Tag Archives: Baylor Bears

Mizzou loses series as Baylor extends winning record

Photos and story by Kevin Donnellan

Missouri lost to Baylor 5-3 on Friday, giving the Bears the series win with a game to spare. Three runs for the Bears in the sixth helped them to their 11th straight Big 12 win.

Missouri’s starting pitcher Blake Holovach finished with a ERA of 2.86 over five and two-third innings and was replaced by Dusty Ross with Missouri trailing 5-1. The Tigers had plenty of chances to level things in the final four innings with seven players getting on base, but multiple times Missouri failed to push home its advantage.

Tigers coach Tim Jamieson saw it as a missed opportunity. “We had so many opportunities to score runs,” Jamieson said. “You don’t get it done one time it gives momentum to the other team. You don’t get it done multiple times, the guys at the plate start to doubt.”

The series concludes at Taylor Stadium Saturday at 11 a.m.

Mizzou pitching comes up short in loss to No. 16 Baylor

The only bright spot in the offense was Gavin Stark's (30) home run, the first of his career.

Rob Zastryzny

Rob Zastryzny pitched eight innings, giving up three runs off of 124 pitches

Story by Kevin Donnellan
Photos by Gary Cotton

Defense dominated Missouri lost the first of their three-game Big 12 conference series against Baylor Thursday evening, with Baylor coming out on top, 3-1. Missouri is now 3-4 in conference play.

The game provided only two scoring innings, with the Bears’ three runs in the sixth trumping the Tigers’ single run in the third.

A large part of Baylor’s success was due to pitcher Josh Turley who threw 61 strikes from only 88 pitches in his eight and one-third innings on the mound. Missouri coach Tim Jamieson felt that the Tiger batters did not adjust enough to a strong pitcher.

“He’s pitching away and you gotta make adjustments physically and we didn’t do it, and that’s why we’re hitting ground balls, soft ground balls,” Jamieson said.

Those soft ground balls resulted in three double plays for the Bears. Junior Gavin Stark acknowledged that Baylor second baseman Lawton Langford seemed to always be in the right place at the right time.

“It is frustrating especially when we’re hitting the ball hard to the second baseman. That’s what our approach is supposed to be, hard on the right side and it goes right at him, it’s frustrating,” Stark said. “We’ll just have to work through it.”

There was some consolation for Stark who hit his first career home run in the third inning, sending the ball into the home bullpen in left field.

“It felt pretty good, starting to get comfortable up there,” Stark said. “I was ahead in the count, he threw a fastball…Got lucky, got the exact pitch I was looking for.”

That gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead that they held until the sixth inning. Then starting pitcher Rob Zastryzny gave up three hits and two walks to allow Baylor tie through a single from Dan Evatt before a Jake Miller double gave the Bears the two run lead they never lost. Zastryzny was frustrated with the walks that came in that crucial inning.

“When a game gets too fast you start walking people. I just changed my approach, I was throwing balls trying to get people out instead of just letting them get themselves out,” Zastryzny said. “Like I said walks is what killed me today.”

Jamieson agreed with his starting pitcher’s analysis.

“The walks, we walked five guys, you can’t do that on Friday nights (sic).” Jamieson said.

Defense got back on top after that and Zastryzny regained his composure to pitch eight full innings before Dusty Ross came in to close.

The game briefly threatened to burst into life at the bottom of the ninth when singles from Garcia, Brown and Champagne loaded the bases with one out. But Scott Sommerfeld’s hit was caught in right field then Conner Mach grounded out to end the game.

Sophomore Zastryzny believe that Missouri’s luck will turn.

“Games will start to roll our way it’s bound to,” he said. “We’ll start catching breaks, we just haven’t been catching any lately.”

The series continues at Taylor Stadium Friday at 6 p.m before concluding Saturday at 11 a.m.

