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.
Wes Clark (15) shoots a three in the corner over Xavier’s Myles Davis (15) on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Clark didn’t have much impact offensively, as he scored three points off the bench for the Tigers.
Story by Greg Dailey, KBIA Sports Photos by Tim Leible, KBIA Sports
COLUMBIA — A season of learning through losing continued for the Missouri Tigers in a 74-58 loss Saturday afternoon to Xavier.
Guard Dee Davis led the Musketeers with 17 points. Johnathan Williams III also put in 17 to pace the Tigers. The highlight of the first half for the Tigers was freshman Jakeenan Gant making his freshman debut. Gant had been held out by the university due to questions about his eligibility.
“We’re thrilled to have him back on our basketball team,” head coach Kim Anderson said.
Gant finished the game with 13 points, shooting four of eight from the floor. He also had two blocks and a steal in his 15 minutes of action. Missouri coach Kim Anderson said Gant provided a much-needed boost to a struggling first-half offense.
“Jakeenan coming in and making a shot, I thought that really picked up our guys,” he said.
“He’s relentless,” guard Keith Shamburger said.
Missouri played in front of 7,854, its largest home crowd of the season. The fans at Mizzou Arena crowd gave Read more of this post
ATLANTA — There was tension in the Georgia Dome with a little less than five minutes to play in the third quarter of the Southeastern Conference Championship between Missouri and Alabama.
Despite losing defensive end Shane Ray to an ejection in the second quarter, and despite its defense allowing three first-half touchdowns, Missouri managed to whittle Alabama’s lead down to eight points with 4:37 to play in the third period when kicker Andrew Baggett’s 33-yard field goal made it 21-13.
Scores of Alabama fans returned to their seats, their “Roll Tide” chants ceasing for the first time all game. The pocket of gold among the sea of crimson seemed to come alive, finally having something to cheer for. Missouri had fought back from a 21-3 deficit to make it a one-possession game, and maybe it could take down mighty Alabama.
As it turned out the tension was fleeting. Alabama responded with a pair of touchdown drives that combined to cover 154 yards on 18 plays and rolled to a 42-13 victory over No. 14 Missouri (10-3, 7-2).
“They answered,” head coach Gary Pinkel said. “They did what you’ve got to do. That to me was two statement drives from their standpoint.” Read more of this post
Many experts didn’t believe Missouri could compete with the SEC in football. That seems silly now, after Missouri (10-2, 7-1) finished a drive late in the fourth quarter to take a 21-14 lead against Arkansas (6-6, 2-6).
For the second straight year, the SEC East division title came down to the final week of the season. Read more of this post
Missouri outside hitter Carly Kan was named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, sharing the award with Florida libero Holly Pole and Texas A&M middle blocker Shelby Sullivan.
In the classroom, Kan has a 3.88 GPA in accounting. On the court, the sophomore has a .208 hitting percentage and has a team-best of 400 kills. She has racked up 370 digs so far and her kills-digs combination (770) is best in the nation. With her 400 kills, Kan is the first Tiger sophomore to achieve that statistic since Lisa Henning in 2011.
This is the second year-end SEC volleyball award for Kan. Last year, she was named Freshman of the Year.
Florida’s Pole has a 3.50 GPA in accounting and sports management. Her 0.39 service aces average is second in the SEC. Texas A&M’s Sullivan earned a 3.85 GPA in marketing. She is hitting .384, which is ranked seventh in the SEC.
The Tigers lost to Alabama Wednesday night 3-2 (25-27, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-12) at the Hearnes Center. Kan led all players with 24 digs. She also had 18 kills on .340 hitting. The Tigers end the season with a 7-11 conference record and an overall record of 16-17.
The Missouri Tigers had a monstrous second half offensively to lock down a 78-64 win over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. The offense was led by freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar, who Kim Anderson admitted was feeling sick all day.
“To be honest it was a gutty performance because he wasn’t feeling very good,” Anderson said.
Three Missouri players scored in double figures, including Gill-Caesar, and dominated Oral Roberts on both ends of the court for most of the second half.
The first half was typical for Missouri, with the Tigers mediocre shooting. Missouri shot 13-30 from the field and shot 33 percent from the three-point line. Defensively the Tigers were hampered by Obi Emegano. Emegano didn’t miss a shot from the field in the first half, scoring 18 points, despite only playing seven minutes because of two fouls he committed. Missouri took advantage of his absence and brought the score to 40-38 at half.
Sophomore forward Jessica Herrman has rebounded this season and been a regular substitute for the Missouri soccer team. After suffering from two ACL injuries and now this year battling a hamstring strain, Herrman scored her first collegiate goal in a 2-1 victory over Kentucky.
Herrman and the Missouri Tigers have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and play Washington Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Stanford, California.
Tigers two games away from SEC East crown: Repeating as champions of the Southeastern Conference’s East Division was unthinkable for Missouri midway through its regular season schedule.
Division rival Georgia had just rolled into town and smacked the Tigers 34-0 in their own stadium. Quarterback Maty Mauk committed five turnovers and the defense allowed a Bulldogs’ rushing attack for 210 yards, despite missing star running back Todd Gurley. The loss was Missouri’s second in three games — the other one coming against lowly Indiana — dropping it to 4-2 on the year and 1-1 in SEC play.
But flash forward a little more than five weeks and somehow, some way, the Tigers (8-2, 5-1) are in prime position to play in the SEC Championship game for the second straight year. Read more of this post