I will start out by saying, I think I now am considered to be a resident of Mizzou Softball Stadium. Hopefully, they don’t start charging me rent; I’m sure it’s pricy. This week alone, I spent Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday there. And now I will spend Friday-Sunday there again. That’s 6 times in 8 days, y’all. And while I’ve been with various colleagues of the news media throughout, I’m the only one who’s been there EVERY time. Because of this, and because I wasn’t sure what to write up here — leaving that Grill talk to the masters (see what I did there?) — I decided to get back into my ol’ softball previewing ways for the weekend. Enjoy (or skip over it, you softball haters)
WHEN: Friday, April 21 @ 6pm | Saturday, April 22 @ 3pm | Sunday, April 23 @ 12pm
WEATHER FORECAST: No precipitation in the forecast! Friday: 62 at game time | Saturday: 43 at game time | Sunday: 49 at game time
Julia Crenshaw & Laurin Krings mentioned in the kU post-game that they think UNT will be ill-prepared for the cold temps, whereas our players are used to it and will layer accordingly.
HISTORY: Per MUTigers.com’s history page, the Tigers and Mean Green have not faced off since March 2011, when they played a 2-game set in Denton, TX. The teams split the series, with a 4-1 W and a 2-9 L. However, Mizzou Softball SID reports the series is at 4 (MU) - 1 (UNT), so they met a couple more times since 2011.
Let’s check in with our hometown Tigers!
2022 RECORD: 38-22, 12-11 (7th in SEC)
2023 RECORD: 26-20, 4-14 (12th in SEC, ahead of MS State)
PROJECTED CONFERENCE FINISH: 8th in SEC
LAST 8 GAMES: kansas (W 4-3) | Ole Miss (L 5-7, L 6-7, W 8-3) | Lindenwood (W 9-0) | 12/11 LSU (L 9-1 in 5, L 3-1, W 8-6)
RANKINGS: no. 51 in RPI; no. 36 SOS; NR in top 25 (fell out sometime in March)
2023 TOP OFFENSIVE PERFORMERS:
- Alex Honnold: .425 BA | 1.392 OPS | 42 R | 48 H | 10 2B | 3 3B | 10 HR | 36 RBI | .832 SLG% | 32 BB | 17 K | .560 OB% | 16 SB
- Jenna Laird: .280 BA | .871 OPS | 40 R | 52 H | 7 2B | 2 3B | 26 RBI | .426 SLG% | 19 BB | 10 K | .445 OB% | 26 SB
- Maddie Gallagher: .286 BA | .733 OPS | 84 AB | 9 R | 24 H | 2 2B | 1 3B | 10 RBI | .333 SLG% | 9 BB | 10 K | .400 OB%
- Julia Crenshaw: .379 BA | .930 OPS | 26 R | 37 H | 10 2B | 1 3B | 8 HR | 40 RBI | .553 SLG% | 12 BB | 22 K | .377 OB% | 6 SF | 9 SB
- Kara Daly: .260 BA | .876 OPS | 26 R | 34 H | 10 2B | 1 3 B | 8 HR | 38 RBI | .534 SLG% | 15 BB | 42 K | .342 OB% | 2 SB
- Payton Jackson: .247 BA | .716 OPS | 77 AB | 20 R | 19 H | 7 XBH | 11 RBI | .390 SLG% | 7 BB | 19 K | .326 OB% | 9 SB
2023 PITCHING STATS:
- Cierra Harrison: 2.49 ERA | 0.94 WHIP | 7-2 | 2 CG | 54.1 IP | 37 H | 19 ER | 14 BB | 63 K | 11 2B | 4 HR | .191 OppBA
- Laurin Krings: 2.69 ERA | 1.35 WHIP | 9-9 | 112 IP | 6 CG | 126 H | 43 ER | 25 BB | 97 K | 29 XBH | 11 HR | .284 OppBA
- Taylor Pannell: 2.80 ERA | 1.20 WHIP | 6 SV | 15 IP | 11 H | 6 ER | 7 BB | 12 K | 3 2B | .193 OppBA
- Jordan Weber: 4.22 ERA | 1.31 WHIP | 7-7 | 83 IP | 3 CG | 81 H | 50 ER | 28 BB | 18 K | 23 XBH | 13 HR | .253 OppBA
- Megan Schumacher: 5.04 ERA | 1.92 WHIP | 2-1 | 25 IP | 38 H | 18 ER | 10 BB | 13 K | 7 XBH | 1 HR | .345 OppBA
- You can read the kU recap here, and the Ole Miss series recap here so I don’t bore you with additional details on that.
