
Missouri will close out the regular season with a two-game conference series against Nebraska in Lincoln.  Both games will begin at Noon CT, with Saturday’s game being televised on FSN.

FLEMING EARNS BIG 12, NATIONAL ACCOLADES
After putting up a batting average of .769 last week, sophomore Ashley Fleming was rewarded for her outstanding performance by being named the Big 12 Player of the Week and the USA Softball National Player of the Week.  It is the first career Big 12 weekly award for Fleming, and she becomes just the second Tiger to ever win the USA Softball award.

The sophomore out of Silex, Mo., finished the week with 10 hits in 13 at-bats, which included three doubles and two home runs.  She also scored seven times and drove in eight runs, while going a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases.  Her on-base percentage for the week was .789, and her slugging percentage was an astounding 1.462.

Fleming is the third Tiger to win a Big 12 Player of the Week award this season.  Junior Catherine Lee won the award back on April 20, while sophomore Chelsea Thomas was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on March 2.  Janessa Roening is the only other Tiger to be named USA Softball Player of the Week, which came back in 2005.

RECORD BOOK WATCH
Numerous Tiger players have either set new records, entered the top-10 of certain categories or are closing in on the top-10 this season.  Here’s a rundown:

Jana Hainey moved into 10th all-time in career appearances with 105.
Rhea Taylor currently sits fourth all-time in career hits with 224.  There is a tie for second between Stacy Gemeinhardt and Micaela Minner for second with 231.
• With her five triples this season, Taylor is now tied for seventh all-time with 12 in her career.
• Marla Schweisberger’s next home run with be the 17th of her career and will put her in a tie for 10th all-time at Mizzou.
Rhea Taylor broke the school record for most runs scored against Iowa State on April 28.  The old record was 164.
• Taylor also broke the career stolen base mark earlier this season against Saint Louis.  The old record, held by Julie Link, stood since 1989.
• Rhea Taylor’s .460 batting average this season is far and away the best in a single season at Missouri.  Barring a rough next few weeks, Taylor will break Karen Williams’ old record of .429 in the 2001 season.  Jenna Marston is also eyeing the top-10 for a single season batting average.
• Taylor has scored 52 runs this season, the sixth-most in a season.  Taylor holds the record with 64 in 2008.
• Marston has moved into 10th all-time with most RBI in a single season.  She currently stands at 47.
• Taylor and Ashley Fleming are looking to keep their slugging percentages in the top-10 by the end of the year.  Taylor’s 2010 SLG stands at .741, which is tied for third-highest in a season, while Fleming’s is .673, currently ninth-highest in a single-season.
• Marston and Nicole Hudson have each moved into the top-10 for most doubles in a season in just their first collegiate season.  Marston has 15, tied for third most, while Hudson has 13, tied for eighth.  The Mizzou record is 19 by Mary Babb in 1995.
• Taylor has raced for five triples this season, two shy of joining the top-10 for most in a season
• Fleming and Schweisberger have eight home runs apiece this season.  If either of them reach 10 this year, they’ll put themselves in the top-10
Catherine Lee has drawn 24 walks this season, putting her just three shy of the top-10 for most walks in a season
Rhea Taylor now has three entries in the top-10 for stolen bases in a season, as she’s swiped 33 this year.  She holds the school record with 57 in 2008, and is fifth all-time with her 36 last season.

SLUGGERS BATTLING FOR TOP SPOT
The Missouri home run hitters are battling for the most home runs on the club with the end of the season closing in.  Through May 2, Ashley Fleming and Marla Schweisberger have each blasted eight, while Rhea Taylor has come out of nowhere to move into second on the team with seven.  Since April 13, Taylor has connected on five home runs to raise her total.  Coming into this season, Taylor had just five career home runs in her first two seasons combined.  Catherine Lee has come on strong as of late and now has six, while Nicole Hudson also ripped her sixth of the season against Baylor.

MIZZOU WINS 40 AGAIN
For the fourth time in four years under head coach Ehren Earleywine, the Missouri softball team has once again won 40 games in a single season.  The Tigers picked up win No. 40 in game one of the series against Baylor, securing the feat with a 9-2 victory.  Since Earleywine arrived at Mizzou in 2007, the Tigers are 178-62 for a .742 winning percentage.  Missouri was 40-24 in Earleywine’s first year, 47-17 in 2008 and 50-12 last season.

TIGERS UP A SPOT IN BOTH POLLS
Missouri was rewarded for their 5-0 week overall and 4-0 week in Big 12 play by moving up a spot in each of the latest polls.  The Tigers went from No. 10 to No. 9 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll.  Missouri, who also started the season at No. 9, have been in the top-10 for 11 of the 13 polls this season.  Ranking in at No. 15 last week, Mizzou moved up one spot to No. 14 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.

