Tag Archives: Mizzou softball

Hudson’s grand slam spurs Mizzou to victory

By Karl Roskamp and Peter Terpstra 

The No. 11 Missouri Tigers found themselves in a deep hole Sunday afternoon but were able to dig themselves out, beating No. 4 Tennessee 12-8 in a halted game at University Field.

“That’s one of the coolest games I’ve ever been apart of as a player or a coach,” coach Ehren Earleywine said.

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Mizzou’s Thomas throws no-hitter as Tigers split doubleheader

By Karl Roskamp

http://vimeo.com/65504953

With 1,540 people packed into University Field and many more watching the nationally-televised game, Chelsea Thomas pitched a no-hitter to lead No. 11 Missouri to a 2-0 victory in game one against No. 4 Tennessee.

“It’s pretty crazy.  It was a really fun night.  I’ll remember this night for a while,” Thomas said.

The game was her first solo no-hitter of the season and the eleventh of her career. The caliber of competition makes the performance even more special according to coach Ehren Earleywine.

“It’s as good as I can remember because Tennessee lights it up offensively,” he said.  “It was in front of a nice crowd, and it was an important game.  I thought it was extraordinary.”

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Three Mizzou softball players recognized for academics

By Karl Roskamp

No. 11 Missouri softball has not only been good on the field but also in the classroom this season.

On Friday, senior catcher Jenna Marston, junior outfielder Mackenzie Sykes and senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas were selected for the Capital One Academic All-District 6 team. The College Sports Information Directors of America select players based on athletic and academic performance.

An industrial engineering major, Marston has a 3.99 grade point average. She also ranks second in the Southeastern Conference in doubles (7) and on-base percentage (.500) this season. Marston has earned Academic All-District three times in her career and was named First Team Academic All-American last season. She was selected as a First Team Academic All-Big 12 in 2011 and 2012.

A sports management major, Sykes has a 3.92 GPA and is batting a career-best .333 this season. She also has hit seven home runs this season after hitting just four in her first two season. Sykes earned First Team Academic All-Big in 2012.

After obtaining an undergraduate degree in biology, Thomas is in graduate school for positive coaching and has a 3.37 GPA. She leads the SEC in earned run average at 1.31 and opponent batting average at .162.  Thomas earned Second Team Academic All-American in 2012 and has been Academic All-District twice. Thomas was First Team Academic All-Big 12 three times from 2010 to 2012.

First Team Academic All‐District honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All‐America Team ballot, from which first, second and third team All‐America honorees will be selected later this month.

Friday’s game against No. 4 Tennessee was postponed due to adverse weather. Saturday’s game scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and Sunday’s at noon at University Field are expected to be played.

 

Words on the walk-up: Mizzou players weigh in on their personal theme songs

By Zach Garcia and Karl Roskamp

SEC balls 2There’s a growing tradition within the classic day at the ballpark.

Joining the list of sunflower seeds, hot dogs and the occasional scorecard are walk-up songs. These snippets of popular songs introduce each batter as she or he strides to the plate prior to an at-bat.

From Harlem Shake to The Lion King, KBIA’s Zach Garcia and Karl Roskamp outline some of the most unique choices from Missouri’s softball and baseball teams.


EXTRA: Watch the videos that go with some of the featured players’ walk­-up song choices:

Mizzou’s Thomas wins fourth SEC weekly honor

By Karl Roskamp

Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week Monday.

The conference recognition is Thomas’ fourth of the season and the 16th of her career.  Thomas leads all SEC players in weekly awards this season, including three pitchers who have two honors apiece.

Thomas won her two starts against No. 11 LSU and picked up her SEC-leading 10th conference win.  Her record is currently 17-4.  She pitched 14 innings, struck out 23 batters, walked one and allowed three earned runs.

On Friday, Thomas struck out 13 batters and allowed two hits in a complete game as No. 12 Missouri’s beat LSU 6-1.  She pitched another complete game Sunday with 10 strikeouts as part of a 3-2 win.  Both wins came against senior Rachele Fico, who was selected over Thomas for the 2013 SEC Preseason All-Conference First Team.