- The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 was announced this week, and representing the SEC are Montana Fouts (P, ALA), Maddie Penta (P, AUB), Skylar Wallace (INF, UF), Erin Coffel (INF, UK), Kayla Kowalik (C, UK), Alex Honnold (Missouri), Kiki Milloy (OF, Tenn) and Ashley Rogers (P, Tenn).
- Per MUTigers, Alex is fourth in the SEC this season with a .425 batting average and fourth in the SEC with a .560 OB% (11th in the NCAA). She is also fifth in the SEC with an .832 SLG% (17th in the NCAA). On the basepaths, Honnold has snagged 16 bags (0.38 stolen bases/game), which is seventh in the SEC.
- Missouri ranks second in the SEC for fielding percentage (.981, eighth in the NCAA) and stolen bases (87, 1.89 stolen/game) in 2023. Additionally, the Tigers are third in triples (0.28).
- South Carolina transfer Maddie Gallagher is on a 7-game hit streak, dating back to the series opener against Ole Miss, and is currently on a 10-game on-base streak. In the hit streak, she has notched 8 H with 5 RBI and has hit .364, including .33 in the Ole Miss series (per MUTigers).
- Sophomore Julia Crenshaw hit .400 this past week and hit .375 in the Ole Miss series. She’s now got 12 multi-hit games now.
- Jenna Laird is 5th in the SEC with 52 hits. The junior has 18 multi-hit games (including 3 hits on 4 occasions). She also has eight multi-RBI games. She’s 2nd in the SEC with 26 stolen bases (0.57 stolen bases/game, third in the SEC).
- Laurin Krings has notched 5+ strikeouts 11 times in 2023, including 10 of her last 12 starts. She, unknown to either Coach Anderson or herself, surpassed 400 K in her career on April 17th. Per MUTigers, she ranks 10th all-time with 404, and sits just 3 lil’ K away from her third career 100 strikeout season.
- For the first time in a long time, Missouri is one of the First Four Out in D1 Softball’s NCAA projections. It’s been an extreme up-and-down season thus far, so I understand. Do I still think they’ll get in, as long as they can get some W’s? Yes.
And now... the opponent:
2022 RECORD: 37-16 (17-7 in C-USA)
2023 RECORD: 26-17, 11-7 (3rd in C-USA, behind FAU & UNC-C
LAST 7 GAMES: UNC Charlotte (W 6-2, W 3-2, L 3-4) | UTEP (W 7-3, W 6-4, W 6-3) | Tarleton St. (W 4-2)
PROJECTED CONFERENCE FINISH: 1st in Conference USA
RANKINGS: Ranked no. 34 preseason by NFCA | no. 24 in D1 Softball poll; no. 83 in RPI
2023 TOP OFFENSIVE PERFORMERS:
- Kailey Gamble: .353 BA | 1.243 OPS | 27 R | 41 H | 8 2B | 14 HR | 39 RBI | .784 SLG% | 26 BB | 19 K | .459 OB%
- Cierra Simon: .317 BA | .821 OPS | 23 R | 38 H | 6 2B | 4 HR | 20 RBI | .467 SLG% | 5 BB | 18 K | .354 OB% | 14 SB
- Kalei Christensen: .302 BA | .866 OPS | 19 R | 35 H | 6 2B | 4 HR | 27 RBI | .457 SLG% | 18 BB | 16 K | .409 OB%
- Mikayla Smith: .263 BA | .905 OPS | 20 R | 25 H | 3 2B | 8 HR | 21 RBI | .547 SLG% | 14 BB | 25 K | .358 OB%
- Lexi Cobb: .262 BA | .685 OPS | 26 R | 34 H | 7 2B | 1 HR | 9 RBI | .338 SLG% | 15 BB | 18 K | .347 OB% | 17 SB
2023 PITCHING STATS:
- McKenzie Wagoner: 1.69 ERA | 1.17 WHIP | 9-5 | 95.1 IP | 71 H | 33 R | 23 ER | 41 BB | 76 K | 18 XBH | .198 OppBA
- Ashley Peters: 1.89 ERA | 0.98 WHIP | 10-7 | 100 IP | 84 H | 39 R | 27 ER | 14 BB | 89 K | 23 XBH | .219 OppBA
- Skylar Savage: 3.91 ERA | 1.53 WHIP | 6-3 | 1 CG | 57.1 IP | 59 H | 40 R | 32 ER | 29 BB | 41 K | 12 XBH | .258 OppBA
- Mackenzie Childers: 3.46 ERA | 1.25 WHIP | 1-2 | 30.1 IP | 27 H | 15 ER | 11 BB | 32 K | 8 XBH | .225 OppBA
- Kailey Gamble was named the no. 8 1B in the D1 Softball Top 100, which was released in the preseason. In D1 Softball’s Conference USA preview, Ashley Peters was named Pitcher of the Year, with Jodie Epperson coming in as Freshman of the Year. In their power rankings, you can find Gamble as no. 3, Lexi Cobb (POSITION?) at no. 4, Peters at no. 6, Skylar Savage at no. 15 and Kalei Christensen at no. 20.
