Monday Musings

Fresh off of my trip to Como for the Spring Football game, and we start to wind down the spring and 2007-2008 season for the Mizzou Tigers.  Speaking of which, I am not too terribly sure what I am going to do in this spot come June or so when baseball finally quits for the season.  I guess I still owe you guys a 2008-2009 wrestling preview....will get to that one of these days.  Other than that, I will likely leave all the football previewing to my better suited counterparts, so maybe I will take the summer off. Who knows...but here we go for with another packed docket.

Click 'Full Story' for musings.

Football:
Not really much left to say other than I applaud the AD for tricking a mess of people into thinking that Saturday was going to be more than a practice.  At least...that is what my wife, and likely many others had happen to them.  Really wish the weather would have been better to see what number we could have maxed out at.

My own thoughts on the game and the spring (since I was able to catch another scrimmage a couple of weeks ago) is that I really am pretty good about where the offense is.  I think the WR spot grew nicely with Jared Perry coming back from burying himself on the depth chart, and I like the type of receiver Thomas became.  I think he runs decent routes and comes down with the ball much of the time.  He could be a nice person to help replace Saunders in time and I believe he will contribute this year and perhaps allow us to redshirt Kemp.

As for defense, yeah...depth at LB could be intereting.  I love Luke Lambert and like The Boy, am fine if Alexander does not get back in time.  And yes, we do end up playing a decent amount of 4-2-5 during the season, but having only 4 top-caliber LB's is somewhat bothersome.  All we can do is hope for the best and for quick development possibly of Tyler Crane/recover of Andrew Gachkar/bigger size from Gooden/a little more speed from Ebner.  I like where the secondary is, except for Garrett in some cases, but I think Moore does help that when he is in there.

And Wolfert...egad...all I can think is that his streak in the Big XII is going to end in a meaningless pre-halftime kick from 52 yards :-)

Nice to see us snag one committment from the weekend (and from STL).  I am looking forward to a few more before the fall gets here...would be nice to have a lot of this class (especially in-state) wrapped up by August.

All in all....we have....what...131 days until the longest part of the year is over.

Baseball:
I suppose it depends how you look at this week for the Mizzou Tigers.  3-1 for the week is always what you want.  Winning a Big XII road series is always what you want.  Having your ace move to 9-0 on the season and your team to win in extra innings when they are faced with it.  However...wow...that Sunday game can leave a strange taste in your mouth...just ask Texas.

Anyway, Mizzou had to come back during the week for a high scoring win against William Woods.  The big news out of that effort was the continuation of the torrid streak Jake Priday had been on to take over the career lead in the HR and RBI category for Mizzou.  The weekend took Mizzou on the road down to Oklahoma and took 2 of 3 from the Sooners to keep their grasp on 4th in the Big XII and put a little more distance between themselves and UT in 5th.  Aaron Crow was not great, but hung in there after a tough start and lasted long enough to reap the benefits of a late 8-run rally to get the win.  They came back Saturday with a 10 inning win before falling 22-4 in 7 innings to close out the series.

With some games in hand on the top 3...they can still make a move, especially considering they still have NU to take on at home to finish the season and perhaps more importantly, they take on aTm down in College Station this weekend after (weather permitting) a pair against directional Illinois teams out here in STL this coming week (which hopefully I will be able to attend one of them).  3-1 this week was great...4-1 with 2 over aTm would be really great and improve Mizzou's already solid 9-6 in conference and 28-10 overall standings.  With 17 to go, getting over 40 wins could certainly help Mizzou host a regional and that would be another great step, especially considering the boost in attendance I believe we have seen so far this year.

Softball:
The stretch run has started for the softball team, and with the cancellation of the UMKC games later in the season, there are only conference games remaining.  Mizzou had 4 of them this week, 2 on the road and 2 against kansas and came out 3-1.  Sweeping a doubleheader during the week against kU, Mizzou pretty much put the Border Skirmish Trophey away for good.  Mizzou looked real good in the 1st game and then needed extras to take home the nightcap.  Then they headed down to Austin for an important series against the Longhorns.  The Horns came into the weekend sitting at 7-5 in conference and Mizzou at 6-4.  The important series was between two of the upper echelon teams in the conference.

Saturday's game saw the Tigers get no-hit into the 6th and while freshman Rhea Taylor was able to break it up, it was too little, too late as Mizzou fell 6-1.  Coming back on Sunday, Stacey Delaney was lights out, throwing a 2-hitter and Rhea Taylor added 4 hits and 3 more stolen bases to get Mizzou a key road win 4-1.  Taylor continues to lead the country in tht category and is a few stolen bases away from entering the top 10 CAREER in the category.  Pretty decent freshman season I would say, especially with a good amount of games to go.

