Missouri wins three Big 12 awards

COLUMBIA — The Missouri softball team captured a trio of Big 12 Conference individual honors, it was announced Tuesday.

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Ehren Earleywine was selected as Big 12 Coach of the Year. Earleywine led the Tigers to their first conference title since 1997 this season, finishing with a 15-3 record.

It’s the third conference coaching honor for the Jefferson City native, who won it with Missouri in 2007 and was the ACC’s top coach in 2005 while at Georgia Tech.

Chelsea Thomas was named the Pitcher of the Year. The redshirt sophomore went 13-3 with a 1.03 ERA in conference action this season, racking up 166 strikeouts in 1152⁄3 innings.

For the season, Thomas is tied for second in the NCAA with a 0.81 ERA while posting a 27-5 record.

Thomas is also one of the 10 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.

Megan Christopher, a senior catcher, was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year She threw out 42 percent of attempted base stealers in conference play, while committing just one error.

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