#13 Missouri Softball Preview

Missouri Tigers

Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #6 SEC
Missouri College Softball Top 44 Team Preview
Missouri Team Page


Now a member of the Southeastern Conference, the Tigers missed qualifying for the NCAA Women’s College World Series in 2012 after three consecutive appearances. The Tigers lost in the Super-Regionals to LSU and finished the year 47-14 under Head Coach Ehren Earleywine. In six seasons, Earleywine has turned around the Missouri program, compiling a record of 288-90 for a winning percentage of .762.  His overall coaching record is 434-145. He’s the fifth fastest coach to reach 100 wins in Division 1 softball. In the fall of 2012 the Tigers compiled a 7-1 record and will now open the season with 10-game road trip, beginning February 15-17 at the University of California - Santa Barbara Tournament.

2012:  47-14, 17-7
2012 Postseason: NCAA Tournament
Coach: Ehren Earleywine

Field Players:
Earleywine’s returnees are led by ace pitcher Chelsea Thomas, catcher Jenna Marston and Nicole Hudson (3B/OF). Thomas compiled a 27-9 record with 1.16 ERA and struck out 306 batters in 229.1 innings pitched. She averaged 9.34 strikeouts per game, seventh nationally, and helped the Tigers finish second (17-7) behind Oklahoma in the Big 12 with a team ERA of 1.53. She was a repeat selection as Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and is only the second player to win the award more than once. Hudson batted .301, second best on team, and was second in homers with seven and a slugging percentage of .497. After playing shortstop for two years, Marston switched to catching in 2012, playing 47 games behind the plate, seven in center field and four as the DP. She batted .295, third best on team, and stole 11 bases in 15 attempts.  A key loss was the team’s leading hitter in 2012, Ashley Fleming, who batted .365 and also led the Tigers with 16 homers.

The 2013 pitching staff will again be led by Thomas. Lost through graduation was relief hurler Kristin Nottleman who was 12-5 with a 1.16 ERA. Lindsey Muller will also pitch in 2013.

Who to Watch:
Thomas has been the workhorse of this team since she walked on campus and is again expected to lead the team on the mound in 2013.  She ranked 19th in NCAA Division 1 in wins, fifth in ERA (1.16), 13th in strikeouts and 11th in shutouts (12).

Final Projection:
Missouri led the Big 12 Conference in fielding (.976 fielding percentage) and finished second in team pitching behind Oklahoma, but were seventh in the conference in batting average (.264) and 144th overall. The Tigers ranked ninth in ERA and ninth in team fielding. Playing in a new conference after a second place finish in the Big 12 in 2012 will be an adjustment.  The Tigers have not faced the level of opposition they will see in the SEC on a regular basis and lack of pitching depth will be a problem.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Jenna Marston, C, 166
Hits:  Jenna Marston, C, 49; Nicole Hudson, 3B/OF, 49
Home Runs: Nicole Hudson, 3B/OF, 7; Lindsey Muller, P/1B, 7; Kelsea Roth, 1B, 7
RBIs:  Kelsea Roth, 1B, 439
Runs: Jenna Marston, C, 54
Stolen Bases: Kayla Kingsley, OF, 12

Wins:  Chelsea Thomas, P, 33
Innings Pitched: Chelsea Thomas, P, 269.2
Strikeouts: Chelsea Thomas, P, 306
Saves: Chelsea Thomas, P, 3

Madness 2013 NPF Draft Rankings:
#3 Chelsea Thomas

Madness 2013 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#28 Sarah Moore


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