Mizzou Softball Named Midwest Region Staff of the Year

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COLUMBIA -- The Missouri softball coaching staff, featuring head coach Ehren Earleywine, assistant coaches Pete D'Amour and Melissa Tucci, volunteer assistant coach Phil Bradley and director of operations Gina Schneider was named the 2012 Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year, announced Thursday by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). This is the third time in the last four years that Missouri has claimed this award, as the Tiger staff won it in both 2009 and 2010.

In Earleywine's sixth year at the helm of the Tigers softball program, Missouri won their fifth straight NCAA Regional and were one win away from advancing to their fourth straight Women's College World Series. They finished with a record of 47-17, marking the fifth consecutive year that Mizzou has won at least 47 games. In the final NFCA/USA Today and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls of the year, the Tigers came in at No. 11 in both.

With a 17-7 record in Big 12 play, the Tigers placed second in the league, two games behind first place. Six members of the team were selected to the All-Big 12 team, with senior Ashley Fleming, redshirt junior Chelsea Thomas and sophomore Mackenzie Sykes taking home First Team Honors and juniors Nicole Hudson and Jenna Marston and freshman Kelsea Roth placed on the second team.

Additionally, Mizzou claimed eight First Team Academic All-Big 12 selections, while Thomas, Fleming and Marston were each named Academic All-Americans. Thomas was also named an NFCA First Team All-American for the second straight year, while Fleming earned her second straight Second Team All-American selection to close out her career.