The Pitcher of the Week honor comes on the heels of an exhausting weekend against Arkansas.  Last Friday and Saturday, Thomas pitched 15 innings, struck out 15, allowed one earned run and came away with one win and one loss.  On Sunday, coach Ehren Earleywine pulled her after three innings due to “fatigue.”

“I have to do a better job of managing Chelsea,” Earleywine said after Sunday’s loss.

He proposed a scenario where Thomas pitches only Friday and Sunday and not pitch at all on Saturday.

“Maybe (the team) just takes a loss on Saturday,” he said. “I need to keep her fresher because she’s running on fumes.”

Earleywine’s strategy played out as planned against LSU.  Missouri won both of Thomas’ starts and lost 8-0 in the Saturday game that senior Nicole Hudson pitched.

Thomas will have the opportunity to add to her resume as Missouri faces two ranked opponents in the next two weeks.  Missouri will face No. 17 Kentucky in a series this weekend in Lexington, Ky., and No. 5 Tennessee in a series at home next weekend.

Mizzou softball eyes berth in SEC conference tournament

By Karl Roskamp

After defeating No. 11 Louisiana State 6-1 in Baton Rouge, La. Friday, No. 12 Missouri is projected as the No. 4 seed in next month’s Southeastern Conference softball tournament.

The 10-team tournament, which will be held in Lexington, Ky. May 8-11, seeds teams based on regular season conference winning percentage.  The team with the highest winning percentage against conference foes will be the No. 1 seed.  The remaining teams will be seeded accordingly.  The bottom three teams in the SEC do not get to play in the tournament.

If the tournament were to start today, Missouri (25-6, 10-5 SEC) would play Arkansas (29-16, 7-9 SEC).  During the regular season, the Tigers were 1-2 against the Razorbacks.

Missouri has eight games remaining in conference to help or hurt its seeding.  The team will face LSU two more times this weekend, No. 17 Kentucky (33-13, 9-7 SEC) three times and No. 5 Tennessee (40-6, 13-3 SEC) three times.  All of the games will be on the road except for the series against Tennessee.

Moving up in the seeding will be difficult as all three remaining conference opponents are ranked.   Competition in the SEC is deep as seven of the 13 teams are ranked in the top 25.  Two more, Arkansas and Mississippi State (29-14, 7-9 SEC), received votes in the last poll to be in the top 25.

To make things harder, the teams above Missouri have easier schedules.  Only LSU has to play another ranked team outside of Missouri in its remaining games.  LSU will face No. 4 Alabama (38-7, 10-6) in a three game series at home next weekend.

At best, Missouri could be a No. 3 seed, and at worst, a No. 7 seed.

Currently, Tennessee and No. 3 Florida (42-5, 14-4 SEC) are the only teams to have clinched berths in the tournament.  At the moment, they are also the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds respectively.

The top two teams get first round byes in the tournament.  The No. 1 seed will play the winner of the game between No. 8 and No. 9 and the No. 2 will play the winner of the game between No. 7 and No 10 seeds.

Missouri will face LSU at 6 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La.

Standings as of April 19, 2013

Team

Record in SEC

Games Back

Games Remaining

1) Tennessee*

13-3

-

8

2) Florida*

14-4

1

6

3) LSU

11-5

2

8

4) Missouri

10-5

2.5

8

5) Alabama

10-6

3

8

6) Kentucky

9-7

4

8

7) Georgia

9-7

4

8

8) Mississippi State

7-9

6

8

9) Arkansas

7-9

6

8

10) Texas A&M

6-9

6.5

8

Games behind 10th

11) Auburn

6-13

2

5

12) South Carolina

3-13

3.5

8

13) Mississippi

2-17

5

5

* = teams have clinched berth in SEC Tournament

Mizzou loses back-and-forth game with Arkansas in extra innings

By Karl Roskamp

Arkansas' Clarisa Navarro (11) slides into home to score the game-winning run on pitcher Nicole Hudson's wild pitch.  The Razorbacks won 11-10 in eight innings.

