Missouri Softball Prepares for a Battle with Bears
WACO, TX - No. 11 Missouri finishes its 10-day tour of the state of Texas with a two-game set against No. 17 Baylor on Saturday and Sunday. The top-25 Big 12 matchup will begin at 3 p.m. CT and conclude with a Noon CT start on Sunday.
The Tigers started the year 1-2, but Mizzou has won 26 of its last 28 to improve to 27-4 on the year.
Pitcher Chelsea Thomas continued her hot streak, winning her 13th straight game on Wednesday against North Texas. Thomas gave up one run on five hits, walked a batter and struck out 11. Her ERA this season is best in the nation at 0.52, and she entered the week with the fifth best strikeouts per seven innings ratio at 11.5. In 15 starts this season, Thomas has struck out double digits on nine separate occasions.
Junior Ashley Fleming continued her great 2011 campaign with her eighth home run of the year on Wednesday in game one. The junior had nine home runs last season and now has 21 for her career - ninth most in school history. Five of her home runs this year have come in the last eight games. She leads the team with 11 doubles, 36 RBI and an .841 slugging percentage.
Baylor enters the weekend with a ranking of No. 17 in each poll. They are 27-5 on the season and 1-1 in league play after splitting last weekend's series with Texas A&M. The Bears won 2-1 in 11 innings on Saturday before falling 6-5 in the finale. Baylor is 17-1 at home this season.
Dani Leal is the top hitter for the Bears, as she sports a .395 average with 10 home runs and 23 driven in, all team highs. As a squad, Baylor has a .297 batting average, a .387 on base percentage and a .447 slugging percentage. Baylor's ERA is second best in the conference at 1.21.
The Bears ace is Whitney Canion, a redshirt sophomore. She is 14-4 this season with a 0.92 earned run average and has tallied 152 strikeouts to 41 walks in 114.1 innings pitched. Like Chelsea Thomas, Canion was awarded with a medical redshirt last season after suffering a stress fracture in her forearm.