May 16, 2013
SATURDAY, MAY 18
Game Three: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 - Noon | ESPN3
Game Four: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 (loser eliminated) - 2:30 p.m. | ESPN3
Game Five: Loser G3 vs. Winner G4 (loser eliminated) - 5 p.m. | ESPN3
No. 8/6 Mizzou plays host to the Columbia Regional for the fifth-straight season as it begins its trek in the 2013 NCAA Division I Softball Championship. The No. 6-seeded Tigers are joined in the regional by Hofstra (43-11), Oregon State (33-22) and Stony Brook (35-23).
Head coach Ehren Earleywine has taken the Tigers to three Women's College World Series appearances (2009, 2010, 2011), with each journey to Oklahoma City beginning as wins at the regional level in Columbia. Mizzou has played in an NCAA Regional in all seven of Earleywine's seasons, with the Tigers advancing to five consecutive NCAA Super Regionals.
FOLLOW THE ACTION AT THE COLUMBIA REGIONAL
All six games (seven if necessary) from the Columbia Regional will be shown live on ESPN3 (WatchESPN) with play-by-play provided by Mark Neely and color analysis from Amanda Freed. Live radio coverage will come from KTGR (100.5 FM) and online with Mizzou Network for the 5:30 p.m. game vs. Stony Brook, as well as the potential Mizzou game(s) on Saturday. Any Sunday Tiger game(s) will also be carried by KTGR (100.5 FM, 101.3 FM & 1580 AM) and Mizzou Network.
The Columbia Regional will have continual updates to the official Twitter of Mizzou Softball, @MizzouSoftball. Live statistics will be available at MUTigers.com, as well as game recaps, quotes and notes from each regional contest.
Mizzou concluded its exciting run in the Southeastern Conference Softball Tournament (May 9-11) with a runner-up finish at John Cropp Stadium, posting a 2-1 record in its first appearance in the event. The Tigers, seeded third, started with a five-inning, 8-0 win over No. 6-seeded Arkansas on Friday, May 9, before rain pushed the SEC semifinals to the final day of the tournament on Saturday, May 11. Mizzou took a 3-0 result from second-seeded Tennessee to advance to the SEC Tournament Championship, dropping a 10-4 result to top seed and third-ranked Florida.
The Tigers took the regular season-ending series vs. No. 2 Tennessee with two exciting victories on May 4 and May 5, first from the arm of Thomas and then from the arm and bat of Hudson. Thomas threw the 11th no-hitter of her career to blank the Lady Vols, 2-0, in the initial game of the Saturday, May 4, doubleheader. It was then Hudson leading the way to clinch the series, pitching the complete game (6.0) and hitting two home runs for six RBI in the 12-8 victory over Tennessee on Sunday, May 5. The victory ended Mizzou's regular season (33-10) and SEC season (15-8), with the league finish good for third place.
The Mizzou softball team was selected to serve as one of 16 NCAA Regional hosts, announced Sunday May 12, by the NCAA Division I Softball Selection Committee. The selection came as the fifth-straight season an NCAA Regional will be played at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Prior to head coach Ehren Earleywine taking over the Mizzou program in 2007, only two NCAA Regionals were hosted by the Tigers.
The Tigers have an impressive 18-3 record in the NCAA Regional rounds under Earleywine's direction.
SCOUTING STONY BROOK
Stony Brook enters the NCAA postseason with a 35-23 overall record and 10-8 mark in the American East Conference. The Seawolves are led offensively by sophomore infielder Bria Green, who has batted .355 this season with 18 doubles and seven home runs. The team leader in RBI is sophomore Shayla Giosia, who has driven in 35. Green trails her with 32 RBI.
The Seawolves have stolen 34-of-45 (.756) bases in 2013, with Giosia leading the way with a 9-for-10 mark. In defense, Stony Brook has compiled a .970 fielding percentage with 52 errors in 58 games.
