KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Sports Sports en-us Copyright 2017, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Wed, 22 Feb 2017 03:02:46 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Three Columbia College Cougars earn weekly awards http://www.komu.com/news/three-columbia-college-cougars-earn-weekly-awards/ http://www.komu.com/news/three-columbia-college-cougars-earn-weekly-awards/ Sports Tue, 21 Feb 2017 4:25:45 PM Micaela Dea, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Three Columbia College Cougars earn weekly awards

     COLUMBIA - Three Columbia College Cougars won weekly awards from the American Midwest Conference this week.

     Tyler Lawson was awarded the AMC Indoor Track Athlete of the Week. Lawson set a new AMC Championship meet record over the weekend for the 1,000-meter and for the mile. Lawson was also awarded Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year honors.

     Abby Stricker was named the AMC Indoor Field Athlete of the Week. She scored points for the Cougars in three of her four field events at the 2017 AMC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Due to her performance over the weekend, Stricker was named AMC Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.

     Lauren McCroskie was named AMC Pitcher of the Week. McCroskie recently helped her team beat the NCAA Division II Maryville University Saints by a score of 1-0. Her performance in the game lowered her earned run average for the year to 0.76.

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Missouri continues home dominance, downs South Carolina http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-continues-home-dominance-downs-south-carolina-85126/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-continues-home-dominance-downs-south-carolina-85126/ Sports Mon, 20 Feb 2017 7:32:19 AM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Missouri continues home dominance, downs South Carolina

COLUMBIA - Missouri Tigers Women's Basketball knocked off the sixth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks Sunday afternoon 62-60.

Sophomore guard Sophie Cunningham led the Tigers with 26 points on 10-16 shooting. It was her eighth 20-point game of the season. She scored the deciding basket with under a second left to seal the victory.

The Tigers (19-9, 9-5 SEC) earned their ninth conference victory this season, their most since 2005-2006. Mizzou is 14-1 at home this season and has now downed five straight ranked opponents at home. 

Mizzou earned an early 15-10 lead at the end of the first quarter behind strong defense. South Carolina's 10 points were lowest the Gamecocks have scored in a first quarter in conference play this season.

South Carolina (22-4, 12-2 SEC) would counter in the second quarter and take a 30-26 lead to the half. The Gamecocks extended their lead to 10 with 6:06 left in the third quarter. However, Mizzou made seven straight field goals to take a 44-42 lead with just over two minutes left in the third. The Gamecocks answered with a pair of jumpers and Mizzou trailed 48-44 at the end of three. 

The Tigers trailed 60-58 with under a minute left, but Cunningham recovered an offensive rebound from a Cierra Porter miss and scored to tie the game with 35 seconds remaining.

On the ensuing Gamecock posession, senior guard Lianna Doty took a charge from Kaela Davis to give the Tigers the ball back with 23 seconds. After almost turning the ball over, Mizzou got the ball to Sophie Cunningham with low time. Cunningham drove across the paint from the left wing and used a pass fake to get space to drop in the go-ahead layup.

South Carolina failed to get a shot up before time expired on their last posession.

The win also propels the Tigers to fourth in the SEC standings. Mizzou will next play Thursday night, Senior Night, against Ole Miss. 

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Boonville girls basketball gives star player one last time in spotlight http://www.komu.com/news/boonville-girls-basketball-gives-star-player-one-last-time-in-spotlight/ http://www.komu.com/news/boonville-girls-basketball-gives-star-player-one-last-time-in-spotlight/ Sports Sun, 19 Feb 2017 4:05:46 PM Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Sports Boonville girls basketball gives star player one last time in spotlight

BOONVILLE - Basketball has been a huge part of Paige Renfrow's life since she was in grade school. It always came easy to her and it showed. Last season, as a junior, the Boonville forward was named to the all-state team. 

Looking to build on that campaign in her senior year, her plans pivoted. While scrimmaging against the Boonville freshman boys team, Paige planted on her leg while trying to make a play and went down.

"I was dribbling to the basket and I was doing a Euro move, and whenever I did, I just heard my knee snap and I knew it was my ACL," Paige said. 

An MRI confirmed Paige's fears, ending her senior season before it began, just two days before the season opener. This changed the way she made an impact on the team. 

"She’s a huge part of this team. Like I told her, her role is just changed for the team," head coach Jaryt Hunziker said,  "Going from one of the go-to players on offense and a good defender, she’s now not only a cheerleader, but an assistant coach."

Sitting on the bench all season long was new for Paige; she had started for the Lady Pirates since her freshman year. It appeared senior year would come and go for her without appearing in a game. With a little planning, that all changed. 

