Not going to be much to muse about, as most sports are just about done these days, and those that are not are headed very quickly in that direction. Remember to keep voting for the Mizzou 25 Coach, should be an interesting battle as we get into the next round later in the week. Anyway, let's get to it.
Winning 3 of 4 for the week, including 2 of 3 on the road against a pretty scrappy kU team is still what I would call a solid week for Mizzou. Not great, not what they were doing back in March, but better than what they were doing a couple of weeks ago. The week started with a tight 5-4 win over Creighton at home in come from behind and then walk-off fashion. A rain out against SMS the next day took another game from the schedule, and had Mizzou head west for 3 more against kU.
Aaron Crow is 11-0. No real matter how he got there, but he is there. 11-0...just insane really and quite the achievement.
Saturday's rain (and seriously...everyone KNEW there was no chance for getting that game in at 6pm, why not move it to 1pm?) left Mizzou with a twin-bill on Sunday. Rick Zagone battled, but was not terribly effective in later innings. Almost like a mediocre slugfest (think Gatti/Ward), the teams kept slugging at each other, with both landing offense and then getting hit back without defense. In the end, kU landed the last shot against a Scooter Hicks in his 3rd inning of work and got the walk-off win. All the better, a strong return for Mizzou with a couple of dingers and a solid outing by Gibson to win in run-rule style.
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No mid-week games this week as Mizzou is in finals. They will finish at home against highly ranked NU this weekend, and are currently sitting 13-11 in conference and 34-17 on the season. A Friday night win for Aaron Crow to go 12-0 would guarantee Mizzou a winning record in conference, and that would be a nice 1st step for the weekend. Finish strong and perhaps we can erase a little of the doubt we created with our April swoon. And if you have not had the chance to do so, go and see Crow Friday night....since I think you will want to be able to say at some point down the road, "I saw him when...."
One and done down in OKC for the Big XII Softball tournament, which is too bad since it was last-place Nebraska which got past 2nd seeded OU in the game right before ours. Would have given us a decent line to the finals, which ended up being won by #1 seed aTm. Anyway, back to our action, we fell 5-3 to Tech and were given the #2 seed in the Iowa City Regional, where the ranked team are the #14 Long Beach....um...Lady Dirt Bags? Iowa is the #3 seed and Creighton, who I guess is pretty underrated here, is the #4. Here is what ESPN.com had to say about our regional
What is the toughest regional?
There are at least two ways to judge the toughest regional. From the standpoint of top-to-bottom talent, the field in Iowa City will have to be survived as much as conquered. For the second year in a row, Creighton is absurdly underseeded as the fourth team in a group that includes No. 14 Long Beach State, Missouri and host Iowa. Last year, Tara Oltman pitched the Bluejays to a win against Nebraska in the Lincoln Regional and lost a five-hitter against Georgia. Now a team that beat Arizona and finished the regular season in the Ultimate College Softball Top 25 and receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll is the supposed weak link alongside the Big West champion and the third-place teams from the Big Ten and Big 12. Between aces like Oltman, Long Beach State freshman Brooke Turner and Iowa junior Brittany Weil, and bats like those Missouri wields, there shouldn't be a bad game on the schedule for fans in Iowa -- or an easy night of sleep between now and May 18 for the coaches involved.
This is the 12th berth for Mizzou, their 4th in the last 5 years. In those years, they have made the regional final game twice. They will start with Iowa on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. central. It is double-elimination, so a win or loss will dictate early or late game on Saturday.
In some other fun news for the week, frosh leadoff hitter Rhea Taylor won the Big XII Freshman of the Year award. Hailing from Buford, GA, Taylor led the conference with her .408 batting average and was 2nd in the nation with 52 stolen bases (which was good enough for a Mizzou and Big XII record). She is the first Tiger to win this award, and she joined seniors Amanda Renth (single season HR leader for Mizzou) and Jenn Bruck on the Big XII 1st team, with juniors Stacey Delaney and Lindsey Ubrun on the 2nd team.
As chronicled in the diaries on Thursday and Friday, the Mizzou Women's team got off to a nice start down in Athens, GA, but could not keep it going though Friday. They came back OK on Saturday and ended up finishing 15th, in front of two other ranked teams. That will finish their season and the career of Maddie Augustsson.
Sophomore Julia Potter finished strong on Saturday with her best round of the three and finished 10th in the tournament, shooting a solid +4 on the weekend. Sophomore Michelle Morgan and RS Frosh Lindsey Haput were next up for the Tigers, and Junior Chelsea Schreiwer goes into next season as the only senior of the 4 returning of this group, showing some good hope for the future.
Oh yes, and god bless her soul, Kinsey Green from Charleston Southern shot her best round on Saturday, finishing +48 for that day and 270 for the 3 round total of +154.
In what I would have to believe was their last action of the season, Mizzou competed down in Oklahoma at The Maxwell and...well...came in last. In fact, of the 60 golfers competing this weekend, they had 3 of the worst 5 on the course. Peter Malnati was +6 and Tyler Hillis was +8 to come in within the top 30, but really...that seems to be all that is worth reporting. A pretty slow season for the men's golf program. Hopefully the recruiting has been solid and the promise of the new home course will give them a kick next season.
Not much on the calendar this week, as Mizzou will be home in baseball against Nebraska, softball will be in Iowa for the NCAA's and the Outdoor Track team will be looking to nail down almost all the throwing events in the rarified air of Boulder, CO this weekend in the Big XII's. And that's it....look for an even shorter Musings next week I guess...good thing too since I am headed to CA next week.
* I will forever be a fan of Paul Goydos after his showing of nothing but humor and class at the TPC. Got to love playoff golf on the toughest visual hole in the world.
* Speaking of playoffs, caught some of the Pittsburgh/Philly game 2 last night (Go Pens). A little scrum broke out, the refs backed off and these two small'ish guys went at it. They fell, the refs moved in, but they got up in unison and the refs backed off again. Pittsburgh marketing people hit the heavy metal music while they fought...jacked up the crowd. Was just kind of fun to see...
* Speaking of NOT fun to see...the veiled cheap shot by Chris Osgood, and then the not-so-veiled cheap shot reciprocation against him after the final buzzer between Detroit and Dallas in game 2. Dallas needs a real turn-around here...as much as I hate to say it (because I dont like Detroit) but they are a damn buzzsaw right now
* Speaking of playoffs again...tis the season in NCAA Lacrosse. If you have ESPN U, do yourself a favor and catch some of the quarterfinal action next Saturday and Sunday...it is great action.
* Speaking of playoffs again again, nice to see Utah get LA to a 3 game series...wish Orlando could have done the same against Detroit.
* My Mets are still remarkably mediocre at this point, especially so since Florida is just out of their minds right now. Good for them for locking up Ramirez. They are on schedule to win the WS next season (won in 1997, dumped everyone...won in 2003, dumped everyone...2009?)
* Interesting to see a weekend where both teams involved in a series (Cards and Brewers) demote their closer after one blows the lead and game one night, and then the other cannot keep a tie game the next day. Both teams also end up getting saves from the replacements during the series as well...just odd.