Stony Brook has three pitchers who have logged at least 100.0 innings in the circle, with sophomore Allison Cukrov leading the staff with 186.2 innings pitched for a 15-14 record and 2.74 ERA. For the year, Cukrov has struck out 147 batters and issued 82 walks. Junior Christine Lucido (117.0 IP) has compiled a 2.08 ERA with a 12-2 record, while freshman Jane Salen (100.0 IP) has pitched to an 8-7 record with a 3.08 ERA.
Hofstra comes into the Columbia Regional with an overall record of 43-11 and 18-2 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. Seven regular starters for the Pride have batted better than .300 for the 2013 season, with freshman catcher Caryn Bailey leading the way with a .373 average. Bailey has a team-leading 16 doubles. Senior outfielder Tessa Ziemba leads the team in home runs (13), while catcher Erin Trippi has a team-best 46 RBI.
The Pride have stolen 33-of-47 (.702) this season, with freshman outfielder Chloe Fitzgerald recording a team-best 8-for-12 mark. Hofstra has recorded a .973 fielding percentage, committing 37 errors in 54 games.
Hofstra is led by one of the top pitchers in the nation, senior Olivia Galati, who has thrown 307.0 of the Pride's 351.1 innings pitched this season. Galati has pitched to a 37-10 record with a 1.39 ERA, striking out 374 batters and issuing 29 walks.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE
Oregon State (33-22, 8-16 Pac-12) enters the NCAA tournament dropping five of its last six games, including a three-game sweep dealt by No. 5 Oregon. The Beavers are led by freshman first baseman Natalie Hampton's .346 batting average and her team-best 15 home runs and 50 RBI. Hampton has slugged an outstanding .704 in 2013 and has an on-base percentage of .430. Senior outfielder Lea Cavestany is the next big bat for OSU, holding a .331 average with 10 home runs and 42 RBI.
The Beavers have gone 49-for-66 (.742) in steal attempts this season, with senior shortstop Elizabeth Santana the biggest steal threat (9-for-11). In defense, OSU has compiled a .964 fielding percentage, committing 57 errors in 55 games.
Two Oregon State pitchers have seen the bulk of the workload in 2013, with senior Marina Demore (168.2 IP) pitching to a 20-11 record and 3.03 ERA. Fellow senior Tina Andreana (127.1 IP) has compiled a 9-7 record with a 3.74 ERA.
STELLAR SENIOR CLASS
Mizzou's senior class - redshirt senior Chelsea Thomas, Rachel Hay, Nicole Hudson, Princess Krebs, Jenna Marston and Lindsey Muller - have put together one of the most prolific five-year stretches in collegiate softball. The run began with Thomas' freshman season in 2009, in which the Tigers went 50-12 and advanced to the program's third Women's College World Series appearance and first under Earleywine. Thomas redshirted after pitching a small portion of the 2010 season and was joined by Hay, Hudson, Krebs, Marston and Muller for another WCWS appearance (51-13). The group helped Mizzou to a 53-10 record and third-straight trip to Oklahoma City for the WCWS in 2011. The Tigers compiled a 47-17 record en route to the program's fifth consecutive NCAA Super Regional in 2012. In their final collegiate seasons, Mizzou's seniors have led the squad to a 35-11 record.
Mizzou currently holds a No. 7 RPI (ratings percentage index) from the NCAA (May 13). The squad received a No. 5 ranking in the initial NCAA RPI of the 2013 season, released March 25. Last season, the Tigers began with a No. 15 RPI ranking.
FUN TOURNAMENT RUN
Mizzou's offense performed admirably in its first appearance in the SEC Tournament, batting .317 as a team with four batters hitting better than .400 in their trips to John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Freshman 2B Emily Crane and junior OF Mackenzie Sykes batted 5-for-10 (.500) in the tournament, while senior catcher Jenna Marston hit 5-for-11 (.455) at the plate. Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth had the biggest impact, hitting a home run in each game.
