Thomas Named NFCA All-American For Third Time
COLUMBIA - Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas was named a First Team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), as announced Wednesday. The Tiger ace finishes her career with three First Team All-America honors to her credit.
The winningest pitcher in Mizzou history (111-31), Thomas pitched to a 24-6 record in 2013 with a 1.16 ERA, which ranks sixth in the nation. She struck out 232 batters in 198.1 innings of work, a strikeout total that stands ninth in school history even after a season marred by numerous weather-related game cancellations. Thomas' efforts from 2011 (397 strikeouts) and 2012 (306 strikeouts) rank as the top two single-season marks.
Thomas was recognized as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year this season, adding to her two Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors in 2011 and 2012. Thomas finished the conference regular season with league-bests in conference wins (13), conference strikeouts (117) and conference opposing batting average (.176). Thomas also added a First Team All-SEC nod to her two First Team All-Big 12 honors (2011, 2012). She was additionally recognized to the All-SEC Defensive Team.
The standout Tiger was a Top 25 Finalist for USA Softball's Player of the Year award for the third time in her career this past season. Thomas was a Top Three Finalist for the honor in 2011.
Thomas earned five SEC Pitcher of the Week awards in 2013, becoming just the second player in SEC history to win five weekly pitcher awards in a single season (Monica Abbott, Tennessee, 2005). She totaled 17 overall conference weekly honors during her time in the Black & Gold.
Mizzou's second three-time All-American (2011, 12, 13) was also a stellar classroom performer, twice being recognized to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I softball team and taking First Team honors in 2013. Former Tiger Rhea Taylor earned Second Team All-America in 2008 and finished her career with two Third Team All-America nods in 2010 and 2011.
Thomas' recognition is the 10th All-America selection in seventh-year head coach Ehren Earleywine's tenure.