"I’ve always had the tradition of starting my seniors [on Senior Night]. Some of them, I might play quality minutes, some of them just might play a minute or two," coach Hunziker said. 

He held with tradition even though Paige had torn her ACL three months earlier. When the starting lineups were announced for the team's final home game against Marshall, Paige's No. 2 was called over the loud speakers one final time. 

"It was really important for me to say she was on the court, in a game, for the season," said Paula Renfrow, Paige's mother. 

"It brought back a lot of memories. It was sad and emotional. But I was happy that they did that for me," Paige said. 

Paige was put in, away from the ball, for the opening tipoff. Once possession was gained, officials called a timeout and Paige was removed for a sub. She walked off to a standing ovation. 

"She had a great career here. She did everything she set out to do," Paula said. 

One thing Paige didn't get to is the 1,000-point mark for her career. She was just 81 shy and surely would have surpassed that plateau early on in the season if she were healthy. 

Entering the district playoffs, the Lady Pirates are 21-2, even without their best player. Now, Paige, who was a sophomore when Boonville reached the state semifinals, hopes this team can win a state title. 

"Being able to be part of the team and also being able to be a part of their incredible season, of a winning season, has been great. I would be so happy for them [if they won a state title]," Paige said. 

That would be quite the sendoff. After playing this sport since grade school, even if she wasn't able to be on the court, like she was for a few precious seconds on Senior Night, winning a state championship would be as perfect an ending as possible in a season that began in such an imperfect way.

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Missouri extends road losing streak at Tennessee http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-extends-road-losing-streak-at-tennessee/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-extends-road-losing-streak-at-tennessee/ Sports Sat, 18 Feb 2017 2:31:18 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Missouri extends road losing streak at Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Missouri basketball fell to Tennessee Saturday afternoon 90-70. The loss extends a program record for road losing streaks to 33 games.

Tennessee (15-12, 7-7 SEC) got off to a hot start with a 13-0 run to take a 16-3 lead in the first. Mizzou failed to cut the deficit to under six for the rest of the game.

The Tigers (7-19, 2-12 SEC) committed 14 turnovers that the Volunteers converted into 24 points while Mizzou could only convert six points from nine Tennessee turnovers.

Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips scored 18 for Mizzou with an additional three rebounds and three assists.

Tennessee received 20-point efforts from both freshman forward Grant Williams and senior guard Robert Hubbs III. 

The officiating was tight throughout, as both teams shot over 30 free throws. In the second half, two technicals were called on Missouri. The first went against the team and the second against Phillips. 

Missouri returns home for their next game against No. 13 Kentucky. The Tigers have never defeated the Wildcats in program history.

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Missouri baseball drops opener of Bieser era http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-baseball-drops-opener-of-bieser-era/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-baseball-drops-opener-of-bieser-era/ Sports Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:35:07 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Missouri baseball drops opener of Bieser era

FORT MYERS, Fla.  – Missouri baseball dropped their season opener to Eastern Michigan 6-2 Friday, the first game under new head coach Steve Bieser.

Bieser was hired from Southeast Missouri in June to replace Tim Jamieson, who resigned after 22 seasons at the helm.

Mizzou (0-1) jumped out to an early 2-1 lead in the first inning behind a single from junior catcher Brett Bond that plated two. However, those would be the only two runs that the Tigers would score all game.

Preseason All-American Tanner Houck started for Mizzou. The junior gave up five runs, four earned, on eight hits with two walks and received the loss. Houck also committed an error in the field.

The Eagles (1-0) received a strong performance from their starting pitcher Brent Mattson. Mattson gave up only two runs in five innings including four strikeouts.

The Tigers and Eagles are slated for a doubleheader Saturday and will conclude the four-game series Sunday.   

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Missouri softball splits Friday doubleheader http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-softball-splits-friday-doubleheader/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-softball-splits-friday-doubleheader/ Sports Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:07:11 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Missouri softball splits Friday doubleheader

TEMPE, Ariz. — No. 17 Mizzou Softball opened its second tournament of the 2017 season Friday, splitting a doubleheader against South Dakota and Illinois State.

The Tigers (5-2) opened the day by beating South Dakota 11-7, followed by a 7-3 loss to the Redbirds in game two.

In game one, the Tigers produced a season high 11 runs on 14 hits. Mizzou received home runs from Cayla Kessinger, Braxton Burnside, Anna Reed and Kolby Romaine. It was the first career for Kessinger, Reed and Burnside.

Mizzou took an early lead in the first inning with two early runs and a Kessinger solo home run in the third inning gave the tigers a three-run lead. 