Mizzou is now 7-5 in conference and 40-13 overall, hitting the 40 win mark for the 3rd season in 5 years, a key number when it comes to NCAA berths.  Mizzou has a road double header during the week against Iowa State who is towards the bottom of the conference, and then the home series against Baylor, who is also towards the bottom.  Another 3-1 or better could go a long way towards perhaps a #3 seed in the conference tournament.

Soccer:
Well...the spring season ended with a 5-4 win over Loyola Chicago and a reunion/alumni weekend for the women's program.  Mizzou scored 12 goals over the 4 game season, blowing up for 11 in their final, all wins.  Sophomore-to-be Alysha Bonnick netted three of those this spring, including 2 on Saturday.  One interesting stat from the game this past Saturday was that neither senior-to-be Mallory Frost (who started most games) or junior-to-be Tasha Dittamore stopped a single shot in the game.  Loyola had 4 shots, they scored 4 times.

Mizzou's first game of the fall season will be August 23rd in exhibition against Illinois.  If the starting lineup used in this game, along with my (limited) knowledge of this team) is any indication, look for Mizzou to start about 5 seniors, 4 juniors and 3 sophomores...including the very talented Bonnick and Andrighetto.

Tennis:
The final two matches of the regular season took place down in the state of Oklahoma this past weekend, and did not come with the desired results, falling to both the Sooners and Cowgirls by identical 5-2 scores.  This finishes the regular season for Mizzou at 2-9 in conference (one against winless Iowa State and the other against 5-6 kansas) and 10-13 overall.  The Tigers will go into the Big XII Tournament this coming weekend down at College Station as the #11 seed and will take on Okie State on Thursday.

Mizzou had a double-winner this weekend in freshman Kaitlyn Richie, who both both of her matches out of the #5 slot this weekend.  Sophomore Kaitlin Dunham won out of the #6 spot against the Sooners and junior Sophie Ayala did the same out of the same spot against Okie State.

Track:
Mizzou split time this weekend in both Fayetteville, AR with the middle distance runners and lawrence, ks, with all the field event athletes, and had NCAA-Regional qualifying results in both.  Senior Tipper O'Brien was able to put up a qualifying time in the 1500 in Arkansas and senior Trisa Nickoley was able to improve upon her 800 time and get into the top 20 nationally.  Freshman Layne Moore ran a personal best and took him a qualifying bid in the same event.  Freshman Rick Scheff also came within .16 of getting a bid in the 800 meters on the men's side.

For the other events, sophomore Nick Adcock improved on his personal best and won the decathlon, earning a score which placed him in the top 10 nationally.  Freshman Lars Rise, in his first ever effort, came in only 19 points back of Adcock and is also inside the top 10 nationally.  Junior Chris Rohr came in 2nd in the hammer throw with a personal best which now puts him inside the top 10 nationally.  Junior Krishna Lee also improved in the hammer throw and now sits inside the top 25 nationally.  Freshman Brian Hancock was able to reach a qualifying height in the pole vault.

Coming up for the Tigers next week will be the 99th annual Drake Relays, one of the gems of the annual Mizzou schedule.

Men's Golf:
In their final action before the Big XII Championships this coming week, Mizzou headed down to Lexington, Kentucky and took home 2nd place on Monday in the UK Bluegrass Invitational.  Mizzou's two freshman Tyler Hillis and William Harrold shot identical tournaments, tying for 12th place to pace the Tigers.  Junior Peter Malnati came in 22nd for the Tigers to give them three within the top 25 on the weekend.

Coming up next for the team will be a trip down to Trinity, TX for the conference Championships on the 26th and the 27th.  They will still play in another tournament before the NCAA Regional tournament which will occur in mid-May.

Conference/NCAA Championships Coming Up:
Women's Tennis will have their Big XII Tournament starting on Thursday.
Adrianne Perry will compete in the NCAA Championships on Thursday as well in the all-around.
Women's Golf will compete in Stillwater for the Big XII Title starting on Friday
Men's Golf will be in Trinity, TX doing the same staring on Saturday

Random Thoughts:
  *  New Jersey showed a little bit of life a week ago, and like that...it was gone.

  *  I cannot believe the two goalies for the Red Wings are Hasek and Osgood...I dont like them over the long haul

  *  Sad to see the Wild and Predators out of the playoffs, nice to see the Caps get it to game 6 and nice to see a couple of Original Six teams going to 7 games.  Also like seeing the Flames get theirs to game 7....their red-out is the best around.

  *  Nice to see Kleiza (23 points on 9-13 from the field with 4 boards in 38 minutes) and Dooling (10 points on 4-8 shooting and 2-3 from 3 point range in only 17 minutes) getting some good action in the NBA playoffs.  I could see Orlando moving on, obviously not so much with Denver.  Rush finished the season averaging 21 minutes per game over 71 games (including 15 starts) and scored 8.3 points per game (39 percent from 3 point range) with 2.4 boards and 1.3 assists per game.  A nice season considering he did it off of a tryout.

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