Tag Archives: South Carolina

Finucane, three others receive All-SEC softball honors

Freshman pitcher Tori Finucane pitches against Oklahoma State on March 22, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Finucane was given three SEC honors on Tuesday including Freshman Player of the Year.

Freshman pitcher Tori Finucane pitches against Oklahoma State on March 22, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Finucane was given three SEC honors on Tuesday including Freshman Player of the Year.

The Southeastern Conference released its postseason softball awards on Tuesday, and Missouri freshman Tori Finucane was recognized in three categories. Infielder Corrin Genovese, outfielder Taylor Gadbois and outfielder Mackenzie Sykes join Finucane with All-SEC honors.

While receiving First Team and Freshman All-SEC honors, Finucane was recognized as the conference Freshman Player of the Year. This marks only the second Freshman POY award in program history as Finucane joins outfielder Rhea Taylor, who took home the award in 2008. Finucane compiled a 21-5 record, 1.70 ERA and 166 strikeouts during the regular season.

Genovese and Gadbois also received First Team All-SEC honors, and Sykes was named to the SEC All-Defensive team.

The No. 14 Tigers are in Columbia, S.C., for the SEC softball tournament and will face No. 25 Louisiana State in the second round at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Follow the link for a complete list of SEC award winners.

Read more of this post

No. 9 Mizzou in the driver’s seat in SEC East 


By The Associated Press

COLUMBIA — A surprise no more, No. 9 Missouri leads the SEC East with three games to go.

Win out and the Tigers (8-1, 4-1 SEC) will have come back all the way from last year’s 5-7 dud that prompted doubts about whether they or their coach belonged in their new league. Beat Kentucky, Ole Miss and No. 11 Texas A&M, and they earn a berth in the conference championship game.

“We’ve probably exceeded everybody else’s expectations, but with our expectations, we still haven’t accomplished what we want to accomplish yet,” cornerback Randy Ponder said. “We’ve still got to take each game like day one.”

Coach Gary Pinkel’s crew is a double-digit favorite this week at Kentucky and then there’s a week off, perhaps bonus time allowing quarterback James Franklin to return from a shoulder strain at full strength.

Pinkel warned players there’s little drop-off in the SEC, and they know better than to treat Kentucky (2-6) lightly. They were there a year ago.

“It doesn’t matter where they are in the conference,” said quarterback Maty Mauk, who’ll likely be making his fourth consecutive start. “They’re playing in the SEC. We know they’re going to be good. Maybe they don’t come out on top a lot of the time, but they’re a great team.”

No. 13 South Carolina (7-2, 5-2) and Georgia (5-3, 4-2) are lurking, each with two losses and hoping for another Missouri stumble that could set up a tiebreaker mess. The survivor of various scenarios likely earns the underdog role—make that a heavy underdog—in the SEC championship game, perhaps against No. 1 Alabama.

Based on head-to-head results and two teams tied for first at 6-2, South Carolina trumps Missouri and Missouri trumps Georgia.

Head-to-head competition would not decide a three-way tie, since South Carolina beat Missouri but lost to Georgia, and Missouri beat Georgia but lost to South Carolina. With a 2-1 finish, Missouri would prevail in the next tiebreaker based on division record – one loss vs. two each for Georgia and South Carolina.

Tennessee has lost to all of the SEC East contenders. The Volunteers lost 34-31 to Georgia in overtime at home, beat South Carolina 23-21 at home and lost 31-3 last week to the Tigers. So who’s best?

“I’d have to say Missouri, just them being the last ones we played,” Vols offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James said. “They had a great defensive line, a pretty good offense. I see Missouri doing good things in the East.”

The Crimson Tide are the two-time defending national champions and they’ve been No. 1 all year, on track for a fourth BCS championship game in five years. They’re the class of the conference that’s won seven consecutive BCS titles.

First things first. The teams chasing Missouri can’t fixate on what’s out of their control.

Georgia stayed alive by beating Florida last week and quarterback Aaron Murray said he’s taken just a peek at the various scenarios. The Bulldogs play Appalachian State this week, followed by Auburn and Kentucky.

