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.
The 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.
Starting pitcher Casey Stangel has left the Missouri program.
COLUMBIA — Four Missouri softball players, including freshman starting pitcher Casey Stangel, are leaving the program, coach Ehren Earleywine said.
“I can confirm that Sarah Moore, Carlie Rose, Kelli Schkade and Casey Stangel are no longer members of our program,” he said in a statement released Wednesday. “We wish Sarah, Carlie, Kelly and Casey the best and thank them and their families for being a part of our program.”
The exact reasons for the four players’ transfers are not clear.
Stangel, a lefthander, posted a 15-10 record with a 3.27 ERA in her first season with the Tigers, including 14 complete games. Stangel was named MaxPreps’ player of the year her senior season for Lake City High School in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, after she compiled a .640 batting average and a perfect 28-0 record with a 0.73 ERA on the mound.
Missouri pitcher Tori Finucane hugs Corrin Genovese after recording the final out on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. The Tigers will play Bradley in the second game of the NCAA softball regional at University Field on Friday at 3:00 p.m.
By Sam Richmond and Sam Hustis
KBIA Sports reporters Sam Richmond and Sam Hustis review the 2014 Missouri softball season and look ahead to the NCAA Tournament. After finishing 41-16 in the regular season and 15-9 in Southeastern Conference play, the Tigers will host one of the 16 NCAA Regional tournaments, at University Field starting Friday.
Former Big 12 foes Nebraska and Kansas will play at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by Missouri and Bradley at 3:00 p.m.
Mackenzie Sykes gets one of her three hits against No. 13 Georgia on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Missouri begins NCAA Regional action on May 16 and Sykes is currently batting .272 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs on the season.
By Sam Hustis and Sam Richmond
Mackenzie Sykes is nearing the end of her time as a Missouri Tiger softball player.
With the Missouri’s loss to Louisiana State in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament, all that remains for Sykes is the 2014 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament beginning Friday, May 16.
After coming off the bench as a freshman in 2010, Sykes earned a starting spot and became one of Missouri’s top players over the next three seasons.
She earned First Team All-Big 12 her sophomore year, batted .319 her junior season and was named to the SEC All-Defensive team in 2014.
As the only four-year senior on Missouri’s roster, Sykes became a leader in 2014 — a duty she more than fulfilled, according to Missouri sophomore catcher Sami Fagan.
“She really stepped up,” Fagan said. “Our team wouldn’t have been here today without her. She really helped us out.”
Coach Ehren Earleywine said Sykes isn’t much of a vocal leader, but she does lead by example.
“If you come out and you’re not hustling, I think you feel a little uneasy about what you’re not doing,” Earleywine said. “You look out in the outfield and she’s sprinting to her position, hustling and trying to win every drill.”
He added that Sykes’ dedication to the sport and being a great teammate has had a lasting impact on him.
This week on Thinking Out Loud Saturday Sports Darren Hellwege talks about Mizzou’s new men’s basketball coach, Kim Anderson. We’ll hear from Mike Alden, Tiger legend Jon Sunvold, current Tiger player Ryan Rosburg and from the coach himself.
We also have reports on why Southeastern Conference football coaches are unhappy about how the league will be scheduling games; a report about how Sami Fagan is adjusting to a difficult move from shortstop to catcher in an attempt to inject more offense into Ehren Earleywine’s MU softball team.
And as Missouri honors its 1954 national championship baseball team, we’ll talk with the winning pitcher from the title game and hear some great stories of that legendary team and Missouri Hall of Fame coach, “Hi” Simmons.
Tiger shortstop Corrin Genovese asks for a timeout after an error by infielder Angela Randazzo on Friday, May 2 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Genovese had one of Missouri’s four hits in the loss.
By Sam Hustis
Missouri softball witnessed an opposing team celebrate at University Field after the Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Tigers 3-1, clinching the Southeastern Conference regular season championship on Friday night.
“It’s disgusting,” coach Ehren Earleywine said. “You do something like that in baseball and you could get into trouble for it.”
Alabama’s Sydney Littlejohn gave up four hits and one earned run on her way to a complete game victory.
