Thinking Out Loud Saturday Sports: Earleywine talks about the 2015 softball season

University of Missouri softball coach Ehren Earleywine on April 16, 2012.

University of Missouri softball coach Ehren Earleywine is looking forward to a strong year from the pitching staff.

Missouri fielded a very young softball team last year and most of the team returns this year. KBIA Sports Director Darren Hellwege has a long conversation with Missouri softball coach Ehren Earleywine about what he thinks could be a really good 2015 season for the team, highlighted by depth at the pitching position.

Darren Hellwege logoThe team’s annual Black and Gold game is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7 in Columbia. The team then hits the road for several weeks before its home opener on Wednesday, March 11, a double-header against Southeast Missouri State University.

The year that was: Awards for alumni, basketball teams off to slow start in 2014

Part two of two parts
Part one

By Darren Hellwege

Yesterday we took a look at Missouri sports highlights from January to June. Today we finish Darren Hellwege’s look at the year.


Outside hitter Carly Kan jumps to kill a ball in the fourth set. Kan had a team-high of 12 kills with a .195 hitting percentage in the match.

Outside hitter Carly Kan jumps for a kill during a 2014 match. Kan earned a spot on the All American team.


Bruce Walker announces his retirement as offensive line coach. It was an inopportune time to be changing coaches, but Mizzou caught a break as Walker was replaced by Tiger alum and Illinois assistant coach A.J. Ricker.

  • Michael Sam receives the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, giving an emotional acceptance speech at the ESPY awards presentation.
  • Tiger alum Max Scherzer of Detroit gets the win for the American League in the MLB All-Star Game. Scherzer is now a much-coveted free agent.
  • Veteran coach Marc Burns takes over Mizzou Cross Country.
  • Women tennis player Alex Clark is named to the ITA All-Academic team.



Nationally recognized pitching guru Doug Gillis joins the softball coaching staff. Gillis, one of the great softball players in US history, has been associated unofficially with Mizzou for some time and is noted for his work with Chelsea Thomas. Read more of this post

The year that was: First half dominated by football success, Michael Sam, DGB troubles

2014’s top stories led by Sam, DGB dismissal, another football title

Part one of two parts

darren hellwege logo
Darren Hellwege, Sports Commentator

By Darren Hellwege

It’s been an extraordinary year in Missouri sports, both on and off the field of play. As 2015 begins, let’s look back at some of the biggest stories of each month of the last year.


The year began with a barn-burner of a football game with Mizzou beating Oklahoma State 41-31 in the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys led in the final five minutes, but a Henry Josey touchdown put Mizzou ahead and a touchdown on a fumble return by Shane Ray cemented the victory. It was something of a torch-passing, as the final game of Kony Ealy and Michael Sam saw a big play by the Tigers’ next great lineman.

Also in January:

  • The men’s basketball team fell from top 25 after an emotional home loss to Georgia.
  • Pat Ivey named Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by a national organization.
  • MU Athletics Hall of Fame inducted Ashley Wysong (cross country) John Putnam (swimming) Aaron Crow (baseball) and Dan Pippen (basketball).
  • Wrestling bested Oklahoma in battle of top-10 teams
  • Women’s basketball upset Vanderbilt with freshman Kayla McDowell made key contributions off the bench
  • In gymnastics 11 personal bests were set or tied, including 9.90 on beam from Rachel Updike, as Mizzou fell just short against Arkansas

Read more of this post

D’Angelo Allen ready to play his role for Mizzou

By Tim Leible, KBIA Sports

Missouri’s D’Angelo Allen (5) tries to knkock the ball away from Xavier’s Brandon Randolph on Dec. 13, 2014 in Columbia. Allen scored 8 points in 11 minutes of play.

Missouri’s D’Angelo Allen (5) tries to knock the ball away from Xavier’s Brandon Randolph on Dec. 13, 2014 in Columbia. Allen scored 8 points in 11 minutes of play.

Effort is something that every coach asks for: whether you’re the best player on the roster or the worst, you can always put in the effort to improve. KBIA Sports’ Tim Leible tells how Missouri’s D’Angelo Allen has translated effort into minutes on the court and points on the stat sheet.

Length: 2:39

Pinkel named SEC football coach of the year

Missouri Tigers pull in multiple team, individual awards

Gary Pinkel

Gary Pinkel

Gary Pinkel has been named coach of the year for the Southeastern Conference, topping off a week filled with awards for the team.

Additional individual awards were given to Shane Ray for defensive player of the year and Marcus Murphy for special team player of the year.

The Tigers finished the year with a 7-1 conference record and 10-3 overall record. Missouri finished as the Eastern Division champions but lost to Alabama on Saturday for the conference championship, 42-13.

Pinkel was named coach of the year in 2007 when Missouri was part of the Big 12 Conference. According to a news release from the university, three other coaches have received coach of the year honors: Al Onofrio in 1972, Warren Powers in 1983 and Larry Smith in1997.

Both Ray and Murphy made first team All SEC, announced earlier this week.

This year Ray, a junior from Kansas City, Missouri, set a school record for quarterback sacks with 14 as part of his award-winning season. He also racked up 21 tackles for loss and 61 tackles for the year, putting him third in the nation.

