MSU Softball Standout Natalie Rose Ruled Academically Ineligible
SPRINGFIELD, MO - Natalie Rose, the starting pitcher on the Missouri State softball team, was ruled academically ineligible Wednesday. The junior cannot compete for the Bears in this weekend's NCAA Tournament regional. It also extends to the 2011 fall semester.
"I was completely blindsided," coach Holly Hesse said Wednesday. "Natalie's had rock-solid academic semesters here. She's never had any problems. Natalie is very disappointed in herself. She knows she's really let the team down, let the program down, let Missouri State down and let the Valley down."
Hesse said Rose, who was taking upper-level criminology courses for the first time, did not pass the required six total hours to be eligible. She said it was the first time in 23 years she has had a player ruled academically ineligible.
Rose, who addressed her team Tuesday and was not at practice Wednesday, was named the most valuable player of Missouri Valley Conference Tournament after throwing every pitch of four consecutive wins. She is 22-19 with a 2.11 earned run average, started 39 games and had 258 strikeouts in 265 innings.
"It happened; that's all there is to it," senior Christa Gammon said. "We're going to move on. We know our pitchers are going to be able to step up."
Freshman Savannah Wiggins will take the circle for the Bears on Friday against Tulsa. She made 12 starts and 23 appearances and is 7-3 with a 4.04 ERA.