No. 12 Softball Kicks Off Conference With Jayhawks

6 years 8 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, March 15 2012 Mar 15, 2012 Thursday, March 15, 2012 6:23:00 PM CDT March 15, 2012 in Tiger Talk

COLUMBIA -- The No. 12 Missouri Tigers will play host to rival Kansas this weekend, as Big 12 Conference action gets underway. Mizzou and the Jayhawks will play in a three game series, beginning on Friday evening at 6 p.m. CT from University Field. Game two between the squads will start at 2 p.m. Saturday, with the first pitch of the finale set for Sunday at Noon.

SCOUTING KANSAS
Kansas comes into the weekend having won their last 20 contests, as they haven't lost a game since opening day. After getting swept by Tennessee-Martin and Troy on Feb. 10, the Jayhawks won the final three games of the season-opening tournament and have rallied off 17 more wins in a row since then. Kansas is outscoring their opponents by an average score of 6.5-1.5 during their streak.

The Jayhawks are hitting .325 as a team and have a combined ERA of 1.79. Leading the offense are Ashley Newman (.436 avg., 15-for-15 stolen bases), Maggie Hull (.432 avg., seven doubles, four homers, 23 RBI, .716 SLG%), and Liz Kocon (.345 avg., three home runs, 24 RBI, 14 BB). Mariah Montgomery is hitting .290 on the season and leads the team in home runs (five) and RBI (27). In the circle, Alicia Pille has seen the most action and has put together a 9-2 record with a 1.74 ERA in 14 appearances. She has 96 strikeouts and 23 walks in 64.1 innings pitched, while opponents are batting .165 off her. Kristin Martinez is 5-0 in nine appearances with a 1.53 ERA, while Morgan Druhan is 6-0 on the season with a 2.08 ERA.

Mizzou holds the all-time edge between these two Border Showdown rivals by a 61-43 edge. The Tigers have won the last four meetings and swept the Jayhawks in a doubleheader in Lawrence last year, winning 3-2 in game one and 6-5 in game two.

FOLLOW LIVE
Live stats will be available at mutigers.com, as will live video at mizzounetwork.com, which will be available for subscribers. Updates will also be tweeted from the official Mizzou Softball Twitter account (@MizzouSoftball).

WHAT'S NEXT
Mizzou will host a doubleheader against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday, March 21, at University Field. Game one will kick off at 3 p.m. CT with the second game beginning at approximately 5 p.m.

FOLLOW MIZZOU SOFTBALL ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
Tiger softball fans can follow along with the season through many of the program's social media options. On Twitter, Mizzou fans can follow the team's official account, @MizzouSoftball. Assistant Coach Pete D'Amour is also on Twitter (@MizzouSBcoach). On Facebook, fans can go to facebook.com/MizzouSoftball to track down the team's official page.

TIGERS SHUTOUT RAZORBACKS, 4-0
In their first midweek game of the season, the No. 12 Missouri Tigers improved their winning streak to 12 straight games with a 4-0 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Mizzou has now won five straight games against their future SEC opponent.

Chelsea Thomas tossed four no-hit innings to improve to 8-1 on the year. Bailey Erwin came out of relief and tossed two shutout innings, allowing one hit while striking out three. Kristin Nottelmann pitched the seventh inning, giving up a hit and striking out one. Thomas struck out seven batters and issued one walk in the win.

Missouri put up two runs in the top of the first inning, as Nicole Hudson singled in a run with two outs, with an error on the play allowing another run to score. Hudson's hit plated Jenna Marston, who reached on a fielder's choice, and Ashley Fleming, who singled earlier in the inning. The score would stand at 2-0 until the top of the seventh, when the Tigers were able to add insurance with two down. Hudson singled up the middle for her second base hit of the afternoon, and Angela Randazzo followed by belting her second homer of the season, extending Mizzou's lead to 4-0.

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