“We haven’t seen anything like her curveball all year,” Corrin Genovese said.
Emily Crane approaches home plate after her third inning home run on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Crane had two hits on the night, and her home run gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead in the third inning.
Alabama pitcher Jaclyn Traina warms up before playing Missouri on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Traina had 99 career wins entering Thursday’s game
Jaydyn Spencer grounds into a controversial inning-ending double play in the first inning on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo.
University of Missouri students brave the cold to spell out MIZZOU in body paint over the left field wall on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. The temperature at the start of the game was 52 degrees.
Alabama left fielder Kallie Case tries to catch a home run hit over the left field wall by Missouri right fielder Emily Crane on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo.
Alabama coach Patrick Murphy watches left fielder Kallie Case run towards her teammates at home plate after she hit a grand slam in the fifth inning on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Her grand slam gave Alabama the lead 6-5.
Missouri pitcher Tori Finucane hugs Corrin Genovese after recording the final out on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. The Tigers will play Bradley University in the second game of the NCAA softball regional held at University Field on Friday at 4:00 p.m.
Missouri pinch runner Ashtin Stephens slides past the tag of Alabama catcher Molly Fichtner to give the Tigers a one run lead in the sixth inning on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo.
Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden (yellow hoodie) watches the Missouri softball team from the left field stands on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo.
Taylor Gadbois slides home to score the first run for the Tigers on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Sami Fagan was credited for the RBI with a single to second base.
Story by Sam Richmond
Photos by Sam Hustis
The No. 13 Missouri softball team kept its slim chance at a Southeastern Conference Regular Season Championship alive Thursday night, as they defeated No. 6 Alabama 8-6 on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo.
To finish with an SEC title, the Tigers (41-13, 15-7 in SEC) need to win the final two games of this weekend’s series against the Crimson Tide and have at least one Tennessee loss in its final three games against Ole Miss.
Missouri won Thursday’s back-and-forth game because of its bats, which usually isn’t the case when they send pitcher Tori Finucane to the hill. The freshman phenomenon entered the game with a 1.66 ERA, but struggled against a potent Alabama offense.
She allowed a run in each of the first two innings, which put the Tigers in an early hole. Missouri found its first lead in the third inning after an RBI single from sophomore infielder Sami Fagan and a two-run home run from sophomore outfielder Emily Crane.
The Tigers would give Finucane even more breathing room in the fifth inning when they packed on two more, due to junior infielder Angela Randazzo’s sacrifice fly and junior first baseman Kelsea Roth’s solo home run.
However, Finucane having a cushion quickly turned into a Tiger deficit, as Missouri’s 21-game winner allowed a grand slam to the Crimson Tide’s Kallie Case in the sixth inning.
Missouri freshman third baseman Natalie Fleming swings in Game 1 of the Tigers doubleheader sweep of Creighton on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Fleming had two hits in the game.
Missouri junior infielder Angela Randazzo reaches first base on an error in Game 1 against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Randazoo pushed her season RBI total to 36, which ranks third on the Tigers.
Missouri freshman second baseman Kelli Schkade laughs with freshman pitcher Tori Finucane and junior shortstop Corrin Genovese after hitting a home run in Game 1 on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. It was her third home run of the season.
Missouri freshman pitcher Casey Stangel watches freshman third baseman Natalie Fleming field a ball in the Tigers’ two-game sweep of Creighton on April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. Stangel pitched five scoreless innings in Game 1.
Missouri sophomore outfield Taylor Gadbois steals second in the Tigers’ doubleheader sweep of the Blue Jays on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. She has a team-leading 44 steals this season.
Photos by Sam Richmond
Story by Sam Hustis
COLUMBIA – On a cold and rainy Columbia afternoon, the University of Missouri softball team swept the Creighton Bluejays in a doubleheader on Tuesday. The fifteenth-ranked Tigers moved to 40-13 on the year, and 26-6 at home.
The temperature may have been cold, but the bats were hot for the Tigers in Game 1 of the doubleheader. Missouri scored 11 runs en route to a 11-6 win. The offense cooled with the weather for Game 2, and Missouri escaped a Read more of this post