Happy Diamond Sports Day!
Today, as my very lengthy preview told you, dear readers — please READ IT — is the start of yet another 5 games in 3 days series for our dear No. 14/17 softball team. They’re back in Florida for one last work trip, and things will get kicked off at 10am CST. If you thought you’d be able to watch them, you’re w-r-o-n-g. You’ll need to dole out a hefty fee for access to FloSoftball, but you can keep track of the action on Mizzou Softball’s VERY active twitter account, and follow along at Mizzou statbroadcast (they’ll link to it in the morning).
But enough about that team, as much as I want to talk about a schedule I’ve spent all my waking hours writing about, let’s get to the new team kicking off their season today! It’s Mizzou Baseball [wild cheers from tripp, I can imagine].
As Kortay has mentioned in his posts for this very site about the newcomers and the returners, Mizzou was so close to ending its NCAA postseason drought In 2017 and 2019, but ultimately weren’t selected by the committee. Then there was the Covid 2020 season, and last year’s hiccup, leaving the Tigers in desperate need of a swift turnaround.
It’s no secret that the 2021 Missouri Tigers didn’t meet expectations. Going 15-36 and 8-22 in the SEC was disappointing, but they didn’t just have the worst record, they also had the worst team Batting Average (AVG), slugging % (SLG%), on-base % (OBP), and ERA. So yes, it wasn’t just bad breaks, the Tigers were the worst team in the SEC from top to bottom.
However, 2022 is a new year, and the Tigers are a new team. Plenty of players have left, plenty of new faces have arrived, and the 2022 Tigers will be looking to significantly outperform their 2021 selves.
Dave Matter wrote about what hopes to be Mizzou Baseball’s bounce-back year in a nice piece for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where head coach Steve Bieser (130-108-1 in 5 seasons at Mizzou) said, “We’ve come full circle. It’s a group that I’m very proud of, by the way, that they’ve responded to the adversity that we hit last year and the way that our upperclassmen came in this year ready to lead early.”
To kick things off, the Tigers are in Thibodaux, La. for a four-game series against Nicholls State. Because the Tigers started last season losing 9 of their first 12 games, and because they will, quite literally, face all eight SEC teams in the D1 Baseball Preseason Top 25, Bieser tried to schedule the non-con a bit lighter this go-around, per Matter.
ON TO THE LINKS!
GO SPORTS. In case you’re keeping track (apologies if I’m missing some):
- There’s two men’s hoops games (please win 1 better yet, both)
- A women’s game on Sunday (also PLEASE win again, if just to calm the Rock M slack channel discord)
- The tail end of the SEC Swim & Dive Championships
- FOUR baseball games
- FIVE softball games
- Track is at the JML DMR Invitational
Yesterday at Rock M
- I continued my extensive softball previews, and actually got this one out early! GO READ IT.
- Matt W (and by extension, Matt Harris) put together some film from Arkansas, Part 2.
- James recapped Wrestling’s tough loss to Iowa State.
- Lauren previewed the Georgia matchup, and then also ran the Live Game Thread along with it.
- PowerMizzou’s Mitchell Forde wrote about Chad Bailey using NIL to give back.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter said Mizzou spring practices are heating up with the Cook-Macon QB competition. While you’re at it, read his weekly chat, too... if you’re subscriber.
- Blake Toppmeyer (USA Today Network) wrote that introducing like a ‘Brian Kelly clause’ may be the solution to college football’s ugly problem.
- Women’s Recaps: Kelly shines in MU women’s basketball’s 74-49 loss to Georgia (Shannon Mia Belt, Columbia Missourian). Missouri’s womens basketball offense struggles in fourth consecutive defeat (Nate Marcus). Hayley Frank hits 1000th point in Georgia loss (MUTigers.com). Three reasons Sunday is a MUST win for Mizzou WBB (Chris Kwiecinski, Columbia Tribune).
- Despite another unsightly loss, Hayley Frank did hit her 1,000 (and a few more) point of her MU career, joining Aijha Blackwell, who hit it earlier this season.
- In the absence of AB, who was back in CoMo after having some team issues, StL native Jayla Kelly was able to shine, and scored 10 points in her 20 minutes of playing time. Super happy for her! Here’s the box score, courtesy of a beautiful ESPN screenshot.
- Dave Matter previewed the MS State weekend slate of games for Cuonzo Martin’s team.
- The KC Star’s Lila Bromberg looked at why Mizzou isn’t having same success with transfers as other college basketball programs, and said the answer lies in the defense.
- Matt Brolley wrote, Containing Molinar crucial for MU men’s basketball on the road.
- The Missourian’s Chris Blake previewed Missouri Softball’s final Florida trip, writing that they have a chance to build some momentum.
- Read the MUTigers.com preview of The Spring Games.
- Read the MUTigers.com preview of the Nicholls State opening series.
Other Mizzou Sports
- The Tribune’s Chris Kwiecinski said, after losing to No. 5 Iowa State, Mizzou Wrestling eyes Big 12 Tournament title in Tulsa.
- The Maneater’s Brandon Haynes wrote about Mizzou club hockey’s Border Showdown, which is tonight at Washington Park Ice Arena in Jeff City.
- The Missourian’s Kenny Van Doren wrote, MU track and field to take six competitors to JDL DMR Invitational. This is the final indoor tune up before the SEC Indoor Championships, which begin Friday, Feb. 25 in Birmingham, AL.
- MUTigers.com highlighted Day 3 of the SEC Championships, where the men recorded THREE top five finishes. Among the point-getters for the day, Sarah Thompson took fourth in the 100 fly (51.49), Danny Kovac finished fourth in the 100 fly (45.48), and Jack Dahlgren took fifth in the 200 free (1:32.34).
Mizzou in the Pros
- Quin Snyder’s Utah Jazz took on the Lakers on Wednesday and lost, 106-101. Jordan Clarkson played 22 minutes off the bench, and had 13 points on 6-14 shooting (1-6 from three), with 1 REB, 2 AST, 1 TO, and 3 PF. He was +4 on the night. NEXT UP: The Jazz take on the Mavs after the All-Star break next Friday, 2/25.
- Tilly and the Magic are off until Thursday, February 24.
— — — — — — — — — — — — —
If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!
If you’re looking to sign up for a new streaming service, you can try FuboTV: click HERE for FuboTV access — FuboTV now has ESPN, CBS, FS1 and more sports channels.
(** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earncommissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)