Chelsea Thomas and Ashley Fleming return to watch one who watched them

1 year 7 months 3 weeks ago Sunday, November 20 2016 Nov 20, 2016 Sunday, November 20, 2016 9:55:00 PM CST November 20, 2016 in Sports
By: Tyler Murry, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter
loading

MOKANE, MO - Missouri Tiger softball fans grew used to seeing stars Chelsea Thomas and Ashley Fleming on the diamond, but now they are back in mid-Missouri. However, they are the ones doing the watching now.

"I was watching Chelsea Thomas and Ashley Fleming when they were at Mizzou, and now they were watching me. I couldn't believe this was happening. It was surreal," South Callaway Pitcher Konnor Arrowood said.

Arrowood dominated this season for the Bulldogs both from the plate and from the mound as her play helped lead South Callaway. Her skills caught the attention of a former pitcher in Thomas. Both Thomas and Fleming are now coaches at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill. after taking the job in 2015, and they have been captivated by Arrowood's talent.

"I was really impressed with just her size and raw athletic ability, and I saw a little of myself in her. She's raw and not that polished pitcher yet with so much potential. I like to go after those types of recruits, because they remind me of myself." Thomas said. 

The Arrowood and Thomas connection on the mound seemed to take hold early in Arrowood's life as she plays with the number 18, Thomas's number at Missouri, because she too hoped to be like Thomas one day.

"It happened when I was young. I think I was 12, and I had to pick a new number. I was like you know what, I want to be just like Chelsea Thomas and she pitches at Mizzou, and she wears number 18. Form there it kind of just stuck."

For the new Bearcats coaching duo, Arrowood caught on with them as well.

Fleming said, "I fell in love with her and what she is like on the field, and she was just kind of somebody I kept in my back pocket until I got a head coaching job."

After months of scouting and tough decisions. That dream became a reality on Nov. 11 as Arrowood officially signed her commitment to play for McKendree next year.

"It felt amazing. Growing up everyone wants to hit like coach Fleming, and everyone wants like Chelsea Thomas. All my dreams are coming true," Arrowood said as she smiled ear to ear.

"She's worked really hard. It's always been a dream of hers, and we are just fortunate it is working out," her father, Ryan Arrowood said, "I can remember when she was little and taking her to watch the games and taking her to every came that the then players were participating in. To now have them sitting across the table telling Konnor how much they wanted her was pretty special."

Arrowood wanted to play for Thomas and Fleming, but she also wanted to make sure something else was all hers as well.

Thomas said, "She's like 'is 18 open I really want number 18,' and I was like you know what we can definitely keep that open for you."

It's not every day you get a chance to play for your childhood idol, someone you looked up to all those years, but Arrowood says she is taking it in stride.

"It's like holy crap you know. It's kind of scary, but at the same time I want to show them it was worth it," Arrowood said.

"Has she opened up more than when she first stepped on campus here? Definitely, and I think she is really going to find her rhythm on this team," Fleming said.

For Fleming and Thomas, they said their connection to mid-Missouri will be a positive for finding and connecting to other softball recruits in Missouri in the future.

"That's something I think that stands out to people in Missouri that we both came from a high division-one program of Mizzou that's obviously been in the past few years a top team in the country. So, I think a lot of people are seeing we are doing a lot of those same things, and they want to be a part of that," Fleming said.

For Arrowood, she will be a starting pitcher for McKendree as well as play a big role hitting.

"We're going to want someone that says 'I want the ball,' and I think that is Konnor," Thomas said.

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is open to holding direct talks with the Taliban to encourage negotiations between the... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:30:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – City council approved two public hearings in August to discuss possible increases to the property tax and sewer... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Gov. Eric Greitens' campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees in his... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:03:27 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to rename the Columbia post office located on Walnut... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 6:51:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Family, friends and law enforcement continue to search Little Dixie Lake Conservation Area for Jerry Kinman. ... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 6:00:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's U.S. senators are standing by the intelligence community's conclusion that the Russians interfered in the... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 5:10:30 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A man who was fatally shot after wounding three Kansas City police officers during a gunfight... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - A group responsible for ballot petition advocating major reform in Jefferson City said they are almost positive... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 3:19:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A dialogue that began in October 2017 among the East Campus community could finally have an answer Monday.... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 2:10:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Bidders have spent nearly $80,000 for baseball memorabilia a former Kansas City Royals second baseman put... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 1:51:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Adidas is racing to make its products more sustainable. The global sportswear maker said Monday that... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 1:18:32 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A common drug used to control blood pressure and help prevent heart failure was announced by the US... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 1:05:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- US President Donald Trump said Monday he holds both the United States and Russia responsible for the breakdown... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 11:08:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Work to remove several large pin oaks from Mizzou's Francis Quadrangle began Monday after a recent study showed... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 10:17:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
BEIJING (AP) — China announced it filed a World Trade Organization challenge Monday to President Donald Trump's latest tariff threat,... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 9:52:57 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
HELSINKI (AP) — President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin opened their long-awaited summit Monday with a wink and slouch,... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 9:37:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City man died in Iowa Saturday morning during police pursuit. A Fayette County Sheriff's... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
7am 73°
8am 76°
9am 79°
10am 82°