SEC Freshman of the Year, Tori Finucane
May 6, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.– Mizzou Softball had three Tigers named First Team All-Southeastern Conference, led by freshman pitcher Tori Finucane (Germantown, Md.), who was named SEC Freshman of the Year on Tuesday. The honor is just the second conference freshman of the year award in program history, with former Tiger standout and three-time All-American Rhea Taylor earning the award from the Big 12 Conference in 2008.
Finucane, redshirt sophomore OF Taylor Gadbois (Maryville, Mo.) and junior IF Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.) earned First Team All-SEC nods for head coach Ehren Earleywine’s program. Senior OF Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.) locked up a spot on the SEC All-Defensive Team at left field.
Finucane has been impressive in 2014, pitching to a 21-5 overall record with 11 SEC victories to her credit. Her current overall ERA and conference ERA marks of 1.70 and 2.03 rank second-best in the SEC, while her league win tally ranks fourth in the conference. Finucane pitched her 19th complete game of the season with 7.0 innings of work in the 8-6 win over No. 6 Alabama (May 1). Finucane was also named to the Freshman All-SEC squad.
Gadbois has been one of the biggest and most impressive surprises in college softball, leading the SEC in stolen bases with 45 swipes and ranking third in the league in overall hits with her 78. With her .424 overall batting average, she ranks fourth in the conference and is one of just nine players across the league to hit above the .400 mark.
With one of the hottest bats in the SEC, Genovese has built a .439 average in league games and has shown pop in her bat, as well. She managed the incredible feat of hitting two home runs in the same inning in the 8-6 win vs. No. 13 Georgia (March 28) and smacked her first career grand slam to help the Tigers clinch the series at No. 3 Florida on April 27, winning 5-4.
Sykes represents Mizzou on the SEC All-Defensive Team and has shown solid work with her glove and arm from left field all season long. In conference games, she has a .977 fielding percentage in 44 chances. In the 8-6 win vs. the Bulldogs on March 28, Sykes dove to rob a liner and sprung to her feet and threw to double-off the Georgia runner at first base. She would later rob a three-run home run from Ole Miss, saving the game for the Tigers in the eventual 2-0 win. Sykes was also recently named to the SEC Community Service Team.
Mizzou next heads to the SEC Tournament, hosted by South Carolina at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field from Wednesday, May 7-Saturday May 10. The third-seeded Tigers take on sixth-seeded LSU on Thursday, May 8, at 10 a.m. CT/11 ET on ESPNU.
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