No. 10 Mizzou softball blasts a 7-0 win over No. 18 Baylor for series sweep

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Barbara Maningat

Missouri Tiger bats were slow to make noise this series – but they wasted no time in Game 3. The Tigers blasted seven straight unanswered runs in the first two innings, completing the series sweep with a shutout over the Baylor Bears on Sunday, 7-0. This game extended Missouri’s home winning streak to 21 straight and moved the team to a 28-5 record on the season, 7-2 in Big 12 play.

The Tigers managed a 4-2 win on Saturday and ended Game 2 eager for offensive contact earlier in the game.

Freshman Kelsea Roth said Missouri batters modified their approach for Game 3.

“We came up with a better plan today and we came out knowing what we need to hit and how to adjust, the adjustments we didn’t make for yesterday’s game,” Roth said.

Roth went 2-for-7 with no runs and no RBIs in the first two games of the series, so she made some adjustments for Game 3 as she went.

“They’ve been throwing me inside for most of the series, so I was just looking for the inside,” Roth said. “It definitely felt a lot better because I wasn’t doing too hot this series.”

The adjustments were obvious from the first at-bat.

Ashley Fleming began the four-run rally with a one-run double to right field to score Corrin Genovese. Roth then struck her fourth home run of the season to score Fleming.

Lindsey Muller and Kelsea Jones finished the first inning with back-to-back singles. Muller scored on a throwing error.

The Tigers loaded the bases again in the second inning and added three more runs for the early 7-0 lead. Jenna Marston, Genovese and Nicole Hudson were on base when Fleming singled for an RBI. Genovese later scored on a walk by Roth and Muller reached on a fielder’s choice to contribute the last RBI of the game.

While Missouri batters kept swinging, pitcher Chelsea Thomas kept Baylor batters idle. She shut out the Bears with 10 strikeouts and allowed only two hits, improving to 14-3 on the season.

“We cut back on the changeup and tried to get easy outs,” Thomas said. “And it worked out. That was our only adjustment from yesterday’s game for pitching.”

Tiger heads now turn to a big three-game series against the No. 6 Texas Longhorns in Austin, beginning Thursday, April 5.

Hudson’s grand slam adds second Missouri win over Baylor

Nicole Hudson

Nicole Hudson runs home to elated teammates after hitting the game-winning grand slam in the sixth inning. This was Hudson’s second home run of the series, fourth of the season and contributed to her twenty-sixth RBI on the season.

By Barbara Maningat

Before the sixth inning, the Missouri Tigers only had two hits – until their bats came alive. Hudson hit a grand slam that swung the Tigers ahead to a 4-2 victory in Game 2 over the Baylor Bears.

The Bears scored first with a two-run homer by pinch hitter Shelbi Redfearn in the top of the fifth inning. The Tigers closed the inning scoreless, leaving them anxious to retaliate.

Then the Tigers responded.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ashtin Stephens sparked some hope with a single to left field. Corrin Genovese then struck out swinging, but back-to-back walks by Jenna Marston and Ashley Fleming loaded the bases for Hudson’s grand slam.

“I was right in the spot that I wanted to be and she left me something out there I could get a hold of,” Hudson said. “I think I’ve hit the outside pitch well and the inside pitch well, but I’m feeling pretty confident at this point.”

She also said the Tiger offense needs improvement for Sunday’s game.

“I think everyone wants to come out swinging and come out with a plan and jump on them a lot earlier. We should have hit a lot better than we did today, but I think we’ll make up for it tomorrow,” Hudson said.

Kristin Nottelmann started off for the Tigers on the mound and threw little for the Bears to bite.

“One of Baylor’s general weaknesses was hitting the change-up and I think it worked perfectly today,” Nottelmann said.

She pitched five and one-third innings and struck out four, allowing four hits and two earned runs. Bailey Erwin relieved Nottelmann to close the sixth and allowed only one hit. Chelsea Thomas then came in for the save in the seventh.

With two wins in the three-game series, the Tigers look to complete the sweep over Baylor in Game 3, Sunday at noon.

“Anything less [than a sweep] is a disappointment,” Hudson said.