Murphy, a senior from DeSoto, Texas, was honored as an all-purpose back and for his special teams play. According to the news release Murphy has scored a touchdown in all four all-purpose categories: rushing (4) kick-off returns (2) and one each in punt returns and receiving.

Missouri will face Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1.

Gary Pinkel  — Coach of the Year
Marcus Murphy — Special Teams Player of the Year
Shane Ray — Defensive Player of the Year
First Team All-SEC Second Team All-SEC
TE –   Evan Engram, Ole Miss TE – Hunter Henry, Arkansas
OL –   Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M OL – Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
         La’el Collins, LSU        Ben Beckwith, Mississippi State
           Arie Kouandjio, Alabama        Vadal Alexander, LSU
           A.J. Cann, South Carolina        Mitch Morse, Missouri
C –     Reese Dismukes, Auburn C – Max Garcia, Florida
WR –   Amari Cooper, Alabama WR – Bud Sasser, Missouri
           Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina          Sammie Coates, Auburn
QB –   Dak Prescott, Mississippi State QB – Blake Sims, Alabama
RB –   Nick Chubb, Georgia RB – Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
           Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn          T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
AP – Marcus Murphy, Missouri      AP – Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
DL – Shane Ray, Missouri DL – Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
           Preston Smith, Mississippi State          Trey Flowers, Arkansas
           Dante Fowler, Florida          Derek Barnett, Tennessee
           Bud Dupree, Kentucky          Markus Golden, Missouri
LB –   Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State LB – Amarlo Herrera, Georgia
         Martrell Spaight, Arkansas        Ramik Wilson, Georgia
         Trey DePriest, Alabama        Antonio Morrison, Florida
DB – Landon Collins, Alabama          Braylon Webb, Missouri
           Senquez Golson, Ole Miss Jonathan Jones, Auburn
           Vernon Hargreaves, Florida          Damian Swann, Georgia
           Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss          Jonathon Mincy, Auburn
PK – Austin MacGinnis, Kentucky PK – Elliott Fry, South Carolina
P –   JK Scott, Alabama P – Jamie Keehn, LSU
RS – Marcus Murphy, Missouri RS – Quan Bray, Auburn

Carly Kan earns SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year award

By Joyce Peng, KBIA Sports

Missouri outside hitter Carly Kan was named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, sharing the award with Florida libero Holly Pole and Texas A&M middle blocker Shelby Sullivan.

In the classroom, Kan has a 3.88 GPA in accounting. On the court, the sophomore has a .208 hitting percentage and has a team-best of 400 kills. She has racked up 370 digs so far and her kills-digs combination (770) is best in the nation. With her 400 kills, Kan is the first Tiger sophomore to achieve that statistic since Lisa Henning in 2011.

This is the second year-end SEC volleyball award for Kan. Last year, she was named Freshman of the Year.

Florida’s Pole has a 3.50 GPA in accounting and sports management. Her 0.39 service aces average is second in the SEC. Texas A&M’s Sullivan earned a 3.85 GPA in marketing. She is hitting .384, which is ranked seventh in the SEC.

The Tigers lost to Alabama Wednesday night 3-2 (25-27, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-12) at the Hearnes Center. Kan led all players with 24 digs. She also had 18 kills on .340 hitting. The Tigers end the season with a 7-11 conference record and an overall record of 16-17.

Mizzou closes in on SEC East championship, beats Tennessee 29-21

By The Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Maty Mauk threw a pair of touchdown passes and Marcus Murphy ran for two scores Saturday night as No. 19 Missouri defeated Tennessee 29-21 to maintain control of the SEC East race.

The Tigers (9-2, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) set a school record with their 10th straight road win.

Missouri can clinch the East Division and earn a second straight trip to the SEC championship game by winning at Read more of this post

Thinking Out Loud Saturday Sports: TAMU preview

Darren Hellwege logoDarren Hellwege talks with Sam Khan, Jr., who covers Texas A&M and SEC football for They talk about the Aggies’ freshman quarterback sensation Kyle Allen and Saturday’s game in College Station between A&M and Mizzou.

Darren Hellwege is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association and Football Writers Association of America. 

Twitter: @kbiahellwege

Length: 18:12

Thinking Out Loud: Kenya Dennis

Darren Hellwege logoDarren Hellwege talks with Missouri starting cornerback Kenya Dennis about his path from small-town Leland, Mississippi and junior college life to playing in the Southeastern Conference for the Tigers. Dennis and Mizzou travel to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday.

Length: 9:43

Missouri cornerback Aarion Penton arrested for marijuana possession

Aarion Penton

Aarion Penton

Missouri starting cornerback Aarion Penton was arrested early Friday morning for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Penton was arrested at 1:40 a.m. Friday at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Rollins Street by Columbia police.

Team spokesman Chad Moller confirmed that Penton has been suspended indefinitely following the arrest. The Tigers have a bye this week and it is unclear if Penton will be re-instated in time for Missouri’s game against Texas A&M on November 15.

Penton was also arrested for possession of marijuana in March along with another football player and two Missouri basketball players.

Penton, a sophomore from CBC High School in St. Louis, has started all nine games for Missouri. He has 26 tackles, five pass break ups and two interceptions on the year.

Missouri is already without starting safety Braylon Webb for the first half against Texas A&M after Webb was ejected for targeting in Missouri’s win against Kentucky last week.


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