MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois softball will face No. 11 Missouri in double header action on Wednesday (May 1) at Mary Ellen McKee Stadium. First pitch of game one is slated for 3 p.m.
The Leathernecks are 14-21 overall in 2013, while the Tigers are 29-9 heading into the midweek action. Each game will be covered by Mediacom and televised at a later date.
LIVE AUDIO: 88.3 FM The Dog
Nico Haeflinger (PBP) & Mitch Winkelman (Color)
LAST TIME OUT: After falling 4-0 and 6-4 to Summit League member Omaha in double header action on Saturday (April 27), Western recovered recording a 4-3 comeback win over the Mavericks on Sunday (April 28)... Megg Kelly drove in the go-ahead run with a two-RBI double to left field in the top of the seventh inning and the defense retired Omaha in order to solidify the win... Kelsey Michelini picked up the complete game victory in the circle and fanned five... Teagan Walsh and Sammy Marshall each picked up two hits and Kelly led the team with two RBI.
A LOOK AT THE TIGERS: Southeastern Conference member Missouri currently owns a 29-9 overall mark and a No. 11 national ranking... Nine Tigers are hitting above .300, led by Emily Crane who has a .362 (42-for-116) batting average with 12 doubles... Nicole Hudson and Kelsea Roth are each in double figures for home runs with 13 and 12, respectively... Starting pitcher Chelsea Thomas has logged a team-most 149.1 innings in the circle, 19 wins and 182 strikeouts... She owns an ERA of 1.31 and has tossed 12 complete games... The Missouri roster consists of five freshmen, seven sophomores, two juniors and six seniors.
SERIES HISTORY: Western Illinois trails the Tigers in all-time meetings 5-28... When the squads met on April 18, 2012, Western fell 8-0... The last time the Leathernecks recorded a win over Missouri was on March 17, 2007... The final score was 9-8.
JET SETTING: Sammy Marshall swiped two bags in competition at Omaha last weekend to tie the Western Illinois Career Stolen Bases record of 74 held by Stef Ryan (1991-94)... With one more stolen base, she will be in sole possession of the record as a sophomore.
TALLYING TOSS OUTS: Freshman right fielder Karissa Kouchis notched her 11th outfield assist of the season in game one of the Omaha series... She leads the Leatherneck outfield who now has a total of 18 throw outs on the year... Junior center fielder Briana Williams adds five to the tally, followed by junior Monica Rondon who has two this season.
TRIPPING OUT: The Fighting Leathernecks are currently ranked seventh nationally in triples per game (0.34)... Sammy Marshall has a team-most five this season, which is good for a fourth place ranking in triples per game (0.16) and 12th in triples (5)... Karissa Kouchis has a pair of triples on the season... Also contributing to the team's 12 triples count with one apiece are Megg Kelly, Briana Williams, Teagan Walsh, Alex Pflieger and Monica Rondon.
FOOTSPEED: Western currently ranks 17th nationally averaging 1.86 stolen bases per game in 2013... As a team, the Leathernecks are 65-73 on the basepaths and are led by Sammy Marshall with 29 steals... Briana Williams is also in double figures with 22 stolen bases... Also adding steals to the total amount are Ryleigh Sears, Karissa Kouchis, Alex Pflieger, Lia Romeo, Monica Rondon and Tierney Bottino.
NATIONAL RANKS: According to the most recent release of national statistics on April 28, Western Illinois ranks seventh in triples per game (0.34) and 17th in stolen bases per game (1.86)... Sammy Marshall paces the nation in stolen bases per game (0.94), ranks fourth in batting average (.479) and triples per game (0.16), 12th in triples (5) and 14th in on-base percentage (.546)... Lia Romeo is seventh in hit by pitch per game (0.43) and 52nd in sacrifice flies (3)... Briana Williams is 18th in stolen bases per game (0.65)... Monica Rondon is 79th in home runs per game (0.26)... Megg Kelly ranks 95th in walks per game (0.6).
PRESEASON PICKS: Junior Briana Williams and sophomore Sammy Marshall were named to the Preseason All-League Teams by College Sports Madness on Monday (Jan. 14)... Marshall was predicted to earn First Team honors, while Williams was selected to earn Second Team recognition from the Summit League in 2013... Marshall is the lone returner for the Leathernecks who was awarded All-League honors in 2012... She garnered First Team honors after being crowned the NCAA Stolen Base Champion, setting Western Illinois and Summit League single season steal records, leading the league in batting average (.420) and stolen bases (45-for-45), and earning Summit League Player of the Week honors on three occasions.
SUMMIT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL: Western Illinois was voted to finish third in the conference in 2013 according to the Summit League Preseason Poll released on Friday (Feb. 1) with 46 points... North Dakota State was selected to take first tallying 64 points and eight first place votes, followed by Fort Wayne who was picked to finish second with 56 points and one first place vote... Kansas City was voted fourth (40 points) followed closely by Omaha for fifth (38 points)... South Dakota (28 points), IUPUI (26 points), South Dakota State (17 points) and Oakland (nine points) rounded out final spots in the poll... Poll results were decided by a vote of the league's nine head coaches.