If Missouri takes the third win, they would extend their home winning streak to 21-straight and bolster momentum into a pivotal series against No. 6 Texas starting April 5.

Three home runs propel Missouri Tigers to Game 1 win over Baylor

By Barbara Maningat

Three Missouri Tiger home runs, including a Lindsey Muller grand slam, lit up the scoreboard in Game 1 of the three-game series against Baylor, Friday, March 30. The Tigers took the 6-1 win, scoring all runs off the bats of Nicole Hudson, Corrin Genovese and Muller.

After a quiet first inning, Hudson and Genovese put Missouri on the board each with solo homers in back-to-back innings. Both hit their third home runs of the season. They made their hits count as Hudson went 1-for-3 with one run and one RBI and Genovese went 1-for-2 with two runs and an RBI.

Muller blasted her fourth season home run with a grand slam in the sixth inning. A Genovese walk, followed by singles by Jenna Marston and Kelsea Roth loaded the bases for the four-run rally. Muller went 1-for-3 on the game.

Chelsea Thomas delivered from the mound with seven strikeouts and allowed only three hits in five innings. Bailey Erwin relieved Thomas in the sixth inning and allowed one unearned run in two innings. She closed the game with three hits and one strikeout.

The Tigers improved to a 5-2 record in conference play and a 26-5 record overall. Game 2 starts at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at University Field.

Mizzou departs Big 12 with tournament championship

Tigers outlast Baylor, 90-75

By Kaveh Kaghazi

Missouri Tigers center Steve Moore (32) and Missouri Tigers guard Kim English celebrate after winning the Big 12 Championship tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, March 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

As Missouri’s final Big 12 game came to a close and its tournament championship was all but sealed, chants of “SEC! SEC!” rang through the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The No. 5 Tigers overcame two potentially devastating injuries to seniors Kim English and Marcus Denmon, holding off Baylor, 90-75 Saturday night.

Less than 24 hours after guard Marcus Denmon sprained his right ankle in Friday’s game against Texas, Denmon took the floor Saturday and showed no ill-effects from the injury, scoring nine of Missouri’s first 18 points.

“The difference a day makes,” Denmon said. “Yesterday in the game, I couldn’t walk.”

After scoring a combined 50 points on 20-for-23 shooting through the tournament’s first two contests, English faced adversity coming into Saturday’s final due to a right thigh bruise suffered against Texas. Wearing a large brace on his thigh, English powered through the injury, scoring a game-high 19 points, on his way to being named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

“Kimmie works as hard as anybody I know and he wants it as bad as anybody I know,” junior Michael Dixon said.

Each time Baylor made a push, English answered. The senior connected five 3-pointers, including three momentum-swinging shots in the second half every time Baylor seemed poised for a comeback.

“[English] really carried us,” Denmon said. “I’ve been with him for four years and he’s a brother of mine and just to see him go out on top in terms of Big 12 play is great.”

The heavy contingent of Missouri fans at Sprint Center fans showered boos on Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas as he handed the Big 12 tournament trophy to Missouri coach Frank Haith.

Missouri (30-4) held the lead from start to finish, taking home its first Big 12 conference tournament trophy since 2009. Haith took a moment to reflect on the win after the game.

“How you handle adversity will determine how successful you’re going to be,” Haith said. I think this team had a never quit attitude and stayed true to the course.”

Denmon sat in the locker room after the game with this shoes off and his ankle heavily taped.

“It’s throbbing…but it’s worth it,” Denmon said. “It’s worth it to be able to win this Big 12 title as a senior captain, this being my team and my home city. My guys out there battling, going to war with each other and coming out victorious is really special for us.”

Five Tigers scored in double-figures Saturday. Senior Ricardo Ratliffe scored 15 points, and Dixon poured in 17 off the bench as Missouri finished the game shooting close to 54 percent, compared to Baylor’s 39 percent. Missouri sophomore Phil Pressey had 15 points and added eight assists and five rebounds en route to being named to the Big 12 all-tournament team.

“Offensively, our team is so good and so…deep in offensive talent, you never know who it’s going to be,” English said.