But in the bottom half of the inning, the Coyotes (1-5) scored four to take a lead and forced two Mizzou pitching changes. Sophomore Danielle Baumgartner eventually finished the inning and would remain in the game for its remainder.   

Mizzou scored the next eight runs to earn the victory, highlighted by Romaine's three-run home run in the seventh inning to give the Tigers 11 runs. 

The victory went to Baumgartner, her first of the season.

Game two was a different story as Illinois State (3-3) scored the first seven runs and received a complete game effort from junior pitcher Sarah Finck.

Freshman Tiger pitcher Madi Norman picked up her first loss of the season. The loss snapped a Mizzou five-game winning streak.

Mizzou will continue play at the ASU Littlewood Classic Saturday with another doubleheader. The Tigers will meet Wichita State and No. 21 Arizona State. The tournament finale is Sunday, Feb. 19, against Illinois State.

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Local Scores: Thursday, February 16, 2017 http://www.komu.com/news/local-scores-thursday-february-16-2017/ http://www.komu.com/news/local-scores-thursday-february-16-2017/ Sports Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:16:28 PM Joey Schneider, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Local Scores: Thursday, February 16, 2017

MID-MISSOURI – Here are some scores from around the area for Thursday, February 16, 2017:

NCAA Women’s Basketball

Missouri 74, Florida 67

NAIA Women’s Basketball

No. 1 Freed-Hardeman 76, No. 12 Columbia College 64

William Woods 73, Williams Baptist (Ark.) 67

Stephens 81, Lindenwood-Belleville 63

NAIA Men’s Basketball

William Woods 81, Williams Baptist (Ark.) 67

No. 3 Columbia College 92, Freed-Hardeman 72

NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball

No. 16 Central Missouri 71, Lincoln 60 

Girls’ High School Basketball

Jefferson City 46, Battle 30

Boonville 55 Chillicothe 50 (2OT)

Bowling Green 50, North Callaway 46

Eugene 68, Chamois 36

Concordia 52, Cole Camp 46

Boys’ High School Basketball

Kirksville 71, Boonville 48

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Fourth Quarter Comeback Propels Missouri Women's Basketball Over Florida http://www.komu.com/news/fourth-quarter-comeback-propels-missouri-women-s-basketball-over-florida/ http://www.komu.com/news/fourth-quarter-comeback-propels-missouri-women-s-basketball-over-florida/ Sports Thu, 16 Feb 2017 8:53:15 PM Joey Schneider, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Fourth Quarter Comeback Propels Missouri Women's Basketball Over Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Missouri Tigers women’s basketball team scored 19 points in the fourth quarter en rout to a 74-67 comeback road win against the Florida Gators. 

Sophie Cunningham led the comeback with a team-high 28 points. Cunningham also led the team with six rebounds and picked up a pair of assists.

Cierra Porter, Lindsey Cunningham and Sierra Michaelis also collected double-digit points in the victory. The Tigers converted on 95 percent of free-throw opportunities and shot over 46 percent from 3-point territory.

Florida trailed by nine points at half, but scored 15 unanswered points to move ahead early in the third quarter. The Gators held a lead for more than 22 minutes of game action, led by Ronni Williams’s 17 points. Florida also finished with more rebounds and assists than Missouri. 

The Tigers collected their eighth conference victory and improved to 18-9 overall. Missouri has won six consecutive games against Florida since moving to the Southeastern Conference in 2012.

Missouri hosts South Carolina for the Play4Kay Pink Out game on Sunday, February 19. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.

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Star Columbia basketball player returns to coach http://www.komu.com/news/star-columbia-basketball-player-returns-to-coach/ http://www.komu.com/news/star-columbia-basketball-player-returns-to-coach/ Sports Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:46:32 AM Tyler Murry, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Star Columbia basketball player returns to coach

COLUMBIA - One Columbia College star basketball player found his way back to his passion to coach for the Tolton Trail Blazers.

Forward Zach Rockers traded in that title for "Coach Zach Rockers," as an assistant for the boy's basketball team.

Rockers is a theology teacher in his first year at Tolton, and he said he tries to use faith to help others.

"It's a dream come true to be able to follow my faith and help teach people skills they can use on and off the court," Rockers said.

Tolton Boy's Basketball Coach Jeremy Osborne said, "He's the kind of guy you want to be around, and I think that speaks more than just being a good coach."

Tolton Senior Guard Isaiah Wilson said, "He knows how the game is to be played. He knows what we are thinking, so it's really good. We can relate to him a lot."

Rockers was a star for the Cougars in college as that team won four conference titles in five seasons. Rockers also scored 1,214 career points, 13th of all-time for the Cougars.

