Thomas Selected to USA Softball's Player of the Year Watch List
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- University of Missouri senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas has been named to the "Watch List" for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) and USA Softball announced Friday. In its 12th year of recognizing outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players, the award has 50 total student-athletes from across the country on its initial list.
Thomas backed up her outstanding 2011 season with another phenomenal run for Mizzou's 2012 season. She became the first player in Mizzou history to be named a two-time First Team All-American. She was also named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year for the second straight year, becoming just the second player in Big 12 history to win the award more than once. For the 2012 season, Thomas, as a junior, posted a 27-9 record with a 1.16 earned run average (ERA), which ranked fifth in the nation.
As a redshirt sophomore in 2011, Thomas pitched to a 32-8 record and led the entire country with a 0.95 ERA. She dominated multiple statistical categories; finishing in the top-10 in hits allowed per seven innings (7th, 3.77), shutouts (T-8th, 13), strikeouts (fourth, 397), strikeouts per seven innings (9th, 10.4) and wins (T-6th, 32).
Thomas' inclusion in the 2013 "Top 50 Watch List" marks her third career USA Softball watch list recognition. Thomas was one of three finalists for the award in 2011 after not being named in the initial top 50. She advanced to the final 25 finalists last season. Thomas was on the 2010 season's beginning watch list but was forced out of the lineup due to injury and received a medical hardship waiver. Heading into 2013, Thomas ranks third in career wins at Mizzou with 87 and third in career shutouts (38). She has additionally earned first team academic all-conference honors three times (2010, 11, 12) and was recognized as a CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American last season.
The Tigers open their season with their annual Black & Gold Game on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m., with a location to be determined. Mizzou begins the 2013 schedule at UC Santa Barbara's Gaucho Classic on Friday, Feb. 15.