Four Tigers Earn All-Region Honors
COLUMBIA - Four Missouri softball players were awarded with Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Midwest Region honors, as announced Thursday morning by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each region, and all the honorees will now be eligible for selection to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first, second or third teams.
Senior Rhea Taylor and junior Ashley Fleming made up two-thirds of the All-Midwest First Team outfield. Taylor wraps up her career as a four-time All-Midwest selection, while this is the second such honor for Fleming. Taylor is hitting .350 on the season with 42 runs scored, two home runs and 34 stolen bases in 36 attempts. Fleming is Missouri's top hitter this year, batting .372 with 15 doubles - tied for most in the Big 12 - and team highs with 12 home runs and 55 runs batted in. She's a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen bases and has a .453 on-base percentage with a .738 slugging percentage.
Hudson was selected as the top third baseman for the region, as she's followed up her stellar freshman campaign with an even more impressive sophomore season. The Webb City, Mo., native is batting .342 on the year with 12 doubles, 11 home runs and 44 RBI. She's taken 27 walks to just 15 strikeouts, has an on-base percentage of .448 and a slugging percentage of .638.
Thomas earns her first career regional accolade as one of two pitchers selected to the All-Midwest First Team. The Missouri ace is currently 27-5 on the season with a 0.81 earned run average - second highest in the country. In 36 appearances and 208.0 innings pitched, Thomas has struck out 323 batters while walking just 39 and giving up only 24 earned runs. The Pleasantville, Iowa, native is one of 10 players still in the running for USA Softball's Collegiate Player of the Year award.
Missouri opens up postseason action at the Columbia Regional on Friday, May 20 against Illinois State at 6:30 p.m. CT.