Tag Archives: softball

Thinking Out Loud, Saturday Sports: A long conversation with Mizzou’s Casey Stangel

Darren Hellwege logoThis week, KBIA sports commentator Darren Hellwege kicks off a new format to his weekly reports with a longer, feature interview.

This week he talks with pitcher Casey Stangel, who joins Missouri’s softball team this year. In addition to her famous name, she talks about her favorite position on the field and her excitement about playing in the SEC.

He also talks with new associate head coach for soccer, Brian Dooley, and takes a look at this year’s volleyball season. And of course, he throws in a little bit about football, too.

Length: 59:00


You can listen to Darren’s show Saturdays at 6 a.m. on KBIA FM 91.3

Mizzou’s Thomas earns record fifth Pitcher of the Week honor this season

By Karl Roskamp

Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas delivers a pitch.  She threw a complete game and allowed one earned run, but ended up losing for the fourth time this season on April 13, 2013.

Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas delivers a pitch on April 13, 2013.

The Southeastern Conference named Missouri senior Chelsea Thomas the SEC Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time this season on Monday afternoon.

The award gives Thomas a tie with former Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott for the most SEC Pitcher of the Week recognitions in one season.  Abbott achieved the feat in 2005.  The award gives Thomas 17 Pitcher of the Week awards for her career.

Thomas pitched her 11th complete game no-hitter of her career in a 2-0 win over No. 4 Tennessee.  It was the first time Tennessee had been no-hit since 2002.  Thomas totaled seven strikeouts, three walks and one hit-by-pitch and improved her season record to 20-4.  The win gives her 13 conference wins this season, the most in the SEC.

Thomas will take the circle again at the SEC Tournament against No. 22 Arkansas on Thursday at 3 p.m. at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky.

Mizzou to face Arkansas in SEC Tournament

By Karl Roskamp

It’s been a winding journey for No. 11 Missouri as it gears up to play No. 22 Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday.

Missouri has dealt with transfers, injuries and erratic weather en route to a three-seed in the SEC tournament.  The culmination of those factors has lead to the Tigers being a tired team.

“This time of the year, you’re so exhausted,” coach Ehren Earleywine said during a teleconference Monday afternoon.

Earleywine is taking a hands off approach to the tournament.  He plans on having players rest and study film, rather than practicing in Lexington. “If you don’t have it now, you won’t have it then,” Earleywine said.

Despite the factors leading to a tired team, players should not be overwhelmed playing in a new conference tournament.  First, Tennessee co-coach Karen Weekley called the Tigers “SEC ready” based on the team’s high-caliber of coaching, hitting and pitching.

Secondly, Missouri did not have the tournament on its radar.

“At the start of the year, it was not one of our goals to win the SEC Tournament,” Earleywine said.

Earleywine is focused on the Super Regional and sees the tournament as a tune-up.  If he had his way, there wouldn’t even be a conference tournament.

“I’m not a fan of the SEC Tournament, or any post-season conference tournament,” Earleywine said, describing it as “anticlimactic” and fatiguing.

Fatigue was a major factor in Missouri’s previous series against Arkansas, when the Razorbacks took two out of three games at University Field on national television.  The Tigers will play on Thursday May 8, at 3 p.m. at John Cropp Stadium.

Poor weather shortens Mizzou softball season

By Karl Roskamp

If you look at the Southeastern Conference softball standings, No. 11 Missouri is last in one major category.

The Tigers have played the fewest games this season by a large margin.  Missouri has played 40 games so far while conference foe Ole Miss has played the most games with 56.

“This season has been something completely out of the norm for us, and unfortunately something we could not control,” coach Ehren Earleywine said Thursday in a statement released by the Missouri Athletic Department.

Missouri has cancelled 14 games already this season, but hat they lose in terms of in-game experience, they’ve gained in valuable time practicing.

“We have scrimmaged against ourselves more than any other season, which is certainly not a bad thing,” Earleywine said.

The inclement weather is not expected to let up any time soon.  For Missouri’s series this weekend against No. 4 Tennessee,the national weather service rain on all three days.  According to Patrick Crawford, the team’s Assistant Director of Strategic Communications, if the games get rained out, they won’t be rescheduled.

