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Mizzou Links, 5-17-13

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Softball's postseason begins in about 12 hours, Baseball is one more win from the SEC Tournament, and Ian Kinsler headbutts third base.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. The NCAAs begin today for Team Stubble (and yes, it might rain)

MUtigers.com: No. 6 Mizzou Starts Columbia Regional with Stony Brook
MUtigers.com: Time Changes for Day One of Columbia Regional

COLUMBIA REGIONAL SCHEDULE (CT)

Friday, May 17
3 p.m. - Game One: Oregon State vs. Hofstra
5:30 p.m. - Game Two: Mizzou vs. Stony Brook

Saturday, May 18
Noon - Game Three: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2
2:30 p.m. - Game Four: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 (loser eliminated)
5 p.m. - Game Five: Loser G3 vs. Winner G4 (loser eliminated)

Sunday, May 19
1 p.m. - Game Six: Winner G3 vs. Winner G5
3:30 p.m. - Game Seven (if necessary)

The Trib: Earleywine speaks; the blog listens

Earleywine is still deciding whether Thomas or No. 2 Nicole Hudson will start Friday against Stony Brook, a team with a 123 RPI. Thomas, as we reported in Tuesday's Trib, is likely suffering from exertional compartment syndrome, causing her hand to swell, go numb and tingle after several innings pitched in little time. Earleywine said he's not leaning either way and gave reasons why both could start. He said Stony Brook's lineup is full of high-ball hitters, which "bodes well" for Hudson, who throws mostly down balls. Ultimately, though, Earleywine said it depends on how Thomas feels. "Potentially, if she's feeling better than she has leading up to the last four weekends, there's a potential of maybe throwing her on Friday," he said. Thomas said Thursday that she's feeling good. Earleywine said he'll make a decision likely by noon Friday. […]

Earleywine is very blunt about how important Friday's opener is for Missouri's bats. If Missouri starts Nicole Hudson, they'll need to have run support behind the makeshift No. 2. If MU starts Thomas, they'll need to limit her pitches by scoring runs and possibly shortening the game. "The fact of the matter is, if we don't show up on Friday, our season will be over this weekend," he said. "So just trying to make that as crystal clear as possible. You've got to treat Friday's game like a championship game because if that goes a wry we're in big trouble." MU would have to win four games in two days to win the regional if it lost the opener.

The Missourian: Chelsea Thomas battles arm injury as Missouri softball enters postseason
KC Star: MU softball coach’s quandary: Save Thomas for later in regional?
MUtigers.com: Four Tigers Named All-Southeast Region

2. One more Mizzou win or one more Tennessee loss...

MUtigers.com: Tigers Move Closer to SEC Tournament with 4-2 Win
SimmonsField.com: The Magic Number is 1; Interesting Quotes; Smart Alum
The Trib: Missouri beats Kentucky in series opener
The Missourian: Seniors Sommerfeld and Champagne continue resurgence for Missouri baseball team
The Trib: Renovations begin as MU baseball set to close SEC baseball season

3. Flip auditions

The Trib: Pressey to attend NBA predraft camp
Post-Dispatch: Pressey wants to be seen as playmaker

4. Men's golf needs to move up the list a bit

MUtigers.com: Missouri Golf In Contention At NCAA Columbus Regional
The Missourian: Missouri golfers sixth after first round of NCAA Columbus Regional

5. Hmm. You might want to practice that a little more, Ian.

6. Read this. Now. Just read it.

SB Nation Longforms: To Slovakia: A first-hand account of basketball and chaos in Europe