SEC Tournament at South Carolina Next for No. 14 Mizzou



May 6, 2014

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No. 25 LSU - Quarterfinals Columbia, S.C. Thurs./10 a.m. CT Twitter | Stats | ESPNU
TBD - Semifinals Columbia, S.C. Fri./2 p.m. CT Twitter | Stats | ESPNU
TBD - Finals Columbia, S.C. Sat./7 p.m. CT Twitter | Stats | ESPN2

ESPNU: Pam Ward (PxP), Michelle Smith (Color)

Game Notes: Mizzou PDF | SEC Tournament Central

• No. 14 Mizzou Softball (41-15, 15-9 SEC) finished its second regular season in the Southeastern Conference with a third-place finish, matching its 2013 campaign and setting the stage for its second run at the SEC Tournament. This season’s event will be hosted by South Carolina from Wednesday, May 7-Saturday, May 10, at Carolina Stadium at Beckham Field in Columbia, S.C. The tournament’s No. 3 seed, Mizzou faces No. 6 LSU (34-21, 13-11 SEC) at 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET) on Thursday, May 8, with live coverage provided by ESPNU.

• A potential SEC Tournament semifinal matchup exists with either No. 2 Tennessee (42-9, 17-7) or the winner of the No. 7 Kentucky (41-13, 13-11) vs. No. 10 Mississippi State (38-18, 10-14) matchup. The game would be played at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 9.

• Mizzou took on the Lady Vols in last season’s tournament (May 9-11, 2013) semifinals, dispatching UT by a 3-0 score at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Mizzou advanced to those semis with a five-inning, 8-0 win over Arkansas. The Tigers bowed out of the 2013 SEC Tournament as runners-up after dropping a 10-4 result to No. 2-ranked Florida.

• Four of head coach Ehren Earleywine’s players were honored on Tuesday, May 6, when the SEC announced its All-SEC teams, which are voted on by the league’s coaches. Freshman P Tori Finucane earned the highest praise with SEC Freshman of the Year recognition.

• Finucane also earned First Team All-SEC and Freshman All-SEC honors. Redshirt sophomore OF Taylor Gadbois and junior IF Corrin Genovese joined Finucane with First Team All-SEC nods. Senior OF Mackenzie Sykes was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team at left field.

• Finucane’s nod as SEC Freshman of the Year bares a fair amount of distinction, as she became just the second player in program history to receive such an honor. She joins former three-time All-American Rhea Taylor, who earned Freshman of the Year in 2008 when Mizzou was a member of the Big 12 Conference.

• Sophomore SS/C Sami Fagan was on her game throughout the series vs. No. 6 Alabama (May 1-3), hitting .455 (5-for-11) and posting a team-best .455 on-base percentage. Fagan recorded two two-hit games in the series, in both the series-opener (an 8-6 Mizzou win on May 1) and the series finale on May 3.

• Fagan has been a top bat in the Tiger lineup all season long, ranking second in hits (63), runs scored (36) and RBI (41). She also has nine doubles and 12 stolen bases (on 15 attempts).

• Mizzou played its final regular season game at University Field on May 3 vs. No. 6 Alabama and honored its two seniors with a post-game ceremony. Sykes and pitcher Alora Marble were recognized after a season-best 2,182 fans were on hand for the regular season finale. Marble has appeared in 14 games in her first and final season as a Tiger, picking up SEC victories at No. 20 Auburn (twice) and vs. Ole Miss.

• The Tigers’ lone four-year senior, Sykes has made more than 140 starts in her strong career at Mizzou. She has had a memorable final season in the Black & Gold, posting season bests in home runs (8), hits (46), runs scored (33) and RBI (51).

• Gadbois leads the SEC in stolen bases with her 45 swipes in 2014. Her 0.83 stolen bases per game (heading into the week) ranked fifth in the nation. Her success this season ranks in Mizzou’s single-season Top 10 for stolen bases at fourth, all-time.

• Junior 3B/C Angela Randazzo and Finucane were the top performers in Mizzou’s doubleheader sweep of Creighton (April 29). Randazzo batted 4-for-5 over the wins (11-6, 2-1), while Finucane tossed a one-hitter in the nightcap victory. It was her third game of her inaugural Tiger season with double-digit strikeout totals, and second consecutive game with 10 strikeouts. Finucane fanned 10 batters in Mizzou’s series-clinching 5-4 win at No. 3 Florida (April 27).

• Mizzou kept their run of SEC success rolling at No. 3 Florida (April 25-April 27), taking two out of three games from the Gators to win a fifth-straight SEC series. Earleywine’s squad picked up the series-opening win, 5-3 (April 25), before taking the series finale (April 27) by a 5-4 score.

• Finucane anchored both victories over the Gators (April 25, 27) from the circle and was recognized nationally for her efforts. The Tiger hurler became the second player in Mizzou history to receive both national player of the week honors on April 29 (Louisville Slugger/NFCA & USA Softball), in the same week, joining former ace Chelsea Thomas (March 8, 2011) with that distinction. Finucane has won 11 consecutive decisions (April 4-May 1), with her winning streak surpassing Thomas for the longest run of success for a Mizzou pitcher. Thomas won 10-straight from Feb 25, 2012-March 21, 2012.

• Two Tigers received conference recognition for their outstanding weeks on the diamond (April 28), with Genovese and Finucane earning SEC Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, on Monday, April 28. Mizzou became the first SEC program to win both Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors in the same week this season.

• Genovese earned her first career weekly conference honor by batting .462 (6-for-13) to lead the Tigers to a 3-1 week and series win at No. 3 Florida (April 25-27). Genovese dropped her first career grand slam on the Gators to help the Tigers clinch the series in the 5-4 win on Sunday, April 27.

• Finucane’s week was certainly impressive. She went 3-0 in three complete games, including her two SEC victories at No. 3 Florida. She limited Mizzou’s opponents to just a .181 batting average at the plate in her 21.0 innings of work. She controlled the Gators in the series-opening 5-3 win on April 25, improving to 7-0 in Friday league starts with a complete game (7.0 IP), four-hit, six-strikeout outing. She then struck out 10 in the series finale on April 27, a 5-4 victory for Mizzou.

• No. 25 LSU (34-21, 13-11) have batted and run well to get to this point in the season, hitting .314 as a team and stealing 96 bases. LSU’s swipe total is only bested by conference members Florida (97) and Mizzou (100). LSU’s A.J. Andrews does a solid job of helping with both statistical categories, as she sports a .343 batting average entering the tournament and is 35-for-36 in steal attempts.

• Power numbers are put up by Sahvanna Jaquish and Bianka Bell, who have 13 and 11 home runs, respectively. Jaquish leads LSU in slugging percentage with her .643 mark and also ranks 14th overall in the SEC. Her 13 home runs rank tied for eighth.

• In total, eight regular starters for LSU bat above the .300 mark. LSU pairs a keen eye with its bats, totaling 211 walks as a team, compared to Mizzou’s 175.

• Two pitchers have seen similar workloads for LSU in 2014, with Baylee Corbello leading the way with 167.0 innings in the circle for a 2.60 ERA and 17-7 record. Ashley Czechner has a 12-12 record with 3.62 ERA after 145.0 innings pitched.



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