THE MARSTON MACHINE
Senior catcher Jenna Marston has been on fire for Mizzou over the last three weeks (since the 2-1 win over UK on April 26), batting 20-for-41 (.488) with 12 runs scored and nine RBI. Seven of Marston's hits have gone for doubles, and she has struck out a team-low two times over that time span. She has also gone a perfect 3-for-3 in steal attempts.
CAN'T PSYCH OUT SYKES!
Junior OF Mackenzie Sykes had herself a day in Mizzou's five-inning, 8-0 win over No. 21 Arkansas to start the SEC Tournament, batting 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI. The incredible part was her hits: a single, a triple and a double to give her a 2.000 slugging percentage for the game.
SENSATIONAL SENIOR DAY
It was a big day for senior Nicole Hudson, who hit two home runs for a career-high six RBI and pitched the complete game (6.0) in the six-inning, 12-8 win over Tennessee on May 5 at University Field. The senior's second long ball of the day was a grand slam in the bottom of the second inning, the second hit of a 2-for-3 batting performance. Senior catcher Rachel Hay got into the home run-hitting action, as well, launching a two-run shot in the bottom of third inning.
Following the game, seniors Hay, Hudson, Princess Krebs, Lindsey Muller, Jenna Marston and Chelsea Thomas were honored in the team's Senior Day ceremony. Senior student managers Nikki D'Aurelio, Matt Guemmer and Lance McMahon were also recognized for their contributions to the Mizzou softball program.
ANOTHER NO-HITTER FOR THOMAS
The story of May 4 was Thomas, who no-hit the SEC's top batting team, Tennessee, who entered the contest with a .344 team average. Including combined no-hitters, the effort against the big swinging Lady Vols was Thomas' 14th career no-hit pitching performance. Her strong outing was her first complete game no-hitter (11 total) since blanking Oklahoma State last season (May 11, 2012) with 12 strikeouts in a 4-0 win.
The effort earned Thomas her fifth SEC Pitcher of the Week award (May 6), the 17th conference honor of her career. With the recognition, Thomas became just the second conference pitcher to earn five weekly awards in a single season. The Tiger standout joined former Tennessee ace Monica Abbott, who earned five honors in 2005. Thomas finished the regular season leading all SEC players in weekly awards, as well as cementing her lead over the rest of the conference's pitchers. Three league pitchers finished with two honors apiece.
NO WALKS? NO PROBLEM!
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas issued zero walks in the 3-0 win over No. 4 Tennessee on May 11 at the SEC Tournament, striking out nine Lady Vols. She had previously walked no batters in the 6-1 win at No. 11 LSU (April 19). For her career, she's completed this feat 39 times out of 142 starts. Mizzou holds an outstanding 35-3 record (one no-decision) in those starts, holding its opponents to less than one run per game (0.90). In those 39 outings, opposing batters average 0.42 hits per inning against the senior Tiger. Thomas is pitching "zero-walk starts" in roughly one out of every four starts in her career.
CLEAR THE BASES
Senior Nicole Hudson's grand slam in the win over No. 2 Tennessee on May 5 was the second of her career. Her first came for all of Mizzou's RBI on March 31, 2012, vs. Baylor, a 4-2 win. Hudson's grand slam against the Lady Vols contributed to a career-high six RBI day at the ballpark.
Sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth hit her second grand slam of the season in the first inning of Mizzou's six-inning, 10-2 win over South Carolina (March 29). The blast, her ninth home run of the season, opened the scoring for the game.
In back-to-back games of the Georgia Tech doubleheader (March 23), a Tiger hit a grand slam. In the five-inning, 8-0 win to start the day, sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo hit her grand slam during the six-run second inning. The blast was her third home run of the season. Senior Rachel Hay's grand slam, her second home run of the season, came in Mizzou's six-run second inning of the five-inning, 16-0 victory in the second game.
