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Monday Musings

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The Musings continue to get shorter and shorter as more and more seasons wind down to a close.  Not sure how much I will have in the tank for random thoughts, as I spent most of the weekend throwing back a drink or ten (I highly recommend the bar at Old Warson Country Club...more on that later).  And holy lord, it is friggin MAY already...not sure how that happened.  At any rate, a decent weekend for Mizzou sports...and being that it is EARLY Monday morning, I say we get to it so I can get to work.

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Baseball:
That was mighty nice of The Boy to break down the pitching stats like that this morning in the links since I am sure I would have done the same and now it just saves me the time.  I just cannot figure out which direction to talk about this team in.  On the positive, 2-2 is better this week than previous weeks, but that still came against competition that trends towards the lower 1/3 of the Big XII (with the non-con against kU).  The offense broke out on two days, but was gone on the other two.  Crow continues to wins games (now 10-0 on the season) but has not looked dominating for about a month now.  Actually...for this week, I would say Gibson and Zagone looked fine too...and I was about to say the same about Berger until I saw it was him that gave up the runs on Saturday after Gibson left with a comfortable lead....and that brings me to the bullpen....oy.

At any rate, 2 more weeks of the regular season.  Mizzou is sitting in 4th, no real hope of getting into 3rd (it would take a mighty choke job from Okie State to make that jump), but still in danger of sliding down to 6th potentially.  8 games left, with the last two non-cons being played this week against SMS and Creighton, both at home.  I assume Berger for the start against Creighton on Wednesday....will be very interested to see who gets the ball on Tuesday afternoon against the Blue Jays and how they do with it.  Then the weekend series comes out in L-ville against kU who already has a win over us on the season with the win at The K this past week.  The key these last two weeks is that SOMEONE in the bullpen needs to get a bulldog mentality and get some damn confidence going into post season play.

Softball:
Of course, I go ahead and pretty much declare we will surely win our last two games of the season against the last place Huskers, and we promptly go out and blow the opener to the weekend.  Shows (again and again) what I (don't) know.  But the ladies worked a split with the Huskers for the weekend to finish 3rd in the Big XII at 11-6, and a fantastic 44-14 overall.  They will likely finish the regular season JUST outside the national top 25 (they were sitting 26th last week), and considering the overall youth of the team, a great season for them, which now continues down in OKC on Saturday.

Earning a day 1 bye, Mizzou will wait until about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday to take on the Lady Raiders of Texas Tech, who come in as the 6th seed.  This will actually be the FOURTH time Mizzou plays the Raiders, as in addition to the conference set of games, they took on Tech in a non-con tourney.  Mizzou came out on top of all three contests, outscoring Tech by a combined margin of 25-12.  If Mizzou wins, they would move on to likely face the #2 Sooners, who Mizzou dropped both games to earlier in the season in Norman, but they did come fairly close to taking down the Sooners in the Sunday game of that series.  That game would take place about 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon Saturday, with a championship game on Sunday.  This tourney (unlike the men) is single elimination.  After that, I would assume that either Sunday or Monday of next week the ladies will learn their destination for an NCAA Tournament berth.

Outdoor Track:
Another strong season for the track program (my push for Dr. McGuire to get some votes in the coaches tournament) continues, as this past weekend found most Tigers down in Fayetteville (site for the NCAA Regional Championship in a few weeks) competiting, while others were in Palo Alto, CA, and still others were in Manhatten, KS....crazy weekend I guess.  To my knowledge, the other harrier winning in Manhatten was senior Trisa Nickoley, who took the 800 meters by over SEVEN seconds...which is pretty insane considering it only took her 128 seconds to run it.

Moving on and moving out to the beautiful campus of Stanford University, we find a duet of runners taking 2nd and 3rd in the 5000 meter race, but doing so in fine fashion, qualifying for the NCAA Regional and each setting a top 5 all-time mark for Mizzou in the event.  Junior Garrett Jeffries and sophomore Dan Hedgecock (who you might remember from Cross Country season) shaved a combined 37 seconds off from their personal bests.  Both runners came in less than a half second behind the winner.

Coming back east to Fayetteville which saw the bulk of the Mizzou competitors for the weekend, the throwing events were once again where the team shined.  Senior Nate Englin took the shot put and did so in style, throwing a NCAA Top-10 mark on the season at 65 feet plus, and qualified for the NCAA's and a return trip to Fayetteville.  The throw also qualified Englin for the USATF Team Trials which will be held later this summer.  Senior Jason Morris led a huge group of Mizzou throwers in the discus, winning the event, and junior Chris Rohr took 2nd in both the discus and the hammer.  For the ladies, Krishna Lee led a 2-3-4 finish for Mizzou in the shot (Shermelle Nichols took the event off it would appear) and then Lee went ahead and won the hammer.  Frehsman Hope Harris (from Clinton, MO) took the discus and appears to be next in the long line of champion throwers for Mizzou.  Improving on their qualifying marks was senior Tipper O'Brien in the 1500 meters with a number of other Mizzou athletes setting personal and season bests.

Next up for the Tigers will be the Big XII Championships in the thin air of Boulder, CO in 2 weeks.  Not sure how that will affect the runners, could make for some big numbers in the throwing events (especially in something like the javelin I guess maybe).

Women's Golf:
No action this week for the ladies, but it did bear mentioning sophomore Julia Potter being named to the All-Big XII team this week.  She will take that honor down to Athens, GA this weekend for the NCAA Regional, where the ladies will need to place 8th or better to move on.

Random Thoughts:
  *  Had the privilege of being invited to a wedding at Old Warson Country Club this past weekend....quite the event.  My take-away from it is the top shelf open bar and that at about 10:30 p.m. as the band got going, they brought out freshly made gourmey sliders.  Oh yeah, and Mike Shannon has a decent-sized house (which you pass on the way in to the club)

  *  Very surprised the Mets took 2 of 3 from the Diamondbacks in AZ this weekend, but even more surprised to read the Mets have won 15 of their last 17 in AZ.  Meaning I guess before Saturday's loss, they had taken 14 of 15...egad.  Scherzer will throw tonight against Philly at home...guess he got to pinch run yesterday.  Whatever works I guess.

  *  No...I did not stay up until whenever it was to see the Stars FINALLY close out the Sharks.  I am SHOCKED the Flyers dispatched the Canadiens so easily, and all I can say is go Pens in the east....and for as much as it pains me perhaps...but go Stars in the west.

  *  I flipped to the Boston/Atlanta game at one point yesterday and the Hawks were losing big already in the 1st half, with a few minutes to go in the 2nd quarter.  Not surprised, I turned it off.  Flipped back awhile later...the Hawks were still at 26.  Guess they went about 5 game minutes without scoring, but with halftime in there, they probably went a good 30-35 minutes...ouch in game 7 on the road.