Arkansas’ Clarisa Navarro (11) slides into home to score the game-winning run on pitcher Nicole Hudson’s wild pitch. The Razorbacks won 11-10 in eight innings.

A furious five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning wasn’t enough for No. 8 Missouri to overcome Arkansas as the Tigers lost 11-10 in eight innings on Sunday at University Field.

Missouri (24-6, 9-5 Southeastern Conference) found itself down 10-5 in the seventh inning and in jeopardy of losing two games in a row for the first time this season.  After right fielder Carlie Rose struck out, the Tigers strung together three consecutive hits, including catcher Jenna Marston’s RBI double to make it 10-6.  Arkansas pitcher Kimmy Beasley walked designated hitter Nicole Hudson to load the bases and walked center fielder Mackenzie Sykes to allow another run.  Shortstop Corrin Genovese then tied the game at 10 on a two-out, two-run single to left field.

“We really dug ourselves a hole.  We didn’t take care of the ball on defense,” Genovese said. “(But) at no point did we think, ‘We’re going to lose this game.’ We trust our bats a lot this year.”

The Tigers have scored eight or more runs in 12 of their last 16 games, but poor defense has allowed opponents to stay in games.  Missouri had three errors against Arkansas, leading to three unearned runs. These errors make backup pitchers jobs more difficult, according to Marston.

“I think our defense needs to solidify and have got to know how to play behind Nicole and Lindsey,” she said.  “We have to start playing good defense behind them.”

One of the errors kept Arkansas’ six-run seventh inning alive.  The Razorbacks capitalized with shortstop Clarissa Navarro’s solo home run to take the lead 6-5. Right fielder Amanda Geile followed suit with a three-run home run to make it 9-5.  Hudson gave up five earned runs in the inning, which highlighted her substandard performance.

“I’m disappointed that I couldn’t hold them back,” Hudson said. “I’ve been throwing about an inning at a time for the most part, so (throwing 100 pitches) was a little bit different, but I just try to go out there and keep it under control.”

Hudson surrendered eight runs, allowed eight hits and gave up three walks in 3 2/3 innings. Recently, Hudson has failed to pitch deep into games she’s entered.  Against Alabama last weekend, she was pulled after two-thirds of an inning, after having allowed four runs and two additional base runners.  The lack of support puts more stress on Chelsea Thomas according to coach Ehren Earleywine.

“We have an ace pitcher with limited pitch counts and a fatigue factor at certain points and (backup pitchers) that are ill equipped for this moment,” he said.

“Perhaps we do a Friday, Sunday scenario where (Thomas) takes all Saturday to rest and maybe we just take a loss on Saturday,” he said. “I need to keep (Thomas) fresher because if she’s running on fumes, that’s not good on any level.”

After the Tigers rallied back in the seventh inning, the Razorbacks responded in the eighth.  Navarro scored from third base on a wild pitch by Hudson to go ahead 11-10.  Missouri couldn’t answer despite loading the bases with no one out.  Hudson, who went 0-4, hit into a double play where Oprzedek caught her line drive and tagged Kayla Kingsley out before she could get back to third.  Kingsley injured her leg on the play and is out indefinitely.

Mizzou loses pitching duel with Arkansas in extra innings

By Karl Roskamp

Arkansas pitcher Kimmy Beasley prepares to throw a pitch.  Beasley struck out 12 batters and allowed one earned run.

Arkansas pitcher Kimmy Beasley prepares to throw a pitch. Beasley struck out 12 batters and allowed one earned run.

It took 11 innings, but Arkansas finally broke through to beat No. 8 Missouri 4-1 on Saturday afternoon at University Field.

Chelsea Thomas pitched a complete game, struck out 10 batters and gave up one earned run.  Even though she received a lost, which drops her record to 15-4, coach Ehren Earlywine was reassured by her performance.

“This was her best game in a while in terms of control and pitch count,” Earlywine said. “I was really impressed with her outing, especially after having already pitched some (yesterday).”

