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

1 year 7 months 4 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 maker of a permanent contraceptive implant subject to thousands of injury reports and repeated safety restrictions... More >>
15 minutes ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:28:05 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The man accused of carrying out last month's deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper has been indicted on... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:42:30 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2018 Show-Me State Games kick off Friday, bringing thousands of athletes, coaches and fans from around the... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – Seven locations throughout the state are open Saturday for parents to come and get their children I.D.’d, free... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:58:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Gracelyn Mae Violet Griffin already had a "Little Nugget" onesie picked out for her before she arrived in... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:35:28 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An organization backing one of three competing medical marijuana initiatives in Missouri has continued to bring... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 11:26:57 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - 64 years later, a different lake and nearly triple the death toll, the duck boat... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 9:12:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Russian intelligence operatives attempted to hack into the online accounts of staffers on three congressional campaigns in the... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:46:27 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As Charlotte, North Carolina, celebrates being chosen Friday to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, an... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:05:32 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was killed Friday morning in a bicycle-to-bicycle drive-by shooting... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:34:02 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will move into a new neighborhood over the next few weeks. In July,... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Steedman man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of domestic... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded guilty in the fatal beating of his 77-year-old grandmother while he... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:59:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The FBI is in possession of a recording between President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:38:16 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY – House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty will resign from the Missouri House of Representatives effective Sunday in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 12:57:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
COLE COUNTY — The Cole County Sheriff’s Department responded to possible weapons violation on Thursday night. When the officers... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
(AP) - President Donald Trump has indicated that he's willing to hit every product imported from China with tariffs and... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:52:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
BRANSON - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley will meet with investigators Saturday at Table Rock Lake to receive a briefing... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:23:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 87°
3pm 87°
4pm 88°
5pm 88°
6pm 87°