Senior Week Showdown: Softball Hosts Missouri

April 27, 2007

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#8 BAYLOR (42-11, 11-2) HOSTS #21 MISSOURI (35-19, 11-2)

APRIL 28, 2007 - 2:00 PM

APRIL 29, 2007 - 1:00 PM






No. 21 Missouri at No. 8 Baylor, 2:00 p.m.



No. 21 Missouri at No. 8 Baylor, 1:00 p.m.



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Baylor vs. Missouri: Missouri leads 19-14

Waco, Texas: Missouri leads 9-7

Columbia, Mo.: Series tied 5-5

Neutral: Missouri leads 5-2


First-place in the Big 12 Conference standings is on the line as the No. 8 Baylor softball team hosts No. 21 Missouri for a two-game series. Game one is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, at 2:00 p.m. while the series finale is slated for Sunday, April 29, at 1:00 p.m.


The teams enter the key series tied atop the conference standings with identical 11-2 records as Oklahoma stands just percentage points behind the Lady Bears and Tigers with a 13-3 record.


The series is also designated Senior Weekend for the Lady Bears as seniors Lisa Ferguson, Chelsi Lake, Ashley Monceaux and Miriam Romero will be honored for their time at Baylor following Sunday's contest.


Baylor enters the weekend riding a three-game winning streak after concluding a five-game road swing with a win at Texas State. Monceaux continues to lead the Lady Bears attack as the first baseman leads the team with a .404 batting average, 15 home runs and 54 RBI on the season. Brette Reagan has led the charge during conference play as the sophomore is tied for first in the Big 12 with a .500 average and leads the team with five home runs and 19 RBI.


Lisa Ferguson and Kirsten Shortridge will get the call in the circle as Ferguson, who recently became Baylor's career leader in wins, leads the team with a 20-6 record and 1.88 ERA on the year. Having a stellar freshman season, Shortridge enters the series with a 14-3 record and 2.01 ERA on the year.


Baylor has won three straight in the series; however, Missouri owns a 19-14 record all-time against the Lady Bears.


For tickets, contact the Baylor Ticket Office at 1-800-BAYLOR-U or 254-710-1000.



Missouri, who completed its fourth conference sweep of the campaign Thursday night with a sweep of Iowa State, enters Getterman Stadium with a 19-14 lead in the all-time series and is 6-4 over the past five road trips to Waco.


Having won 13 of its last 15 games, the Tigers are 11-8 on the road this season with junior ace Jen Bruck claiming six of the Tigers' victories. Missouri's pitching staff has combined for a 1.54 ERA in the Big 12, good enough for second-best in the conference behind Texas A&M (0.75). Bruck, 9-2 in league meetings, has been credited with four of Missouri's wins over ranked opponents. On the season, Bruck has posted a 17-8 record and 2.85 ERA in 149.2 innings of work. 


Micaela Minner leads the way at the plate for the Tigers as the junior has posted a .374 batting average, six home runs and 36 RBI on the season.



With a win against Texas State, Baylor senior Lisa Ferguson broke the Baylor career win mark as the right-hander now owns a career record of 76-35 in three-plus seasons.


With the victory against the Bobcats, Ferguson broke Stacey Allison's (1996-99) career mark of 75 wins for the most career wins in Baylor softball history. Ferguson is start to rewrite the Baylor record book as the senior owns the career lead in saves (19) and victories (75) and ranks in the top three in 10 career categories.


The senior has been a force in the circle this year, posting a 20-6 record and 1.88 ERA on the year. In all but four innings this season, the right-hander has been in complete control. In games (31-of-35 appearances) in which she did not allow an inning of four or more runs, she has posted a 20-3 record and 1.05 ERA.



Over the last few seasons, Baylor has always been known for its speed. This year is no different as the Lady Bears head into the contest with the Tigers leading the Big 12 Conference with 127 stolen bases in 145 attempts.


This season, Baylor speed and conditioning coach Brandon Marcello and the Lady Bears coaching staff have created a club called "The Baylor Jets" to honor the speedsters in the Baylor line-up.


Starting this year; while recognizing speedsters from the past, "The Baylor Jets' is an elite club for the fastest players to come through the Baylor softball program. Starting in 2007, each time a player "earns their wings," the player will get a sticker of a jet to go on the back of their batting helmet. 


In order to "earn their wings," a player must meet the following criteria: post a time of 2.78 second from home-to-first, record a combination of at least 25 stolen bases and infield singles throughout the year and have a shuttle time average of 62 seconds or less with one time less than 60 seconds.


With the above criteria in mind, Miriam Romero, Tiffany Wesley and Nicole Wesley have all "earned their wings" for the 2007 season and will play the rest of the year with a sticker of a jet on the back of their helmet. Former jets in the Baylor program include Kelly Levesque, Carrie Leerberg, Kim Wilmoth and Harmony Schwethelm.



Baylor enters the series with the Tigers as winners of 16-of-18 contests. During the hot streak, which included a 13-game winning streak, the Baylor offense has hit at an impressive .313 clip while the pitching staff has been dominant in the circle, posting a 16-2 record and 1.88 ERA while holding opponents to a .205average.