“There would be no chance for makeup, nor would the SEC reschedule the games in any other circumstance,” Crawford said.  “Additional games across the conference have gone un-rescheduled, as well.”

Earleywine says at least the unpredictable weather has made for a compelling season.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever had as much drama as I’ve had this year between the weather and our pitching situation and trying to figure who we are as a team,” Earleywine said.

Mizzou’s Kinglsey is out for remainder of the season

By Karl Roskamp

Missouri's Kayla Kingsley (11) is helped off the field after injuring herself running the bases in the eighth inning in Sunday's game against Arkansas at University Field.

Missouri’s Kayla Kingsley (11) is helped off the field after injuring herself running the bases in the eighth inning in Sunday’s game against Arkansas at University Field.

Missouri sophomore Kayla Kingsley is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury during a game against Arkansas on Sunday afternoon.

“It was confirmed Monday evening that Kayla Kingsley suffered a significant knee injury in our Sunday game against Arkansas,” coach Ehren Earleywine said in a statement released by the Mizzou Athletic Department.  “She will not be available for the remainder of the season. Our coaches and training staff are ready to support her through to a speedy recovery.

Kingsley was injured during the eighth inning of the game.  With bases loaded and no outs, senior Nicole Hudson hit a line drive to Arkansas third basemen Chloe Oprzedek.  Oprzedek then tagged Kingsley out, who had slipped awkwardly trying to return to third base.

“(Kingsley’s absence) would take away a lot of speed,” Hudson said.  “She gets a lot of things going, so we’re just praying that she makes it out alright.”

“I think (Kingsley’s injury) sucked the life out of us,” shortstop Corrin Genovese said.  The Tigers failed to score in the inning and lost 11-10.

For the season, Kingsley batted .327 with three runs batted in. She was nine of 11 on stolen base attempts. Outfielder Carlie Rose is her most likely replacement.

Missouri will travel to Iowa to play a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 17, at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City.

Offense carries Mizzou to win over Arkansas

By Karl Roskamp

The Missouri Tigers softball team shakes hands with the Arkansas softball team April 12, 2013 at University Field in Columbia Mo.

The Missouri Tigers softball team shakes hands with the Arkansas softball team on April 12, 2013 at University Field in Columbia Mo.

Kelsea Roth and Mackenzie Sykes combined for six hits and six runs batted in to lift No. 8 Missouri to a 9-0 run rule victory over Arkansas on Friday night at University Field.

The Tigers’ (24-4, 9-3 Southeastern Conference) victory came after two losses at Alabama last weekend. Junior Mackenzie Sykes said losing the series in Tuscaloosa was a motivating factor going into Friday’s game.

“As a team, we didn’t feel like we played that bad (against Alabama) but we wanted to come out here today and make sure we didn’t have a let down.”

Sykes had three hits in three at bats in the game, including a solo home run in the bottom of the third.  Sophomore Kelsea Roth had three hits too and four RBIs including a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to secure a run-rule victory.

“She drilled that ball, it was a line drive home run,” Sykes said of Roth’s home run.  “You can’t hit it any better than that.”

“I was just trying to save our pitching and hopefully get through the five innings so we can save Chelsea as much as we can,” Roth said.

The home run ended the game in the fifth inning and locked up career victory number 102 for Chelsea Thomas, the most in program history.

“That’s pretty special to be part of history for Mizzou softball,” Thomas said.  “I’m very grateful to be here and have a chance to do that.”

Thomas pitched four shutout innings, struck out five batters, allowed two hits and walked two hitters.  Thomas improved to a 15-3 record on the season. Senior Nicole Hudson finished the game by pitching the bottom of the fifth.  She did not allow any runs or hits, and walked one batter.  Even though she pitched one inning, coach Ehren Earleywine saw the value in her performance.

“That was big. Nicole coming probably saved (Thomas) 10 or 12 or 15 pitches,” Earleywine said.

Earleywine was not without apprehension coming into the game after how the Tigers played against Alabama.

“My worry was that she was going to come out guns a blazing and throwing the backside out of it,” he said. “She pitched under control for the most part and tried to locate and so we’re in a good position for tomorrow.”

