Two Missouri softball players earn SEC honors

Monday, February 18, 2013 | 5:33 p.m. CST; updated 10:22 p.m. CST, Monday, February 18, 2013

COLUMBIA – Nicole Hudson earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors, and Chelsea Thomas was named Pitcher of the Week after leading the Missouri softball team to a 5-0 start this weekend.

Thomas, a senior who was named the 2012 Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year, went 2-0 at the Gaucho Classic at University of California, Santa Barbara, allowing just five hits and striking out 19 combined in her two outings. 

Before the season began, Tigers coach Ehren Earleywine made it clear that he did not want to overuse Thomas, hoping that Hudson would step up as a third starter, behind sophomore Bailey Erwin.

Hudson pitched in Game 3 of the tournament, allowing three runs on eight hits in a five-inning, run-rule game. She helped her own cause going 1-for-3 with a home run and two walks.

In the five games of the Gaucho Classic, Hudson hit five home runs, going 7-for-12 with 11 RBIs. Hudson's success with both hitting and pitching has led Earleywine to compare her to Major League Baseball great Babe Ruth.

Thomas, Hudson and the rest of the Tigers continue their California road trip with the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs where the team will face Maryland, San Diego State and new SEC foe Florida. The tournament begins at 3 p.m. CT Thursday.

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