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Mizzou Links, 5-19-08

Helluva weekend for the diamond sports.

Mizzou Softball: NCAA Regional Champions.  They beat host Iowa twice on last-inning heroics, sandwiching that with a win over a jet-lagged 1-seed Long Beach State.  The usual suspects (Rhea Taylor, Amanda Renth, Lindsey Ubrun) came up big here and there, but yesterday's hero was Andee Allen, who had an RBI single in the first inning and a walk-off RBI single in the seventh.  The Missourian has more.

Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine said he was impressed that his team overcame both Iowa’s seventh-inning rally as well as the Hawkeye’s home crowd.

"Obviously it was a very exciting game, and the most important thing that a coach wants from his players is just that they compete and don’t ever give up," he said. "I was just amazed that we were able to overcome that momentum swing and get a couple runs ourself to win the game. It was just an amazing gut-check for our players and I’m so proud of them for their effort."

Here's a little peek at Mizzou's Super Regional opponent, #3 Alabama.

  • Common opponents: Purdue (Mizzou won 9-4, 'Bama won 8-0 and 11-0), Florida International (Mizzou won 6-4, 'Bama won 8-3), Portland State (Mizzou won 10-3, 'Bama won 8-2), New Mexico (Mizzou lost 6-4, 'Bama won 10-2), Washington (Mizzou lost 6-0, 'Bama lost 6-3).  So 'Bama's a hair better in pretty much every transitive property test.
  • Star Pitchers: Kelsi Dunne (24-4, 1.39 ERA, 247 K's, 186.1 IP), Charlotte Morgan (16-2, 1.35 ERA, 62 K's, 92.1 IP), Chrissy Owens (13-0, 1.83 ERA, 94 K's, 92 IP).  Loaded.
  • Star Hitters: OF Brittany Rogers (.502 OBP, .538 SLG, 55 SB's), P/1B Charlotte Morgan (.498 OBP, .826 SLG!, 17 HR), 3B Kelley Montalvo (.528 OBP, .728 SLG, 10 HR, 17 SB), OF Dani Woods (.489 OBP, .607 SLG, 9 HR)
  • All-SECers: (1st Team) Dunne, Montalvo, Rogers, Morgan, (2nd Team) Woods, OF Jordan Praytor, (Freshman All-SEC) Dunne (!), (All-Defensive) C Ashley Holcombe, Rogers.
  • That's right, their insane star pitcher is a freshman.

In general...yeah, this is a really good team.

Meanwhile, Mizzou Baseball had its best weekend since probably late-March, not only beating #5 Nebraska 8-1 on Friday night (no surprise, they're now 8-1 in the Big 12 on Fridays) and 22-9 on Saturday (they're now 5-3 on Saturdays), but pulling together the sweep on FSN with a 7-3 win on Sunday afternoon (they were 2-7 on Sundays coming into yesterday).  That's the one good thing about a midseason slump--it's not a late-season slump.  And Mizzou seems to be (cross your fingers) putting things together just in time for the postseason, as evidenced by the fact that they just outscored a Top 5 team 37-13 over a 3-game sweep.

With said regular season over, it's on to the Big 12 Tournament for the fourth-seeded Tigers.  The pairings have been announced.  They're in "Pool 1" with #1 Texas A&M, #5 Texas, and #8 Oklahoma.  They were 4-5 against those teams in the regular season (4-2 against UT and OU, 0-3 against ATM).  Mizzou-Texas kicks off the tourney proceedings on Wednesday.  It'll be interesting to see how up and ready Mizzou is considering a) it's a freaking 9am game, and b) that's a pretty short turnaround from the weekend, and a hangover is always possible.  The KC Star has more on the pairings.

And if you haven't checked out Big Head's Saturday game recap, be sure to do so.

Finally...I didn't even know that Athena had re-opened???  Against all odds, however, no member of the basketball team was involved in this particular incident.