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Jenna Laird Named to Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshman of the Year Top 30 List

Mizzou News for Friday, April 30

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Jenna Laird is Good at Softball...

In case you didn’t know.

On Thursday, it was announced that shortstop Jenna Laird, who ranks 2nd in the SEC in batting average at .433 (and leads all freshmen), was named a finalist — one of 30 — for the NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year. Since COVID knocked out last season, any player who was a freshman in 2020 or 2021 is eligible for the award.

It should come as no surprise that Laird was nominated given her awesomeness— yes, that’s a very technical term. Let’s check out her stats, according to’s press release and their team statistical data.

  • Named SEC Freshman of the Week three times this season
  • Batting .469 in conference play, second in the SEC
  • Team leader in hits with 61
  • Team leader in assists with 87
  • Reached base safely in EVERY SEC GAME this season
  • Co-team leader in OPS with 1.126
  • 12 doubles (2nd team), 2 triples (1st), 5 home runs on the season
  • Has gone a perfect 10-for-10 on stolen base attempts
  • Fourth on team in RBI (34), third in hits (37)

While it’s clear Jenna isn’t a power hitter — there’s plenty of those already on the team — her hitting, timely baserunning and defense (as a freshman!!) have been absolutely invaluable and the team would not be where it is this season without her.

Jenna, you’re amazing, and we tip our caps to your continued success.

Much more on Mizzou Softball below...

On to the Links!

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:


  • It’s NFL Draft watch party time!
  • To celebrate the draft, Mizzou Football twitter looked at their highest draft picks. Fun fact: Justin Smith was a bouncer at Fieldhouse when I was in college.
  • Annoyed with the draft selections thus far, Site Manager Sam made this very funny gif


  • Javon is back on the court and prepping for his senior year. You love to see it!
  • Transfer Antonio Daye, Jr is deciding his next destination tomorrow, and Mizzou is in his final 5. Odd assortment of schools?

Other Mizzou Sports

  • Eric Blum wrote about how it’s been a rather quiet spring for Mizzou Athletics, but not for every team. After running through the results from everything from volleyball to spring football to basketball, he focused in on Mizzou Hoops’ standing, heightened yet reasonable expectations for Robin Pingeton’s squad, Wrestling returning to the Big XII, and softball’s rising success.
  • Dave Matter held his weekly chat, answering questions about many topics, including: Can Drink bring in yet another former Buckeye? How good is Mizzou Women’s Hoops projected to be next season? Can you form an All-Time Missouri Native Football Team from the mid-90s to present? Give it a read.
  • Track & Field is sending squads all over the place — to Fresno, Kansas City, and Lawrence, specifically — for meets this weekend. The distance runners will compete in the West Coast Relays against 24 other teams and the Trial of Miles Kansas City Qualifier, while the remainder of the team will be in Lawrence for the Rock Chalk Classic (what a gross name, haha). There, they will face 12 schools, including old Big 12 foes Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Iowa State, according to
  • Rock M’s new favorite sport to cover, Softball, is hosting No. 3 Florida this weekend for their last home stand of the season. According to the primer, “Mizzou is 4-12 all-time against Florida. The last time the two programs met in a three-game series, the Gators swept the Tigers in Columbia during the 2018 season. The last time Mizzou won a series over Florida was in the 2014 season in Gainesville.”
  • Baseball faces a tough road test (sorry, but aren’t they all?) this weekend as they head to Alabama for their first match up since the 2018 season. According to, the Tigers hold a 7-6 edge in the series, and are 4-2 all time in Tuscaloosa. Best of luck, fellas! If you’re looking for a preview to read before Kortay’s comes out, check out this one by Reid Glenn in the Missourian.
  • Congrats to Tennis’ Bronte Murgett, who was named Second Team All-SEC on Thursday. Bronte is just the fourth Tiger to earn All-SEC honors and the first since 2017. According to the release, the New Mexico transfer posted a 33-18 record in 2020-21, including 18-8 in singles and 15-10 in doubles. She currently ranks No. 31 in the Oracle/ITA National Singles Rankings and No. 45 National doubles rankings with partner, Marta Oliveira.

Mizzou in the Pros

  • Michael Porter, Jr. was the Nuggets’ leading scorer in Thursday night’s win over the Raptors, 121-111. In his team-high 35 minutes, he scored 23 points on 8-19 shooting. (3-8 from behind the arc) with 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 blocks. The leading scorer on the Raptors? Jeff City’s own OG Anunoby. It was a battle of Mid-MO!

In Wednesday’s contest, the Nuggets were against victorious, beating the Pels 114-112. MPJ scored 28 points in his 40(!) minutes of play, shooting 12-21 (3-8 from behind the arc) with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block.

In Thursday’s postgame, in regards to coach Mike Malone having some words with him after removing him from the game during the first half:

Damnnnnnnnn. I think the MPJ guy is pretty good.

  • Jontay Porter did not play in the Grizzlies’ loss to Portland on Wednesday. :(
  • Jordan Clarkson had a great night in the Jazz’s victory on Tuesday over the Kings, 154(!!!)-105. JC played 25 minutes, scoring 23 points on 8-14 shooting (4-7 from three) and had 3 rebounds. Wooooo!
  • Drew Lock will be battling only Teddy Bridgewater to earn the QB1 spot for the Broncos, as the team decided not to draft a quarterback in round 1 of the draft.

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