The Missouri ties don't stop there. He previously played for and went to Helias High School. And his parents both teach in Missouri.

"I feel like in a way that's a gift to have that knowledge and try to use those to the fullest and share those with kids," Rockers said.

On the court, his players and former teammates say, he always plays with the same fire from start to finish.

Columbia College Men's Basketball Coach Bob Burchard said, "He is a competitor a really good competitor. He'll knock you down, but then he'll help you back up."

Rockers said, "Why not smile. Why not be happy and live life to the fullest. That's one thing I love is being a competitor. That's one thing I do miss."

Osborne said Rockers played a big role in rebuilding the Trail Blazers after the loss of a few key players.

"He just sees the game really well. I'd say his knowledge is one of the big things and how much he knows the game," Osborne said.

After a tough start with losses early in the year, the Trail Blazers and Rockers rebounded with key wins against cross-town rivals Battle and Jefferson City in February. Wilson combined for 56 points in the two games, and he said he credits Rockers for a lot of his growth.

"He's helped us all a whole lot. I think just talking with him, and he's helped me grow off the court too like when he was my teacher," Wilson said.

Rockers said he plans to teach and coach for as long as he can.


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Missouri Men's Basketball looking for third straight win at home http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-men-s-basketball-looking-for-third-straight-win-at-home/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-men-s-basketball-looking-for-third-straight-win-at-home/ Sports Wed, 15 Feb 2017 5:10:46 PM Travis Breese, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Missouri Men's Basketball looking for third straight win at home

COLUMBIA - Coming off of their most convincing conference win of the season, a 20-point victory over Vanderbilt, the Missouri Tigers (7-17) will be hosting the Crimson Tide (14-10) Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena. The Vanderbilt game also marked a special occasion for head coach Kim Anderson, his 300th career victory. Although, any Mizzou fan would be quick to point out that the vast majority of them came with his previous team, the Central Missouri Mules. 

The Tigers are winners of two of their last three and looking to string together a winning streak for the first time since Dec. 6, 2016. Junior forward Jordan Barnett has been a major ingredient in this winning recipe. Barnett has posted 23 points in Missouri's two most recent games. He has also been stellar from behind the arc, shooting 56 percent from three in those two games. 

Alabama will be looking to right the ship after dropping three of their last four conference games. However, they have faced some of the best talent in the SEC recently. This includes No. 19 South Carolina, whom they beat in quadruple overtime on Feb. 8, and No. 15 Kentucky last Saturday. 

The last time these two teams met, Alabama took Missouri down by 12 points. Tip off for this one is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcasted on SEC Network and the WatchESPN App.


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Cougars Womens Basketball ranked twelfth in latest poll http://www.komu.com/news/cougars-womens-basketball-ranked-twelfth-in-latest-poll/ http://www.komu.com/news/cougars-womens-basketball-ranked-twelfth-in-latest-poll/ Sports Tue, 14 Feb 2017 5:32:15 PM Micaela Dea, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Cougars Womens Basketball ranked twelfth in latest poll

COLUMBIA - The Columbia College Cougars women’s basketball team is ranked 12th in the latest NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Top 25 Poll. The Cougars moved up one spot after ranking 13th in the last poll.

     The team currently has a record of 22-4 this season. They are also ranked third in the American Midwest Conference with a 16-4 conference record. The Cougars are ranked second in the NAIA in 3-point field goals made per game and in total field goals made overall.

     Sophomore Ashlee Marlatt leads the team in points, assists, and steals per game. She also ranks as 19th nationally in 3-point field goals made. Sophomore Morgan Brandt leads the team in rebounding per game and has a team high of six double-doubles.

     The Cougars will host Freed-Hardeman University this Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Southwell Athletic Complex at 5:30 p.m.

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Cougars Mens Basketball ranked third in latest poll http://www.komu.com/news/cougars-mens-basketball-ranked-third-in-latest-poll/ http://www.komu.com/news/cougars-mens-basketball-ranked-third-in-latest-poll/ Sports Tue, 14 Feb 2017 4:54:06 PM Micaela Dea, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Cougars Mens Basketball ranked third in latest poll

COLUMBIA - The Columbia College Cougars are ranked third in the latest NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Top 25 Poll. The Cougars moved up two spots after ranking fifth in the last poll.

     The team is currently at the top of the American Midwest Conference. They went 3-0 in their last three games, and beat Missouri Baptist over the weekend with a close score of 70-68. The Cougars have a record of 24-2 so far this season.

