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Cathi Aradi

Illinois Wins NFCA Leadoff Classic, Georgia Tech’s Yee and Missouri’s Thomas Take Top Honors

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Illinois Fighting Illini earned a hard-fought 7-4 win over Arkansas in its final game of the 2010 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic in Columbus, clinching the event championship for the first time in program history. 

Both Illinois and No. 6 Missouri finished the classic with perfect 5-0 records, but Illinois won the title via a tie-breaker of run differential between common opponents. Both teams picked up five-run wins over Virginia Tech, however Missouri clipped Radford by just one run while Illinois took down the Highlanders 10-0. 

No. 9 Alabama entered Sunday with an unblemished record but was upset by Central Florida, 3-2, in its weekend finale. 

Georgia Tech senior Jen Yee went 9-for-18 with 11 RBIs and five home runs over five games to earn Most Valuable Player honors, while Missouri sophomore Chelsea Thomas went 3-0 against No. 4 Michigan, No. 20 Massachusetts and Radford with 16 strikeouts to be named Most Valuable Pitcher. The entire 2010 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic tournament team can be viewed below. 

Full tournament stats, recaps, and box scores can be found here

2010 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team 

Most Valuable Player – 2B Jen Yee – Georgia Tech 
Most Valuable Pitcher – RHP Chelsea Thomas – Missouri 

All-Tournament Selections 
RHP/3B Kristen Adkins – Georgia Tech 
3B/SS Nichole Beall – Radford 
C Chelsea Bramlett – Mississippi St. 
IF Kayla Braud – Alabama 
SS/UTIL Marisha Branson – Maryland 
1B Gabriele Bridges – La.-Lafayette 
IF Jessica Davis – Illinois 
RHP Sarah Hamilton – Florida St. 
IF Abby Olson – Illinois St. 
RHP Sara Plourde – Massachusetts 
IF Sandra Smith – Arkansas 
IF Kelley Wedel – Illinois