Missouri softball back in Top 10 in national rankings

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 | 9:03 p.m. CDT; updated 9:39 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 7, 2013

COLUMBIA — After going 4-1 in the past week, the Missouri softball team (33-10, 15-8 SEC) improved to No. 8 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 7 in the Softball poll.

Last week: Missouri began the week with a doubleheader at Western Illinois. The Tigers earned two wins, outscoring the Leathernecks 22-9 in the two games. Second baseman Emily Crane hit her third home run of the season and center fielder Jenna Marston went 6-for-9 for the day with four runs scored.

Awards and recognitions

In the past week, three Missouri players have been honored with weekly and yearly awards.

P Chelsea Thomas, senior

  • Named SEC Pitcher of the Year
  • Named SEC Pitcher of the Week
  •  Named to Academic All-District 6 Team
  • Named to First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Defense
  • Selected to be on SEC Community Service Team

C Jenna Marston, senior

  • Named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
  • Named to Academic All-District 6 Team
  • Named to First Team All-SEC

OF Mackenzie Sykes, senior

  • Named to Academic All-District 6 Team

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Tennessee came to town Friday for a weekend series, but had to wait until Saturday to play after Game 1 was rained out Friday. On ESPN, Missouri's Chelsea Thomas pitched the 14th no-hitter of her career in a 2-0 Tigers victory. Saturday night before Game 1, Southeastern Conference officials mandated that Friday's game would be made up Saturday after the conclusion of the first game. In Game 2, with Nicole Hudson in the circle, Missouri was run-ruled by Tennessee, losing 10-1 in five innings.

In the final game of the series, Hudson played large roles in the circle and at the plate, giving up eight runs to the Volunteers, but also having six RBIs for the Tigers. Hudson hit two home runs in Missouri's 12-8 victory. Due to Tennessee's travel plans, they had to halt the game after 6 1/2 innings. Shortly after the game ended, the SEC decided to call it an official game and award Missouri with the victory.

This week: The SEC tournament begins Wednesday with the Tigers' first game on Thursday. Missouri will take on No. 25/21 Arkansas at 3 p.m. CST in Lexington Ky., on ESPNU. Missouri is seeded third in the tournament while Arkansas is seeded sixth.

Also Wednesday, the top 10 finalists for National Player of the Year will be revealed. Thomas was Missouri's only player in the top 25 and is a contender for the yearly honor.

Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.

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