May 24, 2009

Los Angeles, Calif. - Freshman Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa) pitched 11th-ranked Missouri (49-9) to its first NCAA Super Regional victory, upsetting second seeded UCLA (44-10), 2-1 at Easton Field in Los Angeles. Missouri's eighth straight win of the season, it marked the Tigers' first ever win over the Bruins and snapped UCLA's nine game win streak.

Thomas, now 16-4 on the year has thrown an impressive 32 innings since May 9 and allowed just two earned runs. The night cap against UCLA saw Thomas hurl 88 pitches, striking out three while allowing just two walks.

After struggling through a three-up, three-down first inning, Missouri's bats warmed in the second frame, as leadoff batter Micaela Minner (Sanger, Texas) opened the inning with a single through the left side. Pinch runner Michaele Vock (Morrison, Ill.) replaced Minner at first and scored on second baseman Andee Allen's (Barnhart, Mo.)11th double of the season, a one out knock to left center. Allen rounded second and made her way to third on the throw, but was left on base after back-to-back Tigers went down on strikes.

Returning to the top of the order in the third inning, two-time All-Midwest Region honoree Rhea Taylor legged out her third triple of the campaign, sending the ball to the left field wall. Taylor scored on two hole hitter Gina Schneider's (Liberty, Mo.) sacrifice fly to left field. With the hard hit triple, Taylor extended her hitting streak to a team high 14 games.

Missouri's defense proved solid in the field escaping UCLA scoring threats in the first, fourth and sixth innings. For her part, sixth year senior Minner made a diving stab for out number one in the second inning. The Tigers backed up Thomas in the field, stranding seven Bruins on base.

UCLA got on the board late in the game, after leadoff batter Katie Schroeder hit a full count home run over the left field wall. Thomas answered, striking out the Bruin's two-hole hitter, forcing a groundout from pitcher Megan Langenfeld and forcing a third out line drive.

Game two of the best-of-three series will begin Sunday, May 24 at 2:30 p.m. (CT), with the if necessary game slated for a 4:30 p.m. (CT) start. Both games will be televised live on ESPNU.