- A year ago, North Texas made the final of the Stillwater Regional before ultimately losing to OK State, which was also the first time they’d ever made the NCAA tournament.
- Pitching: Childers, a freshman, throws hard and up, mixing high velocity with a promising rise ball. Wagoner, a Liberty transfer, throws up in the zone, has three different speeds, and had a good change. Savage throws around 69-70mph with tight spin and downward movement.
- Head Coach Rodney DeLong picked up his 300th victory of his collegiate coaching career on Sunday.
- The Mean Green hold a 7-2 record in April. Mikayla Smith earned Conference USA Player of the Week honors earlier this week after posting .375 BA to go with 2 runs, a homer, and 4 RBI in wins over Charlotte. Smith, as well as Tatum Sparks are in the midst of 7-game hit streaks. Over the past 10 games, per MeanGreenSports.com, Sparks lead the team with a .462 BA and 7 runs, 4 RBI, 3 doubles, and 3 swiped bags.
- Pitcher Ashley Peters had 11 strikeouts in her 6th complete game on Saturday against Charlotte. Something to monitor— Peters has a very low walk ratio, and only has a mark of 0.98 walks per seven innings so far this season.
How they Match up:
On to the Links! M-I-Z!
Yesterday at Rock M
- Matt’s long-awaited, many-edited piece is here: Iowa State transfer Caleb Grill picks Mizzou
- Dan’s providing SEC East Spring Ball Summaries
- Matthew is keeping TigerStyle fans entertained in the offseason: Mizzou Wrestling: Too Early Lineup
- I recapped the Border War Showdown game: “It’s worth two wins.” Mizzou defends home turf in Border War win. Thank god they won...
- HOOPS UPDATES: Offseason roster movement | 2023 Transfer Tracker
- FOR YOUR EAR HOLES: Listen to Nate & BK ask if Mizzou will field a team (kidding) | Portal Ponderings w/ Matthew J Harris & Sam
- Columbia Missourian: Missouri lands former Iowa State guard Caleb Grill (Jaden Lewis)
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Mizzou basketball bolsters backcourt with former Iowa State guard Caleb Grill (Dave Matter) | How future Mizzou basketball guard John Tonje became a self-made Division I scorer (Calum McAndrew) | Read Matter’s subscriber chat
- Columbia Tribune: Caleb Grill commits to Mizzou basketball in transfer portal (Matt Stahl)
- Kansas City Star: Former Iowa State guard, Wichita native Caleb Grill to transfer to Mizzou basketball (Matt Stahl via Columbia Tribune)
- PowerMizzou: Caleb Grill explains why Missouri was his choice (Gabe DeArmond) | Tigers pick up Iowa State transfer Caleb Grill (Drew King) | Tiger season review: Kobe Brown (King)
- 247 Sports: Iowa State guard Caleb Grill will transfer to Missouri (Eric Bossi)
“The fact that he (Dennis Gates) can turn a high major program just like that shows how bought in the players are with him and how bought in the coaching staff was to him. He was able to create a really good environment for everybody to be around and it really came across to me in a positive way. It’s a program i would love to be in for my last year and hold all of these relationships the rest of my life.”
A dangerous jump shooter who has made almost 200 threes and started 51 games — including 22 of 25 last season while scoring 9.5 points per game — during his college career, Grill has a lot of experience. He’s played in the NCAA Tournament, made big shots and is looking forward to playing the role of a veteran leader.
- On3 Sports: Iowa State transfer Caleb Grill commits to Missouri (Joe Tipton)
“Dennis Gates is a tremendous leader and with the staff, support staff and players he has built around him has made it an elite program. I am very excited to get to play in front of the Missouri fan base and represent the state of Missouri. I’m truly blessed to be a part of a special organization and university and I’m ready to get to Columbia.”
