Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas finalist for softball player of the year

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | 8:48 p.m. CDT; updated 12:00 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 11, 2013

COLUMBIA – With a 14-3 record and a 1.50 ERA this season, Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas was named a top-25 finalist for the 2013 Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.

As the team's ace, Thomas has started all but seven games this season for the No. 8/9 Tigers (23-4, 8-3 SEC). She has 131 strikeouts in 102.1 innings this season.

This is Thomas' third time being named to the top-25 list. In 2012, Thomas was a top-25 finalist, and in 2011, she was one of three finalists.

Thomas is the only Missouri player on the list, but there are 11 total finalists from the Southeastern Conference, including four players from No. 4/5 Alabama. There are three players from the Big 12 Conference.

The top-10 finalists will be announced May 8, followed by the top-three announced May 22 and then the Player of the Year will be announced May 28.

The Tigers' ace is one win away from tying Teresa Wilson as the all-time Missouri wins leader. Thomas owns the school strikeout record with 1,029 and has the third lowest ERA in the SEC this season.

Thomas will look to tie and break the wins record this weekend when Missouri hosts a series against Arkansas (26-14, 4-7 SEC). Thomas is likely to start all three games.

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