Tag Archives: LSU

Missouri bats go quiet in SEC Tournament loss to LSU

By Sam Richmond

The No. 14 Missouri Tigers’ run in the Southeastern Conference softball tournament was a short one. The Tigers fell to Louisiana State 6-0 in the tourney’s quarterfinals on Thursday in Columbia, S.C.

Missouri sent freshman Tori Finucane to the mound, but the Tiger ace struggled early.

Finucane allowed three consecutive hits, including back-to-back doubles that gave LSU a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first.

LSU’s next run would come in the fourth inning after an error committed by junior third baseman Angela Randazzo.

The women from Louisiana would tack on two more runs in the fifth, both also the result of a Missouri error.

The fifth frame would be Finucane’s last. The 21-game winner and top-10 finalist for National Freshman of the Year finished the day with seven hits and two earned runs allowed.

Coach Ehren Earleywine counted on fellow freshman Casey Stangel to pitch the final two innings. Stangel’s only hit allowed was a solo home run in the sixth inning.

Although the Tigers arms weren’t great, the position players were even more of a problem.  Missouri had nearly as many errors (three), as they did hits (four). The team had no extra-base hits in the contest.

With the Tigers SEC tournament championship hopes dashed, the team now waits to see if it will host a regional in the  2014 NCAA Division I Softball Championship. The bracket will be announced Sunday, May 11, at 9 p.m on ESPNU.

Bowers and Oriakhi dominate as Mizzou beats LSU 89-76

Photos by Matthew Fairburn
Story by the Associated Press
Keion Bell collects a pass in the second half of Saturday's win over LSU. Bell finished the game with 11 points and six rebounds.

Keion Bell collects a pass in the second half of Saturday’s win over LSU. Bell finished the game with 11 points and six rebounds.

Even with Missouri coach Frank Haith sitting next to him on the podium, Alex Oriakhi could not stifle himself.

The memory fresh from struggles in the first meeting against LSU, the senior forward said the rematch was more than just a game.

“I just wanted revenge,” Oriakhi said after getting 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, helping the Tigers stay unbeaten at home with an 89-76 victory over LSU on Saturday. “I didn’t care how much I scored, I just wanted to win.”

After failing to suppress a laugh, Haith scolded Oriakhi about “Media Training 101″ and did his best to re-direct questioning elsewhere.

“Please. No more. He’s done,” Haith said as Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers guffawed while bolting for the locker room.

Bowers had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Phil Pressey added 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds for the Tigers (21-8, 10-6 SEC), who rallied from an early 13-point deficit. They’re 16-0 at Mizzou Arena but just 2-7 on the road, including a three-point loss at LSU on Jan 31.

Oriakhi was held to one point, three rebounds with four fouls in the first meeting. Missouri emphasized getting the ball inside in the rematch, totaling 52 points in the lane.

“I think that’s just what we are,” Oriakhi said. “A lot of credit goes to the guards, they’re just spotting us. Phil is just putting us in perfect position where all we’ve got to do is lay the ball in or dunk it.”

Bowers had his highest point total since also scoring 23 against Illinois in December, and earned his second double double in 10 games since returning from a knee injury.

“I just got lost in the game,” Bowers said. “Coach sent me a text this morning that just said, ‘Play free.’ I think that’s what I did and it really helped me.”

Anthony Hickey posted career bests with 22 points and six 3-pointers for LSU (17-10, 8-8), which matched its season best with 12 3-pointers but shot 42 percent overall compared with a season-best 55.6 percent in the first meeting. Charles Carmouche had 21 points, the fourth 20-plus outing in five games for the senior guard who averages 10.1 points.

“I think he’s found his niche and what he’s capable of doing,” coach Johnny Jones said. “He understands that he’s a senior, this is it for him, and he’s playing with a great sense of urgency.”

Missouri escaped an early 25-12 hole by pounding it inside, with seven baskets on dunks, tip-ins or follow shots out of their 18 first-half baskets. The Tigers shot 54.5 percent overall and led 43-39 at the half.

“I think we did a good job coming out, throwing the first punch and kind of letting them know that we were here to win the ballgame,” Carmouche said. “We kind of took our foot off the gas. Missouri’s a pretty good team, and they took advantage of it.”

LSU was 6 for 8 from 3-point range to open the game before Missouri surfaced with a 24-6 run for an 8-point cushion with 2:31 to go, including eight points from reserve Earnest Ross in just over a minute.

LSU closed the gap with two late 3-pointers from Hickey, who was 5 for 8 and had 17 points.

Hickey was 6 for 14 from 3-point range and topped his previous best of 21 points against Northwestern State in November. He had 20 points in the first meeting despite going 1 for 7 from long range.

Missouri led by as many as 16 points in the second half, pulling away from a 43-39 lead at the break. LSU got no closer than eight points in the final minutes, aided by shaky free throw shooting by Missouri.

