COLUMBIA — Not many coaches would be unhappy with a pitcher throwing back-to-back, eight-strikeout shutouts. Then again, not every coach has the same standards for his pitchers that Ehren Earleywine has for Chelsea Thomas.
Thomas defeated Boise State in a 8-0 run-rule victory for the second day in a row Saturday, but Earleywine stressed that Thomas needs to improve on getting ahead in the count.
"I think she might've even done worse than yesterday," he said after Saturday's game. "Part of it really shows just how great she is. She can get behind and she has such great stuff, she can get away with it."
With Missouri entering conference play next weekend against Kansas, Earleywine is looking for quick improvement from his ace.
"You can get away with that this weekend, but when we get into the Big 12 and postseason play, those are things that cost you ballgames," he said.
After three offensive blowouts, the Missouri offense took slightly longer to get going against Boise State's ace Aubray Zell, but ended the game with a four-run fifth inning after Zell was taken out.
Junior catcher Jenna Marston led the Tigers at the plate, going 3-for-4 and ending the game a home run short of the cycle.
"I think it was our best outing of the year offensively because that was a good pitcher," Earleywine said. "She has beat some good teams and will beat some good teams, and we made quick work of her."
The win was Missouri's second of the day after it blew out Alcorn State in the opener of the doubleheader, 9-1. The Tigers are now 4-0 on the weekend and 14-3 on the season.
Thomas will have the day off tomorrow as the Tigers wrap up the DeMarini Invitational with games against Northern Illinois at noon and Alcorn State at 2 p.m.