TIGERS CLOSE HOME SCHEDULE WITH SWEEP
The Missouri Tigers finished out the home portion of the 2010 regular season schedule with a sweep over Big 12 opponent Baylor, winning by 9-2 and 11-6 scores.

In game one, Jana Hainey won her eighth game of the season, throwing five innings of five hit ball while allowing two runs.  Missouri pushed across five runs in the bottom of the fourth to get on top for the first time on the day.  Jenna Marston drew a one out walk and moved to second on Ashley Fleming’s single.  Marla Schweisberger then ripped a single down the left field line to score Marston for the first Mizzou run of the day.  Nicole Hudson then followed with the biggest hit of the day for Missouri, a three-run home run to dead center field.  The home run was her sixth of the season and put Missouri up 4-2.  Later in the inning, Gina Schneider ripped a single off the pitcher and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  She’d score on an RBI single by Abby Vock, making it 5-2.

Rhea Taylor led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple to right field.  The lefty sent a 3-2 pitch over the right fielder’s head and all the way to the wall, allowing her to advance all the way around to third while extending her hitting streak to 15 straight games.  Taylor also had a 15-game streak last season, and ties her for the 11th longest streak in Big 12 history.

On Sunday, Missouri scored seven times in the fourth and fifth innings combined to separate themselves from the Lady Bears.  Kristin Nottelmann improved to 16-6 overall with the win after allowing one earned run in 4.2 innings.  The sophomore scattered five hits, walked just one and struck out four.

Marston finished the day 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs.  Fleming went 1-for-2 at the plate with a pair of runs and three RBI.  Lee also went 1-for-2, scoring twice and bringing home two.  Both Fleming and Lee hit two-run home runs in the fourth inning.  Taylor extended her hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the first.  Missouri finishes the regular season with a 26-3 record at home.

MISSOURI BEATS CMU IN MAKEUP GAME
Missouri fought past an upset-minded Central Methodist squad on their way to a 5-0 win on Thursday evening.    Sophomore Kristin Nottelmann picked up win number 15 on the season, and had taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning.  Just one out shy of her second no-hitter of the season, the bid was disrupted with a two-out single in the final inning.  Nottelmann allowed just the one hit and two walks, while striking out 11.

Junior Rhea Taylor went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the game, extending her hitting streak to 14 straight games.  She also continued her streak of nine streak multi-hit games, increasing her batting average to .462 on the season.  Freshman Nicole Hudson busted the game wide-open with her bases-clearing, three-run double in the fifth.  Junior Megan Christopher belted a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, her third of the year, to make it 5-0 Tigers.

TAYLOR BREAKS RUNS RECORD
Junior Rhea Taylor broke her second school record of the year last Wednesday against Iowa State, when she scored three times in the doubleheader to set the all-time runs mark at Missouri.  She now has 170 career runs, beating out Mary Babb’s record of 164, which had stood since 1997.

TIGERS SWEEP IOWA STATE IN SLUGFEST
On a windy, blustery day in Ames, Iowa that saw 11 home runs between the two Big 12 teams, the No. 10 Missouri Tigers earned a doubleheader sweep over the Iowa State Cyclones, winning by scores of 12-6 and 14-9.  The two teams combined for 41 runs on 49 hits in the wild doubleheader. 

Missouri rallied in game one, as they were down 6-5 with one out in the top of the seventh before scoring seven times in the inning.  Rhea Taylor went 3-for-5 at the plate with two home runs, one a grand slam, and five driven in.  Taylor becomes the first Tiger this season to hit two home runs in a single game.  Ashley Fleming went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, while also driving in three runs.  Marla Schweisberger picked up a pair of hits, including a two-run home run, while Jenna Marston doubled twice and scored twice.

The Tiger offense continued rolling into game two, as they scored 14 runs on 15 hits in the win.  The Tiger bats stayed red-hot in game two, as they picked up five runs on five hits in the first inning.  Taylor picked up a hit for the 13th straight game with an infield single, while Lee did the same thing, giving the Tigers two on and nobody out.  Marston followed with a home run to right-center field for her fourth blast of her freshman campaign.

Iowa State made it a game, however, with a six-run bottom of the sixth to make it 11-9.  The Cyclones picked up six hits and took advantage of two Tiger errors to avoid the run-rule and get themselves back in the contest.

Missouri gave themselves some breathing room with a three-run seventh, pushing their lead to 14-9.  Schweisberger doubled in Marston, who led off the inning with a double, to drive home one run.  Fleming scored on a groundout, and Jaydee Young, pinch running for Schweisberger, came home on a wild pitch.  Jana Hainey picked up her second save of the season with 1.1 innings of hitless ball.


 

 

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