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.
Better start paying attention to #⃣3⃣❗️— Mizzou Softball (@MizzouSoftball) April 29, 2021
Schutt Sports/@NFCAorg Division I Freshman of the Year Finalist#OwnIt pic.twitter.com/tQfoldAbXr
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 MUTigers.com’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
- In Podcast Producer Mitch’s last Rock M post (sad face), he recapped the new BTBS pod, where Nate and BK argue about the hiring of Scott Linehan and talk about the draft, among other things.
- Aaron’s got some new crootin’ updates!
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Sam wrote a nice piece on women’s hoops, looking ahead to the future with much of the roster and its production intact.
- It’s NFL Draft watch party time!
Draft party at the house! #MIZZOUMADE pic.twitter.com/VF9dNdv3EK— Eliah Drinkwitz (@CoachDrinkwitz) April 30, 2021
- 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.
Our highest draft picks ever (R1, P4):— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) April 30, 2021
All-American OT Russ Washington, 1968 #NFLDraft
All-American DE Justin Smith, 2001 #NFLDraft #MizzouMade pic.twitter.com/deFJmjvKB2
- Round 1 came and went without a Missouri Tiger called. However, check this out from Dave Matter at the Post-Dispatch. Good crowd to be in....
Nick Bolton could become Mizzou's sixth 2nd-round pick in the last eight years, following Drew Lock, Mitch Morse, Markus Golden, Kony Ealy, Justin Britt.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) April 30, 2021
MU's 2nd-rounders have had just as much if not more success than the 1st-rounders.
- Annoyed with the draft selections thus far, Site Manager Sam made this very funny gif
April 30, 2021
- Javon is back on the court and prepping for his senior year. You love to see it!
Prepping for Year 4️⃣ @JavonPickett #ToTheFinishLine pic.twitter.com/ssLygStqHX— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) April 29, 2021
- Transfer Antonio Daye, Jr is deciding his next destination tomorrow, and Mizzou is in his final 5. Odd assortment of schools?
Tomorrow I’m choosing between— Antonio Daye (@antoniodayejr) April 29, 2021
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 MUTigers.com.
- 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 MUTigers.com 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 MUTigers.com, 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 MUTigers.com 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:
MPJ said he was lucky growing up and playing for Mokan Elite that he had coaches who coached him hard. He said Malone is no different and he appreciates that. He said he knows it’s constructive criticism and not personal.— Mike Singer (@msinger) April 30, 2021
Damnnnnnnnn. I think the MPJ guy is pretty good.
Since April 6, Michael Porter Jr. has averaged 24.5 points on 56% shooting in 13 games, compared to 16.7 PPG in the 39 games prior this season. The @nuggets are 10-3 during that time. #NBATwitter #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/Dk5qDwUoeC— Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) April 29, 2021
- 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.
Now it can be told: After acquiring Teddy Bridgewater yesterday, Paton cooled on QBs for No. 9 pick. Didn't give up on Drew Lock's potential. Bridgewater a leader/ mentor for still young offense.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) April 30, 2021
Should be a true QB competition in OTAs, training camp and preseason. #9sports
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