Three Missouri softball players earn All-American honors

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | 7:06 p.m. CDT; updated 10:18 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Three Missouri softball players have earned All-American honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The group ties a program best, set when three Missouri players were given the honor in 2001.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Chelsea Thomas, who was previously named Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year, was named to the first team. Junior Ashley Fleming was named to the second team, and Rhea Taylor was named to the third team.

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Thomas, a finalist for the National Player of the Year award, holds the mark for the nation’s best ERA at 0.83. She is 31-6 this season, one win shy of the school record. Her 364 strikeouts through super regional play is a program best. In 2010, Thomas missed most of the season with a stress fracture in her pitching arm but has pitched 245.2 of 400 innings for Missouri this season. She is a first-time All-American.

Fleming, who plays outfield and first base for Missouri, leads the team with a .721 slugging percentage and boasts a .358 batting average. She recorded 62 RBIs along with 14 home runs and an on-base percentage of .452. She is also 62-for-62 in the field and 16-for-16 in stolen bases. She is also a first time All-American.

Taylor, who heads to the Women’s College World Series for the third consecutive season, holds Missouri’s best batting average at .371. She has scored 52 runs this season and has stolen 43 bases in 45 attempts. Taylor is also second in the Big 12 Conference all-time with a .407 career batting average. Taylor is a three-time All-American, having been named to the third team in 2010 and the second team in 2008.

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