The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

June 15, 2013

Nicole Hudson named to Team USA softball roster

Nicole Hudson, former standout for the Webb City Cardinals and Missouri Tigers, was named Friday to the 2013 USA Softball Women’s National Team.

The 18-player team was determined from 32 players invited to a three-day selection camp at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.

“That was truly one of the coolest experiences of my life,” Hudson posted on Twitter after the tryouts ended.

Team USA will compete in three events during the next two months — the World Cup of Softball VIII from July 11-14 in Oklahoma City, the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship from July 16-22 in Surrey, British Columbia, and the International Softball Federation Women’s World Championship/Pan American Games from Aug. 5-18 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Ken Eriksen, head coach at South Florida, is the national team’s head coach. His assistants are Laura Berg, head coach at Oregon State; Suzy Brazney, head coach at Golden West College; Howard Dobson, assistant at LSU; Karen Weekly, co-head coach at Tennessee; and Mike White, head coach at Oregon.

Hudson finished her career at Missouri as the Tigers’ all-team leader in walks (143), and her 47 career home runs were one shy of the school mark. She’s also on the top-10 career lists for hits (208), doubles (48), at-bats (654), runs scored (151) and runs batted in (173).

Last season Hudson batted .308 with 16 home runs and 45 RBI, earning second team all-Southeastern Conference honors. She hit home runs in her first two at-bats of the season, and she celebrated Senior Day with two home runs — one of them a grand slam — and a career-high six RBI in a 12-8 victory over Tennessee. She also was the winning pitcher.

Hudson posted an 11-6 record as a pitcher with six complete games in 13 starts.

She also hit above .300 in her first three seasons at Mizzou — .323 as a freshman, .337 as a sophomore and .301 as a junior. She earned first team all-Big 12 as a sophomore and second-team laurels as a freshman and junior, and she was first team academic all-Big 12 as a sophomore and junior.

The Tigers finished 38-14 this season, ranked No. 11 in the final poll and were third in the SEC with a 15-8 mark. Missouri lost to Florida in the SEC Postseason Tournament final, and the Tigers then lost their super regional at home to Washington 2-1 in eight innings and 1-0.

During Hudson’s four-year career, the Tigers compiled a 189-54 record and advanced to the College World Series in 2010 and 2011. They lost in the super regional to LSU in 2012.

In high school, Hudson was a four-time all-state selection for coach Walter Resa’s Cardinals, and she set the state record for career home runs

Hudson’s former Missouri teammate Rhea Taylor, a three-time All-American, made Team USA for the third consecutive year. She helped the team to a first-place finish at the Pan American Games in 2011 and a silver medal in the International Softball Federation Women’s World Championships last year.

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