One of Thomas’ unearned runs came in the top of the seventh inning.  With a runner on first base,  Arkansas second baseman Sierra Bronkey bunted and Missouri third baseman Angela Randazzo slipped trying to field the ball.  Randazzo’s throw nicked first baseman Kelsea Roth’s glove and dribbled towards the outfield, allowing Clarisa Navarro to score.

“It was kind of a freak play all around with Angie falling,” catcher Jenna Marston said.  “I think we had a shot at two (outs) and she slipped and then we had third open. So I went to third and I shouldn’t have because obviously that left home (plate) open and they were able to walk in.”

“You had a feeling that it was going to come down to whoever made a mistake because no one was really hitting,” Earlywine said.  “So it was who’s going to misplay a bunt or throw a ball away and we just happened to do both in the same inning.”

The Tigers (24-5, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) responded in the bottom of the seventh.  Roth hit a solo home run to left field to tie the game at one.  Roth now has 12 home runs this season. That home run was just one of four hits Missouri got off Arkansas pitcher Kimmy Beasley.

“She’s probably the first pitcher with a true rise (ball) that we’ve seen in a long time,” Marston said. “We were getting underneath everything and popping it up.”

Beasley allowed one run, three hits and struck out 12 batters.  The win put her record to 6-6 on the season.  Put in perspective, Missouri strikes out on average less than four times a game.

In the top of the 11th inning, Arkansas regained the lead.  Right fielder Kayla Kingsley misplayed third baseman Chloe Oprzedek single, allowing both Arkansas runners to score.  The field error cost Missouri another run as Oprzedek scored on Navarro’s sacrifice fly in the next at bat.  Despite the inconsistent defense, Thomas remained cool.

“I’ve been around this game long enough to know that stuff like that it is going to happen and some days it’s not your day,” Thomas said.

The Tigers will play the Razorbacks at 2 p.m. on Sunday at University Field in the final game of the series.

Mizzou’s Thomas named finalist for Player of the Year

By Karl Roskamp

Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas has been named one of 25 finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.

The Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball announced the finalists Wednesday after narrowing the field from an original watch list of 50.  The award is in its 12th year and recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by collegiate softball players.  Thomas has been named a finalist three times in her career.  She was one of three overall finalists in 2011 and was among the top 25 finalists last season.

This season, Thomas has a record of 14-3 with 131 strikeouts.  She owns the school record for career strikeouts with 1,078 and surpassed 1,000-strikeout mark against Evansville March 13.  Thomas has 101 wins as a Tiger, and her next win will tie the school record.

No. 8 Missouri will host Arkansas in a three game series this weekend at University Field. Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m. while the games on Saturday and Sunday will start at 2 p.m.

Mizzou’s Chelsea Thomas Wins Third SEC Pitcher of the Week

By Karl Roskamp

Missouri's starting pitcher, Chelsea Thomas, during the first inning against Evansville on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Thomas earned her 1,000th strike out in the game and earned the win.

Missouri’s starting pitcher, Chelsea Thomas, during the first inning against Evansville on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Thomas earned her 1,000th strike out in the game and earned the win.

Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas won three games en route to her third Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week award this season.

The Tigers were 4-0 in her four starts and were 5-0 for the week. Thomas (7-1) threw 18 innings, struck out 22 batters and allowed seven hits and two earned runs.

Thomas threw a complete game and stuck out 10 batters in her first start of the week, with a 3-1 victory over Evansville on Wednesday. Thomas allowed two hits, including a home run to Kayla Fortner in the top of the seventh inning.

Over the weekend, Thomas started all three road games against Mississippi and earned two wins.  She and Nicole Hudson combined for a no hitter on Friday as the Tigers beat the Rebels 11-0. Thomas has been a part of 11 no-hitters in her career. Thomas threw a complete game and allowed one run in a 6-1 win Saturday and was pulled after three shutout innings as No. 8 Missouri won 12-0 on Sunday.

Thomas has now won Pitcher of the Week 15 times in her career, including awards won in the Big 12 Conference.

Missouri’s next game is scheduled for Saturday against Georgia Tech in a double header at University Field.

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