- ABC17 sports anchor Chanel Porter talked with Caleb Grill via telephone after his commitment. Read: Dennis Gates adds former Iowa State guard Caleb Grill from the portal
This afternoon I got to chat with Dennis Gates' newest commit Caleb Grill.— Chanel Porter (@chanelportertv) April 20, 2023
He tells me he's thankful for the opportunity to come to #Mizzou and is looking forward to continue to build up Coach Gates' program ⤵️@caleb_grill0 pic.twitter.com/JBliQLkhfH
- Lots of -ish positions here.
Bates is Combo Guard-ish, Grill is Wing-ish, Tonje is Combo Forward-ish. All three solid shooters from deep, different skill sets. Next year should be a lot of fun.— Sam Snelling (@SamTSnelling) April 20, 2023
- SO MANY KANSASANS (or is it Kansans, as Harris said?)
Mizzou now with three Kansans -- Grill, Shaw, and Bates -- on the roster for next season's edition of Border War. https://t.co/SAxGpGP7yN— Matt Harris (@MattJHarris85) April 20, 2023
Portal Season/New Signee News
- HOOPS: Apparently, FSU transfer Matthew Cleveland is on campus, per some eagle-eyed student reporters. Also, Tamar seems like a really good human.
Earlier this year I had a chance to learn about @MonroeCtyYMCA & the many ways they help our community stay healthy. Looking forward to getting back on Monday and meeting people from Bloomington community! pic.twitter.com/FoZ1JwSUUU— Tamar Bates (@tbates_11) April 20, 2023
- BASEBALL: Athlete of the Week— Ben Smith, Springfield Catholic Baseball (Jacob Cersosimo, Ozarks Sports Zone)
- GYMNASTICS: Kaia participated in the European Championships and made the all-around finals!
- SOFTBALL: I basically just searched the Mizzou Softball manager Twitter last night and found a goldmine of stuff! YouTube show with Natalie Touchet | YouTube show with Danielle Blackstun | YouTube show with Claire Cahalan | Written interview with Stefania Abruscato (Sports Union NY) | Marissa McCann is NO JOKE (and this was no hitter no. 4. Per the below twitter account, she may be in the convo to be a top 5 all-time pitcher in AZ softball history.
No hitter alert! The McCannon no hits Sunrise Mtn. That's her 3rd no no of the year @marissamccann04 @AZPreps365Jose @RsmithYWV @KevinMcCabe987 @MizzouSoftball @DysartUSD @wccatathletics pic.twitter.com/ThfEOXPk6r— WCHSSB1 (@WCHSSB) April 14, 2023
Other Mizzou Sports
- FOOTBALL: Four-star LB Brian Huff sets Missouri official (Sean Williams, Rivals/PM)
- BASEBALL: Baseball Hosts Alabama to Open Second Half of SEC Schedule (MUTigers.com) | Mizzou baseball carries momentum into crucial series matchup against Alabama (Brandon Haynes, Missourian)
Seems pertinent to this weekend.
INJURY NEWS: @AlabamaBSB LHP Grayson Hitt will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury that will require Tommy John surgery. Hitt was ranked the No. 11 #MLBDraft prospect coming into the season, but was No. 44 in our refresh. Tough news for the #Tide and. Hitt.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) April 20, 2023
- MEN’S GOLF: Men’s Golf Gains Four Spots Day Two of SEC Championship (MUTigers.com)
#Mizzou had a successful moving day at the SEC Championship. A 3-under 277 was the third lowest round of the day and moved the Tigers up to 7th, inside the match play cut line. Charlie Crockett stayed hot, shooting 66 to move into the top 5. pic.twitter.com/6ph8IbzdCn— Kortay Vincent (@KortayVincent) April 20, 2023
Mizzou in the Pros
- MPJ NEWS: Murray’s 40, MPJ’s strong fourth give Nuggets 2-0 lead over Timberwolves (Arnie Stapleton, AP Sports Wire)
Game 2 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (W 122-113, Nuggets lead series 2-0): 29 min | 16pts on 5-7 FG (2-3 3PT) | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 1 STL | 4 PF | 0 TO
Game 3 vs. Minnesota on Friday, 4/21 at 8:30pm on ESPN
- Ex-Mizzou star Scherzer suspended 10 games for sticky substance ejection (Associated Press)
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