Perry Jones led No. 11 Baylor with 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Jones and teammate Brady Heslip were also named to the all-tournament team after the game. Heslip nailed four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.

Baylor’s size and 40-28 rebounding advantage failed to stifle Missouri, as the Tigers won their third game against the Bears this season. The focus now shifts to whether or not the Tigers will be a No. 1 in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers made a strong case in the Big 12 tournament, beating their opponents by an average of 15.5 points.

“We’ve had a great regular season,” Haith said. “That stuff will work itself out.”

The NCAA tournament selections and seedings will be announced Sunday. Mizzou Arena will be host to a NCAA Selection Show fan celebration starting at 4 p.m. The selection show airs at 5pm.

TOURNAMENT NOTES

  • All-Championship Team: Phil Pressey (MU), Perry Jones III (BU), Brady Heslip (BU), J’Covan Brown (UT), and MOP Kim English (MU)
  • Missouri set a Big 12 Championship field goal percentage record with its combined 55.4 percent shooting from the floor in its three games.
  • Missouri and Baylor combined for 165 points — the highest-scoring Big 12 Championship final.
  • Coach Frank Haith became the first coach to win a Big 12 Championship in his first season with a school.

 

As Baylor looms, Mizzou ready to counter size with speed

By Kaveh Kaghazi

Talent. Size. Length. On paper, the No. 6 Baylor Bears seem to have it all: A point guard who can get to the basket at will, a paint patrolling shot blocker and at least two future NBA lottery picks.

On the hardwood, the Bears (21-3, 8-3) have struggled against the Big 12’s best this season: Missouri and Kansas. Baylor will get a chance to avenge a 89-88 loss at home to the Tigers earlier this season when they visit Mizzou Arena on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 12:30 p.m.

Phil Pressey scored 18 points and added seven assists, six steals and five rebounds in Missouri's 89-88 win against Baylor on Jan. 21.

“We know we’re playing a Top 10 team,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said at a press conference on Thursday.

“So it’s a great opportunity for us…a team that we’ve beaten earlier in the year that we expect to come in with a little bit of a revenge factor. And we know that we’ll get their best game.”

Since beating Oklahoma State by 41 points on Jan. 14, Baylor is just 5-3 with an average margin of victory of six points. Scott Drew’s team was blown out of its own gym by Kansas Wednesday night in Waco, Texas, 68-54. Wednesday’s loss marked the second time this season the Jayhawks have beaten Baylor soundly. The first time around, KU dismantled the Bears, 92-74 in Lawrence, Kan.

Yet the Tigers (22-2, 9-2) are aware of the difficulties Baylor presents with their sheer size alone. “They’re long, they’re athletic,” center Steve Moore said. “They’ve got really good guards, really good big guys.”

Baylor has had no shortage of big men in recent years, with forwards Perry Jones III and Quincy Acy. Jones, a heralded recruit coming out of high school, has averaged 14 points and seven rebounds in his first two seasons at Baylor while the senior Acy leads the team with more than two blocks per game.

Jones and Quincy Miller, a 6-9 freshman forward, are expected to be sure-fire NBA lottery picks. Twenty-three NBA scouts attended Wednesday’s game to watch Jones and Miller take on the Jayhawks. With Jones, Acy and Miller, the Bears provide a challenge to smaller teams like Missouri who can’t match Baylor’s height advantage.

Four players in Missouri’s starting lineup are 6-6 or shorter. Yet the lack of size didn’t hurt the Tigers the first time around. Instead, Missouri’s speed served as Baylor’s kryptonite as the Tigers’ guards controlled the tempo throughout the game.

“We just have to match their size with our speed,” guard Phil Pressey said.

Pressey had arguably his best all-around game of the season the first time these teams squared off on Jan. 21. Matched up with Baylor’s Pierre Jackson, Pressey successfully penetrated Baylor’s 1-3-1 zone, scoring 18 points to go along with seven assists, six steals and five rebounds.

