June 30, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. – With two-thirds of the exhibition schedule complete, Mizzou’s Chelsea Thomas and Rhea Taylor have each enjoyed successful starts with the USA Softball team. Through four games against the USA Junior Women’s National Team, Team USA has been victorious all four times, outscoring the Junior Team by a 33-3 margin.
In the first doubleheader between the two squads on June 25 in Plant City, Fla., Team USA won by a 13-1 final. In her first plate appearance, Taylor drew a walk, stole second and third, and eventually scored the first run of the game. Thomas got the start in game two, throwing four innings while allowing just two hits and striking out one. Taylor singled twice in three at bats while also drawing a walk and scoring three runs. Team USA went on to win 12-0 in six innings.
On June 29, the two squads played another doubleheader in Salem, Va. Once again, Team USA swept the twin-bill, winning 6-1 in game one before taking game two by an 11-0 score. Thomas started game one, throwing five innings while scattering six hits, giving up one unearned run, walking zero and striking out five to pick up her second victory. Taylor singled and stole second base while going 1-for-4. In the nightcap, Taylor went 1-for-3 with a stolen base and two runs scored.
Through four games, Thomas has a 2-0 record with a 0.00 earned run average, giving up eight hits, striking out six and issuing zero walks in nine innings pitched. Taylor is hitting .286 with six runs scored and four stolen bases.
The two squads now head to Bowie, Md., on July 1 for the last two exhibition games before the USA National Team begins international play. The team will then have a week off before heading to Surrey, B.C. for the Canadian Open FastPitch International Championship.