Posted: May 7, 2013 2:45 PM
BIRMINGHAM, AL -- Mizzou softball seniors Chelsea Thomas and Jenna Marston earned major awards from the Southeastern Conference to finish the Tigers' first regular season campaign in the league. Thomas earned conference pitcher of the year for the third time in her career, while Marston was recognized for her efforts in the classroom, receiving SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Both Thomas and Marston earned First Team All-SEC spots at pitcher and catcher, respectively. Thomas also received SEC All-Defensive Team recognition.
A two-time All-American, Thomas has added an SEC Pitcher of the Year honor to her Big 12 Pitcher of the Year awards from 2011 and 2012. She was the winningest pitcher in league games in 2013, claiming 13 SEC wins. Thomas finished the conference season with league bests in conference strikeouts (117) and conference opposing batting average (.176). Thomas is also the league leader in overall games ERA (1.25) and overall opposing batting average (.155). She allowed just 12 extra base hits during SEC action in her 107.1 league innings pitched. Thomas adds the First Team All-SEC nod to her two First Team All-Big 12 honors (2011, 2012).
Thomas additionally earned her fifth SEC Pitcher of the Week award on Monday, May 6, becoming just the second player in SEC history to win five weekly pitcher awards in a single season (Monica Abbott, Tennessee, 2005).
Marston has compiled a 3.99 cumulative GPA as an industrial engineering major in her time at the University of Missouri. She earned Capital One First Team Academic All-America recognition as a junior in 2012 and has been an academic all-district selection three times in her career. She was Mizzou's most potent bat during league play with a team-best .371 batting average that ranked ninth in the conference. She also ranked tied for ninth in the league with 26 hits in SEC play. Her .489 on-base percentage was good for third-best in the league, and her eight conference doubles tied for No. 2 in the SEC. At catcher, Marston recorded an astute .985 fielding percentage with four runners caught stealing.
A four-time all-conference pick over her Mizzou career, Marston has now earned first team recognition three times with two First Team All-Big 12 recognitions coming her way at shortstop in 2010 and 2011. She earned Second Team All-Big 12 last season in her first year at catcher for the Tigers.
No. 8 Mizzou is set to face No. 25 Arkansas in the Tigers' first trip to the Southeastern Conference Softball Tournament, hosted by Kentucky at John Cropp Stadium from Wednesday, May 8-Saturday, May 11. The Tigers and Razorbacks will meet in the 3 p.m. (CT) quarterfinal on Thursday, May 9, with live national coverage on ESPNU.