Mizzou Softball Gears Up for NCAA Tournament
COLUMBIA -- The Missouri softball team is set to host its fifth straight NCAA Tournament regionals on Friday. The Tigers will face-off against American East Conference Tournament winner Stony Brook in the second game of the day at 5:30 p.m. after Hofstra and Oregon State kick things off at 3:00 p.m.
The Seawolves enter the Columbia Regional with a 35-23 record overall record and a 10-8 conference mark while the Tigers earned a 35-11 overall record with a 15-8 SEC record.
The big question is how the Tigers are going to work the pitching schedule around Chelsea Thomas and if she will start Friday or not. "I have not picked up a ball yet this week, I'm just doing a lot of recovery things trying to get ready for the weekend," Thomas said.
Coach Ehren Earleywine said, "Most of it is going to be about how good does Chelsea feel. I know she feels good but there has been some variation in the treatments this week and you know if she is potentially feeling better than she has leading up to the past four weekends, then there is the potential of maybe throwing her on Friday if she feels different - good different."
If Thomas doesn't pitch, the Tigers will most likely turn to senior Nicole Hudson. "It's just going to be important for us to put up runs and I think the more our offense gives Chelsea help the better off we are going to be. I know that's going to help her a lot," said Hudson.
Stony Brook enters Friday with an 0-2 NCAA Tournament record after losing to Arizona State and Mississippi State during the 2008 Tempe Regional. This will be the second time the Seawolves have faced an opponent from the SEC.