Missouri will face Arkansas on Saturday at 2 p.m. at University Field.

Texas A&M Hits Four Home Runs, Defeats Mizzou

By Karl Roskamp

Texas A&M's Nicole Morgan celebrates the grand slam with her teammates as part of an eight-run sixth inning.

Texas A&M’s Nicole Morgan celebrates the grand slam with her teammates as part of an eight-run sixth inning.

Nicole Morgan and Mel Dumezich hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to
give No. 7 Texas A&M an 11-3 victory over No. 5 Missouri on Saturday.

The Aggies were the first team to score multiple runs off Missouri pitcher, Chelsea Thomas, scoring five before she was
pulled. Texas A&M also managed seven hits and drew three walks.

“Around the fourth or fifth inning it looks like she lost some velocity in conjunction with that they’re a very good
hitting team,” coach Ehren Earleywine said. “It was just a freak thing. She didn’t have it.”

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Mizzou gets time off with cancellation of weekend softball tournament

By Karl Roskamp

After two consecutive weekend tournaments the No. 6 Missouri softball team got some unexpected time off this weekend.

The Tigers were slated to play four games, but the statewide snowstorm caused Southeast Missouri to cancel its Cancer Awareness Classic in Cape Girardeau.  Missouri was scheduled to face SEMO, Saint Louis, Missouri State, and UMKC.  It is unclear whether these games will be made up. Current Southeastern Conference standings show that Missouri has played about half as many games as the other schools in the league.

SEC EAST DIVISION
Florida 22-1
Missouri 9-1
Tennessee 19-3
Kentucky 16-3
South Carolina 12-3
Georgia 12-7

SEC WEST DIVISION
Alabama 22-0
Texas A&M 22-1
LSU 17-4
Miss St 13-4
Auburn 16-5
Arkansas 16-6
Ole Miss 16-9

The tournament would have been the final tune up for Missouri before its conference series opener at home against No. 9 Texas A&M this weekend.

Supervising editing for this story was done by Jared Jeffries

Wrestling dropped from Olympics beginning in 2020

By the Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The International Olympic Committee cut wrestling from the program for the 2020 Olympics on Tuesday, a stunning rebuke for a sport that goes back to the inaugural modern games in 1896 and has produced such champions as Russian great Alexander Karelin.

While modern pentathlon was widely considered the sport most at risk, the IOC executive board surprisingly voted to remove wrestling instead from the list of 25 “core” summer sports.

Heavyweights Dom Bradley, left, and Jarod Trice needed overtime to decide their match. Both men are nationally ranked.

Missouri’s heavyweight wrestler Dom Bradley, left, took an Olympic redshirt to try to make the USA Olympic team for the 2012 Games.

The board acted after reviewing the 26 sports on the current Olympic program. Eliminating one sport allows the committee to add a new sport to the program later this year.

“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”

Wrestling officials called the decision an “aberration” against a founding event.

Known by its French initials FILA, the sport’s governing body said it was “greatly astonished” by the IOC executive board decision.

Past and present Olympic champions in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling called the rejection “mind-boggling” and a “tragedy” for the sport.

“FILA will take all necessary measures to convince the IOC Executive Board and IOC members of the aberration of such decision against one of the founding sports of the ancient and modern Olympic Games,” said FILA, which is based near the Olympic home city of Lausanne.

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Mizzou softball ousts Washington 6-3, advances to Women’s College World Series again

KBIA file photo by Karen Mitchell.

By Nick Gerhardt and Darren Hellwege

With one out in the top of the first inning, the Washington Huskies’ bullpen had already begun to come alive. Washington’s defense gave up five runs in the first 15 minutes and although pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby recovered enough to stave off a premature substitution, the Mizzou Tigers nevertheless triumphed and will advance to the Women’s College World Series.

Washington managed only three runs in eight hits. Meanwhile the Tigers had more runs (six) than hits (four), most of which came in the first inning.

