No. 9 Tigers Conclude Regular Season With Cowgirls

Nicole Hudson

Nicole Hudson

May 9, 2012

No. 9 Mizzou vs. Oklahoma State

  • Game One: Friday, May 11 - 6 p.m. CT
  • Game Two: Saturday, May 12 - 2 p.m. CT
  • Game Three: Sunday, May 13 - Noon CT
  • Location: Columbia, Mo.
  • Stadium: University Field
  • Live Stats: Game One | Game Two | Game Three
  • Live Video ($):
  • Television: Metro Sports (Sunday)
  • Media Notes

The No. 9 Missouri Tigers wrap up the 2012 regular season with their final Big 12 series this weekend. The Tigers will take on the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in a three game series, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. CT. Game two will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with Sunday’s finale beginning at Noon. Sunday’s game will air live on Metro Sports.

The Cowgirls enter the last series of the season with a 25-23 overall mark and an 8-13 Big 12 record. They have dropped seven of their last 10 games, including series losses at Texas, home against Baylor and at Texas Tech.

They are hitting .232 as a team this season with three regulars batting over .300. Tamara Brown leads all hitters with a .324 average and has a team-best seven doubles this year. Shelby Davis is batting .313 with 10 stolen baess, two doubles and two triples, while Ari Morrison is hitting .300 on the season with a team-high 13 RBI. The Cowgirls have hit just seven home runs this season.

In the circle, Kat Espinosa returns as the team’s ace and is 15-11 on the year with a 2.31 ERA. In 178.2 innings pitched she has 137 strikeouts to 45 walks and has allowed 136 hits. Simone Freeman also sees significant time in the circle, appearing 25 times. She has a 7-10 record to go with a 2.77 ERA. Opponents hit .231 off Cowgirl pitching.

Live stats will be provided via GameTracker at Mizzou Network subscribers will be able to watch the games at Sunday’s game will be aired live on Metro Sports and Christi Ambrosi and Brenda VanLengen will have the call. The official Mizzou Softball Twitter account, @MizzouSoftball, will provide updates during each game.

Missouri will wait to see their postseason fate, as the NCAA Regionals begin next weekend. The NCAA Selection Show is set for 9 p.m. CT on ESPNU on Sunday evening.

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 official account, @MizzouSoftball. Assistant Coach Pete D’Amour is also on Twitter (@MizzouSBcoach). On Facebook, fans can go to to track down the team’s official page.

Saturday’s game will be Fan Appreciation Day at University Field. Gates will open early (12:30 p.m.) and there will be promotions and giveaways throughout the game. Fans will be able to get their face painted for free. Mizzou will also host a Twitter promotion later in the week and the winner will get the chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Make sure to bring mom out to University Field on Sunday for the Mother’s Day Extravaganza. All mothers get in free and will get a raffle ticket and have the opportunity to win great prizes. There will also be a craft station and other promotions throughout the day.

The Missouri softball team will celebrate Senior Day after Sunday’s contest and will recognize the careers of Ashley Fleming and Kristin Nottelmann for all their contributions to the Tiger program.