Sixth man Michael Dixon has averaged 16.3 points in his last three games.

Asked about what stood out to him while watching Baylor on film, junior guard Michael Dixon didn’t hesitate.

“Their length,” Dixon said.

“We’re a small team—everybody knows that. We’ve got to box out and we’ve got to rebound and we have to play to our strengths. And I think when we defensive rebound we have to run because we are small but at the same time have speed and quickness and that’s the thing that gives everybody we play problems.”

Senior forward Ricardo Ratliffe scored a season-high 27 points back on Jan. 21, while he and fellow senior Kim English limited Jones to just eight points and four rebounds.

“You know when you play against better players, it kind of makes you step up your level play,” Ratliffe said. “Especially playing against guys that are supposed to be going to the NBA.”

At 9-2, Missouri is tied atop the Big 12 standings with Kansas with just seven regular season games left on the schedule. A Baylor loss on Saturday would drop the Bears to 8-4 in conference play and 0-4 against the Tigers and Jayhawks. Although the Tigers have yet to lose a game at Mizzou Arena this season (13-0), Dixon stressed how difficult conference game rematches are.

“It’s very tough to beat a team twice,” Dixon said. “We have to come out and be ready for them.”

Mizzou hurt by turnovers, can’t stop Baylor offense

Story by Lauren Delaney
Photos by Derek Klein

Missouri conceded the opening jump to Baylor, having 5-foot-9-inch Morgan Eye up against 6-foot-8-inch Brittney Griner. Missouri’s remaining players had dropped back into defensive positions.

Missouri faced the No. 1 Baylor Bears at Mizzou Arena Wednesday evening for the second time in conference play.  The first time the teams met this season on January 3, Baylor ran off with a 90-46 victory over Missouri. Wednesday night was a slightly different story.

The Tigers held the Baylor Bears to 71 points, but 25 of those points came from turnovers.  One of the Tigers’ biggest weaknesses in the fight against the Bears was the number of turnovers the offense forced. The Tigers turned the ball over 11 times in the first half alone, giving the Bears an offensive advantage. The fans were noticeably frustrated with the reoccurring turnovers, but the players didn’t let their emotions get the best of them.

“To be honest, we’re not allowed to get frustrated because that causes deflation,” said senior forward BreAnna Brock. “It gets frustrating, but also we can build off that; we know what we can’t do to get that turnover, and we can change that into a positive and do what we can to not cause that again.”

Missouri coach Robin Pingeton wasn’t expecting a perfect game against the best women’s basketball team in the nation.  Pingeton noted that it’s tough to play against a roster stacked with McDonald’s All-American players, but she was proud her players were able to hold their own.  Baylor’s 6-foot 8-inch center Brittney Griner scores an average 22.7 points per game, and Missouri held her to 18 points. Tiger seniors Brock and Christine Flores fought hard against Griner under the boards and snagged 12 rebounds collectively. Missouri was able to play aggressively despite the height disadvantage.

Brock went toe-to-toe with Griner and was challenged the duration of the game. On covering Griner, Brock said, “It’s a tough task, she’s really tall, her wingspan just adds to that height. It’s tough, but at the same time I don’t think about her being that size, I’m her size in my mind when I’m guarding her.”

Brock tied with Crafton each adding eight points for the Tigers. Brock made three of the six shots she took, leaving her with a 50 percent shooting average for the night.  In her past three games, Brock has been in a shooting slump over the last three games, sinking less than 35 percent of her shots.  Wednesday night Brock seemed to rebound from her slump. She hit a 3-pointer late in the first half; junior guard Sydney Crafton drove hard to the basket, but when she noticed Brock standing wide open on the perimeter, Crafton kicked the ball out to Brock who sank the ball in for the three. Brock hit another 3-pointer halfway through the second period, thanks to another Crafton assist. Less than a minute later, Brock went hard in the paint and broke through the Baylor defense, scoring a layup.

