Coach Earleywine has completed an impressive 2013 recruiting class, with verbal commitments from four outstanding players. By the time the 2013 class takes the field, Chelsea Thomas will have completed her eligibility at Missouri. And, Coach Earleywine has already addressed the pitching position at Missouri for years to come.
A talented right-handed pitcher from the east coast, Tori Finucane 5'7" 130 Germantown (MD) Bishop O'Connell, has pledged a verbal commitment to play for Missouri. Finucane is considered one of the nation's top pitchers in her class.
"I think my drop ball has been getting a lot better," said Finucane recently. "So, I've been using that a lot more…………………………………… It's getting a better bite to it."
Finucane said that her rise ball is her highest velocity pitch, which is just a little bit faster than her drop ball, which is usually in the high 60s. She also throws a change-up, a curve, and she has a screwball, as well.
Finucane's interest in pursuing sports broadcasting is one factor in her decision to choose Missouri.
"I'm real excited," said Finucane, talking about her verbal commitment to play at Missouri. "I think it's just like the perfect fit for me, the whole atmosphere, the coaching staff, and the journalism program."
After beginning her high-school career at Good Council High, where as a freshman, she went 14-2 with a 0.36 ERA, including five no-hitters, and registered 222 strikeouts out of the 408 batters she faced, Finucane transferred to Bishop O'Connell High, where she had to sit out most of the 2011 school season.
"Tori (Finucane) is just a great kid," said Good Counsel Head Coach Paula Obal. "She was being actively recruited by just about every top school in the nation. She's a pretty phenomenal pitcher! She's the real deal! She's also an excellent student, and an excellent person. She's something very, very special."
O'Connell has several players that Tori has played with on the 16U Virginia Shamrock's club team in the past and the O'Connell Head Coach was the head of the Shamrock's organization for most of her time with the team.
Last summer, Finucane played on the 18U Jersey Intensity Premier team along with current Missouri freshman Corrin Genovese.
"My new school has been awesome," said Finucane, referring to O'Connell. "Everything's been a lot of fun. The academics and the sports are great!"
As I write this, Finucane is in the midst of her junior season, pitching for O'Connell. She is 17-1, with a minuscule 0.14 ERA, and she has registered 203 strikeouts, against just 13 walks, in 99 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .091 against Finucane this season. She has thus far recorded 4 no-hitters this season, along with 9 complete-game shutouts, and she has been a part of 6 more team shutouts.
This summer, Finucane will play for the 18U Shamrocks along with many of her high school teammates. She's set to sign with Missouri in November.
"I would love to visit Missouri this summer, but I don't think I'll be able to," explained Finucane, who will go from pitching for O'Connell immediately into a busy summer schedule with the Shamrocks.
"It definitely gets me really excited (about coming to Missouri, whenever I get to visit)," explained Finucane, who has been to Missouri a few times for unofficial visits. "I think about coming to Missouri all of the time! It's become such a major part of my life. It's very exciting, as each day it gets closer and closer! I'm definitely (looking forward to it)."
Finucane still has another year of high school before she matriculates to Missouri. She's an admitted perfectionist who is continually working on improving her pitching skills, which is good news to Genovese and other members of Missouri's current freshmen class, who will be juniors when Finucane arrives for her freshman year. Coach Earleywine continues to recruit at an increasingly high level, and the future looks bright in the world of Missouri Softball. The beat goes on.