“You can’t stress about, ‘We need them to lose, we need them to lose,'” Murray said. “That’s the crummy part of not being in control of our own destiny. But right now we’ve just got to take care of our own business and win the rest of our games and just hope and pray they lose, but don’t freak out and stress out about it because that’s going to affect us.”

South Carolina handed Missouri its lone loss in double-overtime at Columbia, Mo., rallying from a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The cleanest route to the title game: Beat Florida at home in its league finale on Nov. 16 combined with losses by Missouri and Georgia. The Gamecocks are off this week and play at home next week against Florida.

“If we take care of business and it works out for us, then it does,” defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said. “If it doesn’t, we did what we set out to do other than win all the SEC games.”

Kulas leads with 26 as Mizzou defeats South Carolina 65-58, securing postseason play

Story by Elaine Stockdale

Columbia, Mo.­­— Mizzou upset No. 14 South Carolina 65-58 at Thursday night at Mizzou Arena, booking their spot in postseason play for first time since 2007.

Tonight’s win marks the 16th win for the Tigers, their 14th home win and their first win in three weeks – breaking a five-game losing streak.

Despite the win, coach Robin Pingeton is taking it one game at a time.

“It’s absolutely nice, there is no doubt about it, but we haven’t talked a lot about win number 16,” Pingeton said. “We can’t play for win number 16, we have to play our absolute best on each given night.”

Junior Bri Kulas had a stand out performance for Mizzou tonight, finishing with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

“We were just looking to attack, to protect the power zone, and make the baskets,” Kulas said.

Kulas was dominant throughout the game, grabbing rebounds and scoring points off her own second efforts. She was 8-16 from the field and 10-13 from the free throw line.

Kulas had plenty of drive and poise when attacking the basket, crossing over and weaving through players to the paint. Her strive and grit making it to the basket and grabbing rebounds contributed to her points and free throw attempts. Read more of this post

Mizzou faces South Carolina for senior night in last home game

Story by Elaine Stockdale

For their last regular season home game at Mizzou Arena, the Missouri women’s basketball team will play host to the South Carolina Gamecocks tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Mizzou will set out to end a five game losing streak while being one win away from a .500 record.

Missouri needs one win – either tomorrow night at home or on the road against Alabama Sunday – to attain the .500 record, making them eligible for the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).

The Tigers currently stand at 15-13 overall, 4-10 in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). South Carolina is 22-5, and 10-4 in SEC play. The teams have only met each other once in program history, at the Duke Classic in 2004. The Gamecocks defeated Mizzou 72-60 in the game but will make their way to Columbia, Mo. tomorrow for the first time.

Thursday’s senior night game recognizes Mizzou’s Sydney Crafton, Liz Smith, and Liene Priede.

Coach Robin Pingeton spoke about the emotion in the lead-up to Thursday night.

“Senior nights are always tough, there are a lot of emotions,” Pingeton said. “It’s different for everybody, but I think our challenge to our players is play with those emotions. But you got to make sure you funnel and channel them in the right the direction.” Read more of this post

Missouri seeks rebound against UCF

By the Associated Press

Mizzou linebacker Andrew Wilson, 48, pursues KSU quarterback Collin Klein on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 in Manhattan, Kansas. Wilson leads all Football Bowl Subdivision players with four forced fumbles in 2012. Photo by Nick Gerhardt

It’s hard for a team to know where it can go until it establishes exactly what kind of team it is.

So far in 2012, to a large extent, both Central Florida and Missouri are still trying to get an idea on the latter.

Entering their matchup with the Tigers Saturday, the Knights (2-1) have the better record, with wins over Akron and Florida International sandwiching a competitive loss at Ohio State.

The Tigers (2-2) have had a bumpy introduction to the Southeastern Conference thus far thanks to a pair of lopsided losses to Georgia and at South Carolina last week.

It makes this week a potential momentum boost for the remainder of the season for both, with Missouri returning to SEC play next week and UCF beginning its league slate.

“The leadership responsibility for this program starts with me,” Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said. “It’s my job to fix the problems that we have here. Obviously I have a good staff, and have good seniors and captains.