The win improved Missouris record at home this season to 16-0. The team returns to the court on Tuesday night when it takes on Arkansas for senior night. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.
The supervising editor on this story was Megan Rentschler

Road woes bump Mizzou from AP Top 25

By the Associated Press

Frank Haith, right, huddles with the team during a time out in the Auburn game. Missouri is 14-0 at home and winless on the road.

Frank Haith, right, huddles with the team during a time out in the Auburn game. Missouri is 14-0 at home and winless on the road.

Frank Haith believes Missouri has played a lot better its last two road games. The bottom line remains: zero wins.

The Tigers (17-6, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) are 14-0 at Mizzou Arena this season, and are an outstanding 81-4 the last five seasons. They’re 0-5 on the road and will be the visitors four of the next five games, starting Wednesday night at Mississippi State.

Missouri was No. 15 in the preseason poll, rose to No. 7 after beating Illinois in St. Louis in December, and still has an appealing No. 33 RPI rating. But it’s out of the Top 25 this week after losses, better showing or not, in a span of three games at SEC also-rans LSU and Texas A&M.

After a 21-point victory over Mississippi on Saturday, responding to a 15-point loss at Oxford, Miss., last month, Haith referred to the home-road disparity as a “$50 million question.”

“We’ve got to taste having some success,” Missouri’s second-year coach said.

Mississippi State (7-15, 2-8) is at the bottom of the SEC and appears to offer an end to the road drought. Whomever the opponent, Haith said the keys will be mental and physical toughness.

“Obviously, winning on the road is hard,” Haith said. “There’s some things that we’re going to look into in terms of getting our guys focused. But it’s all the same. It’s just a matter of our guys understanding.”

Typically, it’s been a game of catch-up on the road. Missouri trailed by 15 in the second half at Texas A&M, rallied to tie it with about two minutes and lost by two when Phil Pressey missed a 3-pointer going for the win. Mississippi led all the way the first meeting against a team minus injured Laurence Bowers and the Tigers shot just 32 percent at Florida, which led by 17 at the half.

“Once you get that first one, I feel it’s all going to fall into place,” Pressey said. “Right now, we’re just finding all the right ways to lose a game. So once we win that one, I feel like it will all come together.”

Pressey, the SEC preseason player of the year, has been the lone holdover starter from a 30-5 team that earned Haith national coach of the year honors. Other handicaps: Bowers missed five games with a knee injury and Mike Dixon, one of the nation’s best sixth men, announced he’d transfer in December after two sexual assault claims became public.

Haith rebuilt the roster around transfers, and has shortened his rotation to seven players in recent games, with playing time drastically reduced for a trio of freshmen, guard Negus Webster-Chan, forward Stefan Jankovic and center Ryan Rosburg. Many of the core seven have misfired on the road.

Pressey had 10 turnovers at Florida, seven at Texas A&M and five at Mississippi. He rebounded with 22 points, five rebounds and four assists with just one turnover in the Ole Miss rematch.

“I always tell guys, just trust in Phil, man, because Phil will find you,” forward Alex Oriakhi said. “He’ll get you the ball.”

Oriakhi has been a force at home with four double-doubles in conference play, but totaled nine points and 11 boards at Ole Miss, Florida and LSU. Jabari Brown is a 33-percent shooter on the road in SEC play and Earnest Ross is 6-for-21

“It’s just staying focused, man,” Ross said. “As long as we stay focused, I think that we’ll be a way better team on the road than we are. You know, sometimes we tend to fall off, and that’s what coach Haith talks about when he talks about listening.”

 

 

Surprising win and surprising loss for Mizzou baseball and softball

Mizzou softball and baseball teams in unexpected post season spots

Missouri’s Jeff Emens (20) celebrates along with teammates after defeating Oklahoma 8-7 in the Big 12 conference championship game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Is it possible that Missouri sent its teams to the wrong cities?

In Columbia, the team that should have won — the nationally-ranked and favored Missouri softball team — lost two of three games to unranked LSU.

In Oklahoma City, the Missouri baseball team that struggled to a 10-14 finish in Big 12 conference play, won the conference championship game against Oklahoma.

Missouri players Carlie Rose (5) Alyssa Cousins (17) Rachel Hay (00) Princess Krebs (42) and Ashley Fleming (30) watch as the LSU Tigers celebrate their Super Regional win Sunday, May 27, 2012 in Columbia, Mo. LSU won two of three games in the series.

It’s all about timing. The Missouri women faced an LSU team on the rise and the Missouri men picked a good time to rise from the ranks of mediocre teams and show their potential. The scenario that seemed unlikely a week ago has the baseball team heading into the NCAA national tournament and the women’s season ending without a spot in the women’s World Series.

Big 12 championship baseball final

With Missouri just one strike away from winning its first Big 12 championship, there was no way coach Tim Jamieson could feel comfortable.