Several Tigers are making their way into Mizzou’s history, climbing into the top-10 of numerous career and season categories. Here’s a rundown:
Chelsea Thomas is eighth all-time with 115 career appearances. Kristin Nottelmann is one appearance shy of joining the top-10 with 112 in her career.
• Nottelmann broke in to the top-10 in career shutouts with her complete game shutout over Iowa State on Saturday, April 28. She’s in a four-way tie with Kacey Marshall, Barb Wright and Erin Kalka for 10th all-time with 17.
• Thomas stands alone in third all-time with 81 career wins. Stephanie Falk had 89 wins from 1998-2001, while Wilson holds the program record with 102 victories. Nottelmann has 64 career wins, ninth-most in school history and three shy of seventh.
• Thomas has also moved her way up the top-10 all-time in complete games (fifth, 74), innings pitched (eighth, 667.0) and shutouts (third, 35).
• Thomas is in the top-10 for most strikeouts in a season for the second consecutive year. She broke the school record last season with 397 strikeouts. This year, she has 232, currently eighth-most in a season.
• As her unbelievable senior season has progressed, Ashley Fleming has made a charge up the leaderboards on the offensive side. Her career batting average of .344 is currently sixth-best in MU history.
• This season, Fleming has broken into the top-10 for career hits with 196, putting her in ninth all-time. If she can get seven more hits this season, she’ll become the seventh Tiger to record 200 or more hits in a career.
• A trio of Tigers are in the top-10 for career doubles, led by Fleming with 41, tied for fifth-most all-time. Nicole Hudson is tied with Amanda Renth for eighth with 38, while Jenna Marston is tied with Nikki Herman for eighth all-time with 37.
• Fleming is tied for third all-time in home runs with 41, the fourth Tiger in program history to record 40 or more home runs in a career. Jen Bruck is the program’s record holder with 47. Hudson hit her 30th homer of her career a few weeks back, making her the sixth Tiger to hit 30 or more career home runs.
• Marston (155) and Fleming (151) are also in the top-10 in runs scored, coming in at fourth and fifth, respectively.
• Fleming is fourth all-time with 168 RBI, while Hudson has climbed her way up to seventh with 128.
• Marston is 11 walks shy from becoming the program’s all-time record holder in the category. Fleming and Hudson have both drawn 96 and 93 career walks respectively, the third and fifth most in school history. The Tigers entered the season with just one player who drew over 100 walks in her career (Jen Bruck), but have a chance of finishing this year with four players crossing the century mark.

The Pac-12 is universally regarded as the top NCAA softball conference of all-time, but Mizzou has had great success against some of the league’s best teams in the last several years. Since 2010, the Tigers are 9-3 against Pac-12 opponents. This season, Mizzou is 4-1, winning games over Washington, UCLA and Oregon (twice), with their only loss coming to the Ducks. Last year the Tigers went 2-1 against Pac-12 schools, losing a 1-0 game to Cal and sweeping Washington in the Super Regionals. In 2010, Mizzou went 3-1, splitting with Arizona and taking two over the Ducks in the Super Regionals.

With her three doubles in the series finale against Oregon, senior outfielder Ashley Fleming tied an NCAA Division I record for most doubles in a game. Numerous players have accomplished the feat in NCAA history, including former Tigers Micaela Minner (twice) and Jen Bruck).

Redshirt junior pitcher Chelsea Thomas enters the final weekend of the season just 26 strikeouts shy of becoming the school record holder for most strikeouts in a career. She currently has 868 strikeouts over the span of her career, second all-time. The school record holder is Teresa Wilson, who struck out 893 batters from 1980-83.

After taking three walks in the Murray State doubleheader, junior Jenna Marston now has 42 on the season, putting her one shy of tying Jen Bruck (2008) and two shy of become the single season record holder. Marston is 11 walks shy of breaking Bruck’s career record of 115.

In the final RPI of the regular season, released on Monday, May 7, the Tigers jumped up three spots to 14th. The Tigers are 16-8 against the RPI’s top-50 on the season.

In the final non-conference series of the season, the No. 9 Tigers took two of three on the road against No. 12 Oregon. Mizzou won a back-and-forth game one, powered by Fleming’s 14th home run of the season and a late double by Kingsley, helping the Tigers win 5-4. Thomas worked in and out of trouble to pick up win No. 20 on the season, striking out six while allowing three earned runs. The Ducks bats exploded in game two, scoring eight runs on 10 hits off Nottelmann. Missouri managed just one hit in the game, an RBI single by Roth in the third inning that gave the Tigers a brief 1-0 lead. They bounced back in the finale, pulling out a 7-3 win to back Thomas’ nine strikeouts. Fleming tied an NCAA record with three doubles in one game and Stephens drove in a pair to pace the offense.



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