“It’s hard to win. You have to play hard to win. You can’t go in and play your ‘B’ or ‘C’ games, and expect to win. It isn’t going to happen, especially against the people we have been playing.”

In the second game of a four-game home stand, Knights’ coach George O’Leary is keenly aware of the buzz surrounding his program as it hosts it first-ever SEC opponent. UCF is just 2-13 against SEC teams overall, its last win coming over Georgia in the 2010 Liberty Bowl to cap a school-best 11-3 finish.

“I think the big thing is that you play Ohio State, you’re playing Missouri. They’re SEC, Big Ten teams. You got to win those games if you want to get any notoriety,” O’Leary said. “The players understand it is the fourth game. It’s an important game. I think any time you can bring the SEC in to your house it should be a big deal with your fan base and everybody else concerned with the game.”

O’Leary’s team, looking for its first 3-1 start since 2007, will have back one of its best weapons this week with senior running back Latavius Murray likely playing in some capacity after missing two straight games with a shoulder injury. He’s definitely in the game plan, but O’Leary said he won’t start.

The Tigers will be down one of their important cogs on defense with linebacker Zaviar Gooden missing his second game this season after tweaking his hamstring against South Carolina.

Injuries aside, quarterback play figures to play a big role in Saturday’s matchup.

UCF sophomore Blake Bortles, who has looked solid at times throwing for seven touchdowns, also has five interceptions on the year. Three of those came in the Ohio State loss in which he acknowledged panicking in the pocket at times. He puts the biggest need to improve on his own shoulders coming out of a bye week.

“I think we still have a long way to go,” Bortles said. “We’re not nearly as polished as we need to be and we don’t execute near as much as we need to be. It starts with me. As a quarterback you need to be able to execute the most, and move the offense and be productive.”

Bortles and the offense can expect to get challenged by a Missouri defense that is second in the nation with eight fumble recoveries. Linebacker Andrew Wilson’s four forced fumbles lead all Football Bowl Subdivision players.

As for his offense, Pinkel gave junior signal caller James Franklin a vote of confidence this week after he threw for only 92 yards in last week’s loss. Franklin is coming off getting flack for refusing to take painkillers and sitting out the Tigers win over Arizona State Sept. 15.

“Typically in the game if, in the past, my shoulder’s hurt and I throw in the game, I don’t feel it,” Franklin said this week. “But this is a little different because I feel it. And I think that’s really been killing my confidence because I’ve been not trusting myself with being able to make throws or put something on it.”

On paper the Knights look like a team that could give Franklin fits, especially with a young Tigers’ offensive line that even Pinkel acknowledged has made his quarterback “a little frustrated.”

The Knights defense is ranked 32nd in the country in pass defense, allowing 188 yards per game. It ranks 44th in scoring defense, giving up 22 points per game. Missouri is averaging 29 points this season.

“I hope it’s the identity of us in the first half against FIU. That’s what we need to see for 60 minutes. I think it comes down to consistency. I still get disturbed with some guys out there,” O’Leary said of his defense. “You’ve got to be able to deliver a blow…The identity, I don’t know defensively. I think we got some big play potential guys but we got to get more out of them.”

Missouri LB Gooden out for game vs. UCF

By the Associated Press

Mizzou linebacker Zaviar Gooden avoids a facemask penalty as he drags Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein to the ground in 2011. Photo by Nick Gerhardt.

Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden re-injured his hamstring Saturday against South Carolina and will not play in this Saturday’s game at Central Florida.

Gooden originally strained his hamstring against No. 5 Georgia on Sept. 8 and sat out the following week against Arizona State. The senior then started at No. 6 South Carolina before being pulled in the first quarter.

Coach Gary Pinkel said Monday that Gooden merely “tweaked” his hamstring, and did not strain it again. The team is holding him out as a precaution. Junior Donovan Bonner is scheduled to start instead.

In three games, Gooden has one interception, which he returned 20 yards in the opener against Southeastern Louisiana for a touchdown. Bonner, in relief of Gooden, has one interception which he returned for 13 yards and three forced fumbles.

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,584 other followers