Roth hit Mizzou's first grand slam of the 2013 season came in the five-inning, 13-1 victory over Maryland (Feb. 21). The four-run shot helped power a nine-run second inning that distanced the Tigers from the Terrapins. Coincidentally, Roth was previously the last Mizzou player to hit a grand slam in 2012. Her second-to-last long ball of her seven-home run freshman campaign cleared the bases at Iowa State on April 28.
2013 SEC PITCHER OF THE YEAR - Chelsea Thomas
Thomas took home the 2013 SEC Pitcher of the Year on May 7. A two-time All-American, Thomas also earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Year awards in 2011 and 2012. She was the winningest pitcher in league games in 2013, claiming 13 SEC regular season wins. Thomas finished the conference season with top marks in conference strikeouts (117) and conference opposing batting average (.176). Thomas additionally received a First Team All-SEC nod to add to her two First Team All-Big 12 honors (2011, 2012). She was also recognized to the All-SEC Defensive Team.
2013 SEC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - Jenna Marston
Marston has compiled a 3.99 cumulative GPA as an industrial engineering major in her time at the University of Missouri. She earned Capital One First Team Academic All-America recognition as a junior in 2012 and has been an academic all-district pick three times in her career. She posted a team-best .371 batting average in SEC action that ranked ninth in the conference. Her .489 on-base percentage was good for third-best in the league, and her eight conference doubles tied for No. 2 in the SEC. At catcher, Marston recorded an astute .985 fielding percentage with four runners caught stealing. Her First Team All-SEC honor at catcher now stands with two All-Big 12 recognitions at shortstop (2010, 2011).
WAIT - HOW MANY?
Mizzou recorded 19 hits in its six-inning, 12-4 win at Western Illinois in the second game of the May 1 doubleheader. The total stands as the Tigers' top hitting output of the 2013 season and also ranked third all-time in the Mizzou record books.
HUDSON JOINS MARSTON IN `THE 200 CLUB'
With her two hits in Mizzou's six-inning, 12-4 win in game two of the Western Illinois doubleheader, senior Nicole Hudson became just the ninth player in Tiger softball history reach 200 career hits. She joined fellow senior Jenna Marston in the group, with Marston ranking fifth all-time with her 217 hits. Hudson stands in ninth currently with 200.
WE'LL HAVE WHAT MARSTON IS HAVING
Senior catcher Jenna Marston put on a hitting clinic in Mizzou's doubleheader sweep at Western Illinois (10-5, 12-4 ) on May 1, batting 6-for-9 (.667) overall. The extremely impressive portion of her day came in the second game, in which Marston set a career-high with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate. Her four hits in the six-inning, 12-4 win over the Leathernecks included two doubles. Marston became just the second Tiger to record a four-hit game this season, with the first belong to senior Lindsey Muller's 4-for-4 outing at UCSB (W, 12-1) on Feb. 17.
Sophomore SS Corrin Genovese led an impressive showing of the Tigers' bats in the two wins over Western Illinois, hitting 5-for-7 (.714) at the plate in the doubleheader. Sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo and junior OF Mackenzie Sykes both put on 4-for-7 (.571) showings, with Sykes batting a perfect 3-for-3 in the second game.
HUDSON DOES IT AGAIN
Mizzou faced a 1-0 deficit heading into the seventh inning of its April 26 game at No. 19 Kentucky, but senior Nicole Hudson helped the Tigers take care of that, poking an RBI single out to left field to bring in the tying run. After a fruitless eighth, Hudson launched her 13th home run of the season in the ninth inning to give Mizzou the go-ahead run that resulted in the final score of 2-1.
SKY IS THE LIMIT
As previously mentioned, senior Nicole Hudson and sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth have both smacked 15 home runs thus far in 2013. The two big swingers easily surpassed their 2012 (61 games) totals in long balls, during which both recorded seven apiece. Hudson has blasted 45 four-baggers in her career, while Roth has hit 22. Joining them in the home run spree are sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo with eight and junior OF Mackenzie Sykes with seven. The previous season-best for both Randazzo and Sykes was two.
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