Playing this game as the visiting team, Mizzou center fielder Rhea Taylor slapped the very first pitch of the game up the middle for a single. Washington’s Inglesby walked shortstop Jenna Marston after Taylor stole second base earlier in the at bat, and a bobbled throw by catcher Shawna Wright advanced both runners into scoring position before the Huskies logged their first out. Poor defense would become the defining trait of the Washington team that took the field on Sunday.

When third baseman Nicole Hudson singled Taylor home, she overran first base into what should have been a rundown, but a Washington throwing error allowed Marston to score while Hudson safely reached second base.

Hudson later slid under the catcher’s tag for the third Missouri run—RBI for designated hitter Marla Schweisberger—and right fielder Lisa Simmons crushed a home run over the right field wall for the fourth and fifth runs of the inning.

“Big teams have big innings,” said coach Ehren Earleywine, “and a good team will make you pay when you make mistakes.”

Mizzou starting pitcher Chelsea Thomas struggled to find the strike zone once the Tiger’s took the field. She loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, but escaped unscathed thanks in large part to shortstop Marston. She dove to keep a potential run-scoring single in the infield, then kept the Huskies off the scoreboard when she logged the final out of the inning.

Washington did not score until the fifth inning, and did not score again after that offensive surge.

Untimely errors plagued the Washington squad throughout the afternoon. In the third inning, left fielder Whitney Jones misjudged a pop fly that advanced Mizzou’s Ashley Fleming to third base. Fleming would eventually score the sixth and final Mizzou run on a passed ball.

Marston registered the only Mizzou error of the day, a costly one that spurred a near-comeback in the fifth inning by allowing Washington onto the scoreboard for the first of three runs. Kaitlin Inglesby, considered one of the better offensive pitchers in women’s softball, doubled during that pivotal fifth inning and drove home the second and third run.

Thomas escaped with the win, but appeared bothered by home plate umpire John Kurnat’s strike zone. Thomas and Washington’s Inglesby both threw a greater percentage of balls than their season average. Inglesby at one point trotted to within 20 feet of the Washington dugout before having to retreat to the mound as Kurant called “ball.”

Now, they prepare to take on another of the nation’s best hitting teams—perhaps the best hitting team, the Florida Gators —in their first game in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.  Earleywine knows the strategy, though.

“When you play the nation’s best hitting team, you like to have the nation’s best pitcher. We like our chances.”

And after two straight years of losing their first two games to be eliminated at the WCWS, Chelsea Thomas is looking for a different outcome this year. “We’re going to do some damage,” the pitcher said.

Earleywine Ejected
Despite the first inning Mizzou lead, coach Ehren Earleywine departed before the Tiger’s took the field. He earned his second ejection of the season by contesting a foul ball. The softball rolled in, out, then back in to fair territory before Washington third basemen Morgan Stewart touched it, but umpire John Kurnat had already made his call. Assistant coach Melissa Tucci took over coaching duties for the remainder of the game.

Earleywine seemed a bit embarrassed about the whole situation. “He (umpire John Kurnat) did what he needed to. I deserved it.” He said he’d rather focus on the good things his team accomplished, not “my mistake.”

“It was torturous watching this in the team room,” Earleywine said after the game. There was a five second delay, and I’d hear the fans cheer or boo and then have to wait to see what happened.”

Big 12 Represesents
Half of the teams in the Women’s College World Series play in the Big 12, as Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Missouri advance. Tournament play begins in Oklahoma City on Thursday, June 2 and wraps up the following Wednesday, June 8.

Final Stat Line
Mizzou: Pitcher Chelsea Thomas was credited with two earned runs on 10 hits in seven innings. She walked two batters and struck out nine.

Washington: Pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby was credited with five earned runs on four hits. She walked five batters and struck out four.

With the win, the Tigers are 52-8 on the year. The Huskies finish their season 37-15. Washington coach Heather Tarr offered this advice for the Tigers as they head to Oklahoma City. “Everybody tries to change their game, just go and do what you do.” It worked for the Huskies, who won a title in 2009. And, starting Thursday in Oklahoma City, the Tigers will see if what they do is good enough to win the school it’s first National Championship ever in softball and the first in any sport in 50 years.

Up Next
Mizzou faces No. 4 Florida at 8:30 pm CDT on Thursday, June 2.

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