Despite Brock’s increased shooting average during this game, the Tigers weren’t sinking shots.  In the second half, the team’s shooting average dropped to 29%, making only eight of 27 baskets.  Flores averages 18.7 points per game, but those statistics didn’t translate in this hard-fought match.  Flores was held to seven points, and only made three of her 15 attempts at the basket. This was the second time this season that Baylor had kept the opposing team from having any player score in double digits.

When asked whether Flores’ shooting wasn’t quite there tonight or if it was the aggressive Baylor defense, Pingeton said, “It felt like she took some rushed shots, she didn’t have that poise she’s had as of late with her shot, especially on the perimeter. Certainly not a typical shooting night for her but I think it’s a little bit of both to be honest with you.”

The numbers might not look so great for the Tigers, but they never quit on the court against the top-ranked team.  And for the players, that’s a victory in itself.

“Not a lot of teams can say they’ve played the No. 1 team in the nation, and I feel like collectively we went out there and played hard and we never gave up. We can just take what we didn’t do and get better at that in practice, and take that and move forward to our next game,” Brock said.

The Tigers head to Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday to take on Texas Tech (15-6, 3-6). Missouri is still searching for a conference win, now holding a 0-9 conference record after losing to Baylor.

What’s ahead for Big 12 basketball teams?

By Darren Hellwege, KBIA Sports Director

There are signs, like the omission of Colorado and some of the seeds, that our thought that the Tigers play in the second best conference in America is not exactly universally held. But, as we’ll see, there are still teams with a road ahead of them to stand up and prove the critics wrong. Some Big 12 teams may make a nice little run in the tourney and at least one, and if you want to dream big two, have legitimate chances at a national championship. Here’s my look at all 12 conference teams (next year at this point I’ll be able to do 1/6 less work, awesome!) their road ahead in the Big Dance or Little Dance (NIT) and for those whose dance card is empty, we explore the future…including two coaching changes already announced.

BAYLOR—About as disappointing an end to the season as one could imagine. First, they caught Oklahoma at their hottest and lost in the first round of the Big 12′s in Kansas City. Then, they were left out of the NIT, some theorize they were dropped in order to make room for Colorado, whom many thought were NCAA bound. But, perhaps the worst news (and another possible reason the NIT said ‘no thanks’) is the story that still hangs like the Sword of Damocles over the program, the potential violations regarding top freshman Perry Jones, III. This is a program whose history requires a higher standard, and it appears they may not be meeting it. If this is as problematic as it appears it might be, it could have very serious repercussions for a long time for Baylor athletics. Fortunately for Baylor fans there is a great basketball team on campus. They’re called the Lady Bears, and while men’s basketball fans along the Brazos sweat out this off-season, Kim Mulkey’s team is one of two or three good enough to keep Geno Auriemma worrying. At least a little.

COLORADO—First, let’s save the tears about NCAA snubs for teams that deserve it. The four extra spots in the Big Dance should have given more opportunity for the good teams out of so-called “mid-major” conferences. Not Georgia, not Clemson, not Virginia Tech, and not the 13-loss Colorado Buffaloes. Feel bad for St. Mary’s or Harvard or especially Missouri State.

(note: first Missouri Valley champ EVER left out of tourney, 10 road wins, and of the top five snubs with highest RPI in tourney history, three come from the same school—Missouri State University. And to those who yell “schedule!” riddle me this—what top team offered to play the Bears or Gaels, and got turned down? These schools play the teams that will play them)

So, the Buffs will play in the NIT. They’ll start against Texas Southern, and it’s very simple to sum up their chances. If the team that beat KSU three times this season and looked so strong in Kansas City shows up, they have a good chance to go places in the NIT. But, as happens so often with so-called “snubs,” real or imagined, if they start pouting because they think they deserved a bid to the NCAA, the trip to the NIT could be short-lived.

Read more of this post

VIDEO: Ricardo Ratliffe on Baylor smack talk

Mizzou forward Ricardo Ratliffe discussed some of the on-court chatter from the Tigers’ 77-59 win over Baylor Wednesday night in a post-game press conference.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,501 other followers