He had been this close before – painfully close – and the title slipped away both times. And this was his last chance, with the Tigers getting ready to start chasing Southeastern Conference crowns next season.

Even when it was over and Missouri had beaten Oklahoma 8-7 on Sunday, getting the final out when a runner was hit by a batted ball and then tagging out another at the plate just in case, he wasn’t sure if it was finally time to celebrate.

“I saw the out at the plate and then I looked up and I saw both umpires (holding up their fists), so at that point, I was a little bit worried about, ‘Did we do something?’ Because that’s how it goes here,” Jamieson said.

The Tigers had been within one strike of winning the Big 12 tournament in 2004 and last season, and Jamieson recalls looking over his shoulder both times to see officials with championship hats and T-shirts waiting to be passed out.

This time, he paced in the dugout when pinch-hitter Chase Simpson got two strikes on him and grabbed a bottle of water and sat down after the next two pitches were balls. He checked twice to see if there was anyone holding championship gear, and didn’t see anyone.

After 24 years of trying – six as an assistant coach and 18 as the head coach – he finally got to see his players celebrate with black-and-white caps and bright gold T-shirts stamped “Big 12 Champions.”

“We talked about it a lot over the summer, all the guys that went through it last year, just knowing that the seniors had one more chance and Coach J had one more chance to come down here and be able to get a ring and be able to come win a conference championship,” said catcher Ben Turner, who had two singles and two RBIs.

Sixth-seeded Mizzou dogpiled on the infield and dumped a cooler of water on Jamieson to celebrate its first baseball title since winning the Big Eight under Gene McArtor in 1980.

It’s also the third conference title for Missouri in its final Big 12 season — along with the men’s basketball and wrestling titles. The Tigers had previously won only four postseason conference titles since the Big 12 was formed in 1996.

“We haven’t had a lot of those at Missouri and we haven’t had any in baseball, so it meant a lot,” Jamieson said. “We’ve been so close — right there — and we finally got over the hump. It’s special in so many different ways because we struggled this year, we had a lot of ups and downs. But you knew it was there, and it came together at the right time.”

Dillon Everett also drove in two runs and Blake Brown scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning for Missouri (32-27). Dusty Rose got the win for the Tigers and Blake Holovach got the final two outs for his first save.

“I love coming here. I always have, and I’ll miss it. … I’ve got a lot of big-time memories, not just on the field,” Jamieson said. “It’s special to win the last one.”

Eric Garcia was named Most Outstanding Player for the tournament, hitting .500 with three RBI, five runs and four walks. Also named for All-Tournament team honors were Dane Opel, Blake Brown and Jeff Emens.

Women’s Super Regional final

After Friday night’s loss Missouri knew it had to play 14 innings of ball on Sunday in order to advance. They hadn’t anticipated playing 12 of those in one game.

It took nearly four hours for Missouri to win the first game on Sunday. Chelsea Thomas started the game, pitching for 11 innings in the 5-1 victory.

“She threw good. I’m proud of her. In all honesty she didn’t throw her best again, but as I told you all last night, even if she just threw average, she would give LSU all they wanted, and she did just that,” said coach Ehren Earleywine.

Thomas struck out eight, walked four and allowed an unearned run. Bailey Erwin came in to pitch in what would be the last inning.

Missouri and LSU put up runs in the third inning then, as predicted, the pitchers shut down both sides.

Nicole Hudson, Ashley Fleming, Jenna Marston and Kayla Kingsley scored on a series of hits and LSU errors in the 12th inning. Erwin faced three LSU batters and shut them down.

In the final game of the series Missouri’s offense petered out.Missouri got on the board first with a run in the third inning but LSU quickly answered with three runs. That was all the offense either team could muster.

“Obviously we didn’t hit the way we wanted to all season pretty much,” said Ashley Fleming, the team’s leading hitter.

“I mean we’ve had games where we’ve hit good but just consistently not what we are capable of. There’d be different times where somebody would be hitting better than usual, and then other times it would be somebody else, but we never really had a time where everything was clicking perfectly through line- up.”

Missouri finishes the season at 47-14, 17-7 in the Big 12. Fleming, a senior, leaves with a team-leading batting average of .365. Senior pitcher Kristin Nottelmann ends with a 12-5 record and 2.41 ERA.

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2011-2012 Missouri sports season records compared to SEC schools

By Kelsey Alumbaugh

With Missouri just a few months away from joining the Southeastern Conference, how did Missouri teams compare to SEC teams?

We picked a selection of teams from all of the SEC schools and looked at their conference sports records compared to Missouri for the 2011-2012 academic year. Different sports compete in different ways and this selection of sports was chosen to best compare Missouri head-to-head with schools in the SEC. The baseball and softball records are the current records for this season through May 2, 2012. Vanderbilt does not have a softball or volleyball team.

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