Mizzou's Chelsea Thomas Lives Out Her Childhood Dream
COLUMBIA -- The Mizzou Softball team has a pitcher rewriting record books and making Missouri fans more pleasant. Chelsea Thomas is the two-time Big 12 pitcher of the year, when you watch her play you're not just seeing a dominant pitcher but a young woman living out her dream.
She's the most successful pitcher in Missouri Softball history and one of the best in all of the NCAA but Chelsea Thomas is just following her own instructions.
"She wrote it down in her journal when she was doing pitching lessons that her dream was to play D1 ball and make Team USA," said Dana Thomas, Chelsea's mom.
When she made Team USA in the summer of 2011, she accomplished both missions. Thomas recently broke Mizzou's record for career strike outs with another season to play.
"I'm not a big statistics person. I've always been a big fan of not caring about your statistics as long as you come out with a W," Chelsea said.
Chelsea has seen plenty of W's but two years ago, she experienced a shock when her mom Dana felt numb on her right side.
"I got a call early in the morning from my dad and they said they took her to the hospital and they didn't know what it was," said Chelsea.
Dana said, "I didn't know if I was going to be able to walk again."
"I think I burst into tears as soon as I saw her." Chelsea said, "It was pretty emotional."
"I thought I was having a stroke and went to the hospital ER and found out I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and I had no idea what it was," said Dana.
Dana researched Multiple Sclerosis, a disease effecting the central nervous system. Doctors told her how she could control the symptoms with diet and medication.
"My husband gives me shots three times a week," Dana said, "so, it's kind of a joke that it's shot night tonight."
"She calls me and she's like it's shot night. Your dad and I will be up for another hour for the shots. It's not normal, but it is normal now," said Chelsea.
The new normal has dana back teaching Kindergarten and capturing memories at Chelsea's games.
"Through diet, exercise and medications I'm back on my feet." Dana said, "I'm more thankful than ever to be able to go to her games."
"I've called every night since I left home. They come to all the games. They're just the best support system I could ever ask for," Chelsea said.
Chelsea spends after the games signing autographs and taking pictures with girls dreaming about being the next Chelsea Thomas.
Dana said, "4-5 years ago she was the one going to the games and getting autographs, so she knows."
If you're looking for Dana Thomas at a softball game, you'll have to check the outfield bleachers. She says she's a little loud s it's better she's out there.
Chelsea Thomas struck out 12 today, earning the victory as thomas and the Tigers won a Regional Championship with a 2-1 win over Illinois State.