COLUMBIA – In sports, stats are used to judge how well a player is doing. But sometimes, they can be misleading.
According to the stats sheet, redshirt freshman Carlie Rose leads the No. 8/9 Missouri softball team with a .476 batting average, but the right fielder and coach Ehren Earleywine know that she’s not hitting quite the way her average portrays.
Missouri ace Chelsea Thomas (15-3) earned her 102nd career win as a Tiger, tying Teresa Wilson for the all-time wins record. Thomas didn't even realize how big the win was until it was announced on the scoreboard after the game.
"That's pretty special to be a part of this history for Mizzou softball," Thomas said. "I'm very grateful to be here and to be able to have the chance to do that."
Thomas looks to break the record Saturday against Arkansas as she is expected to start Game 2.
“I think her numbers are a little inflated,” Earleywine said.
So when Rose went 2 for 3 Friday in the 9-0 Missouri (24-4, 9-3 SEC) win over Arkansas (26-16, 4-9 SEC), she didn’t think she did very well.
“I’m rolling over on the ball, so I got to just keep swinging and make a better next time,” Rose said.
In practice, Rose is working on not rolling over on the ball in her at-bats. Sophomore Kelsea Roth, who lives with Rose, said her roommate has been working hard in practice to get to this point of more playing time.
“At practice, and even in games, she’s just smoking the ball,” Roth said. “I’m really glad that she’s getting in there and doing what she needs to do right now.”
Rose has only started 12 of Missouri’s 28 games but is beginning to see more playing time. In her past three starts, she has gone 8 for 12 with three runs.
“All in all, for a kid who’s a redshirt freshman to have jumped in there and to be hitting like she’s hitting is definitely something that we didn’t count on,” Earleywine said. “So I’m very thankful for it and she’s going to continue to get starts.”
Last year Earleywine decided to redshirt Rose. After sitting out her freshman year, Rose realized the importance of not taking the game for granted.
“It’s just 10 times better being on the field playing,” Rose said. “It just really makes you thankful to be playing this sport.”
In the top of the fifth inning, Earleywine decided to replace Rose with Kayla Kingsley in right field. Before he walked into the dugout he leaned against the fence and told her she was going to be taken out because of her hitting.
“She just got jammed and the unfortunate part is that in both those balls she got jammed, she was in a two ball and no strike count,” Earleywine said. “Ya know, that’s just something that she’ll get better at as she matures as a hitter.
Earleywine said he is likely to start Sarah Moore in right field Saturday in the 2 p.m. game against Arkansas. Even though Rose reached base all but one time and was responsible for two Tiger runs, she still wasn’t hitting well.
While she’s not hitting the way that she wants, Rose keeps a positive outlook on her time on the team.
“It just feels good to have your dream come true, let alone being on the field and I’m just making the most out of it,” Rose said. “It just feels good to be on the field and to be playing.”