Brette Reagan has led the attack during the streak, posting a .438 batting average with six home runs and 23 RBI. Kirsten Shortridge has also been hot at the plate, posting a .375 average with eight runs scored. During the streak, seven players are currently batting .300 or higher as four players have scored at least 10 runs in the last 18 games.


In the circle, Lisa Ferguson and Shortridge have combined for a 14-2 record as the duo has combined to strike out 78 batters while holding opponents to a .203 batting average.



With a home run at the Bank of Hawai'i Invitational, Chelsi Lake moved into first place, surpassing former Baylor star Kelly Osburn (2003-06), in the Baylor career home run category. Lake has now hit 43 career home runs as the senior already holds the Baylor single-season home run mark with 18 round-trippers in 2006.


The career milestone is just one of a number of Baylor marks Lake has passed during the 2007 campaign as the senior already holds the Lady Bears career record with 176 RBI. In addition, Lake just surpassed Osburn's career total bases mark of 395 as she now has 399 for her career and recently broke Osburn's career doubles mark of 43 with a double in the victory over Oklahoma State.



Over the past few years, the Baylor offense has had tremendous success at the plate and this year has been no different. So far this season, Baylor has posted a .321 batting average on the year and currently ranks second in the league and ninth in the country in the category. In addition, the Lady Bears have hit 50 home runs on the season and have posted an impressive .481 slugging percentage.


Leading the way for Baylor has been senior Ashley Monceaux. Monceaux leads the Lady Bears with a .404 batting average, 15 home runs and 54 RBI. The senior first baseman has posted an almost unbelievable .788 slugging percentage and 119 total bases as she ranks among the top ten in the conference in eight different categories.


As a team, Baylor currently features six players batting over .300 on the season, including freshman Kirsten Shortridge (.362), Nicole Wesley (.333) and Tiffany Wesley (.306).



Since the stadium opened, Getterman Stadium has been kind to the Lady Bears as Baylor owns a 164-53 mark all-time at the stadium since it opened in 1999. So far this season, Baylor is an impressive 25-1 at home as last year Baylor went 21-8 in the friendly confines of Getterman Stadium. Since the stadium opened, no Lady Bears team has lost more than 10 games at home in a single season.


Baylor's best mark at home came during the 2004 campaign when the Lady Bears enjoyed a 26-4 record at home, including a 24-2 mark during the regular season.


In the stadium's six years of existence, attendance has steadily risen as Baylor set a pair of attendance records last season. Last season, Baylor set a single-game attendance record when 1,455 fans attended the BU-Texas game to close out the home portion of the schedule.



The Baylor softball team is currently ranked No. 8 in the Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll. In addition, Baylor earned a No. 10 ranking in the latest USA Today/NFCA Top 25.


Baylor is one of five Big 12 Conference school ranked in both polls as Texas A&M (No. 6, No. 5), Oklahoma (No. 3, No. 3), Missouri (RV, No. 21) and Texas (No. 23, No. 18) join the Lady Bears in the polls.


Tennessee, after opening the year No. 2 in the national polls, has moved to No. 1 in the rankings in both polls.


Baylor's appearance in both polls marks the 53rd consecutive week the Lady Bears have appeared in the NFCA Top 25 and the 52nd consecutive week the team has appeared in the USA Softball Top 25. The last time Baylor failed to appear in either poll was March 16, 2004. Within the Big 12 Conference, only Texas A&M and Oklahoma have currently appeared in the national polls for more consecutive weeks.



Several Lady Bears are aiming to continue making their way up the career charts in 2007. Below is a list of Lady Bears who currently rank in the top ten in one of the career categories:



RUNS: Chelsi Lake (99, 7th)

HITS: Chelsi Lake (210, t-6th)

MULTIPLE-HIT GAMES: Chelsi Lake (52, t-6th)

DOUBLES: Chelsi Lake (45, 1st)

TRIPLES: Chelsi Lake (t-10th, 4)

HOME RUNS: Chelsi Lake (1st, 42); Ashley Monceaux (4th, 23); Brette Reagan (6th, 21)

TOTAL BASES: Chelsi Lake (399, 1st)

SACRIFICE FLIES: Chelsi Lake (t-1st, 9)



APPEARANCES: Lisa Ferguson (3rd, 163); Ashley Monceaux (10th, 29)

GAMES STARTED: Lisa Ferguson (3rd, 111)

RELIEF APPEARANCES: Lisa Ferguson (2nd, 52)

WINS: Lisa Ferguson (1st, 76); Kirsten Shortridge (9th, 14)

LOSSES: Lisa Ferguson (5th, 35); Brittany Turner (t-8th, 5)

DECISIONS: Lisa Ferguson (3rd, 111)

COMPLETE GAMES: Lisa Ferguson (2nd, 59)

SHUTOUTS: Lisa Ferguson (2nd, 27)

SAVES: Lisa Ferguson (1st, 19)

INNINGS PITCHED: Lisa Ferguson (2nd, 747.1); Kirsten Shortridge (9th, 116.0); Ashley Monceaux (10th, 103.1)

STRIKEOUTS: Lisa Ferguson (3rd, 569); Ashley Monceaux (10th, 76); Kirsten Shortridge (9th, 99)



Baylor continues its four-game homestand as the Lady Bears host No. 5 Texas A&M on Tuesday, April 31, at 6:30 p.m.



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