     Ranking in the top 10 nationally in scoring and defense, the Cougars have two players that continually contribute to the team’s success. Junior Nic Reynolds averages 13.6 point per game and ranks in the top 30 nationally in total 3-point field goals made and in 3-point field goal percentages. Senior Malik Ray ranks sixth in the NAIA in total blocks and ninth in blocks per game.

     The Cougars will host Freed-Hardeman University at Southwell Athletic Complex this Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

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Southern Boones Kylie Shoot to compete in nation-wide contest http://www.komu.com/news/southern-boones-kylie-shoot-to-compete-in-nation-wide-contest/ http://www.komu.com/news/southern-boones-kylie-shoot-to-compete-in-nation-wide-contest/ Sports Tue, 14 Feb 2017 4:04:57 PM Micaela Dea, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Southern Boones Kylie Shoot to compete in nation-wide contest

COLUMBIA - American Family Insurance and Intersport chose Southern Boone’s Kylie Shoot as one of the top high school 3-point shooters on Tuesday. She will compete as a contestant in the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships. The players in the end will be determined by a public online voting contest.

     American Family Insurance has named the contest, “#DreamFearlessly Fan Vote,” and it is a four week social media contest. It collects the nation’s top 16 players among high school dunkers, and men’s and women’s 3-point shooters. Each player is then arranged in brackets to be voted on by the public.

     Fans can vote for their favorite players to determine the final participants in each category by using an interactive bracket at AmFam.com/FanVote. Voting begins Feb. 14 at 12 p.m. and closes March 17 at 12 p.m. Those who receive the most votes will move onto the next round until the winners are finally announced on March 17.

     The 2017 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships will air on CBS during March Madness’ Final Four weekend in Phoenix on April 2 at 2:30 p.m.

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Lincoln Athlete Named MIAA Womens Field Co-Athlete of the Week http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-athlete-named-miaa-womens-field-co-athlete-of-the-week/ http://www.komu.com/news/lincoln-athlete-named-miaa-womens-field-co-athlete-of-the-week/ Sports Tue, 14 Feb 2017 3:57:56 PM Micaela Dea, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Lincoln Athlete Named MIAA Womens Field Co-Athlete of the Week

COLUMBIA - Lincoln’s Diana Cauldwell has been selected as the MIAA Women’s Field Co-Athlete of the Week Tuesday afternoon. This is the first time she has been awarded this honor.

     She leads the MIAA in the long jump with a distance of 5.91 meters. Cauldwell also ranks eighth in the NCAA Division II.

     Cauldwell is the second-straight Blue Tiger to earn the MIAA Athlete of the Week award. Sharolyn Josephs-Hamblet received the same award last week. So far, three members of the Lincoln women’s indoor track and field team in total have been honored by the MIAA, with Kimberley Bailey earning the award on Dec. 13.

     Lincoln will conclude its regular season this Friday, Feb. 17, at the UCM Classic hosted by the University of Central Missouri.

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Columbia College Softball Sweeps Player of the Week Awards http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-softball-sweeps-player-of-the-week-awards/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-softball-sweeps-player-of-the-week-awards/ Sports Mon, 13 Feb 2017 9:43:53 PM Kevin Levine, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Columbia College Softball Sweeps Player of the Week Awards

COLUMBIA- Columbia College softball players Carly Spalding and Paxton Welch swept the first American Midwest Conference Player of the Week awards of the 2017 season.

Spalding was awarded the AMC Player of the Week award while Welch was named AMC Pitcher of the Week after the duo helped the Cougars start the season 4-1.

Spalding went 9-for-19 in the first five games of the season with two homeruns. She also recorded nine RBI, six runs and six stolen bases.

Welch went 1-1 on the week, recording a win over Sterling and a loss against the top ranked Oklahoma City Stars. She also picked up a save against Texas Wesleyan, and amassed 10 strikeouts in 13 innings of work over the course of the week, while only allowing 10 hits and two earned runs.

The Cougars next game is Friday when they will travel to Gulf Shores, Alabama to compete in the Gulf Coast Invitational against William Carey University.

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Central Methodist Pitcher wins weekly award http://www.komu.com/news/central-methodist-pitcher-wins-weekly-award/ http://www.komu.com/news/central-methodist-pitcher-wins-weekly-award/ Sports Mon, 13 Feb 2017 6:04:52 PM Matt Antonic, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Central Methodist Pitcher wins weekly award

FAYETTE - The Heart of America Athletic Conference announced Monday that Central Methodist pitcher CJ Martin was selected for the first Pitcher of the Week award of the 2017 season.

“I am proud of his accomplishment,” said CMU head baseball coach Nate Breland. “He had a solid first outing. We have a lot to work on still this early in the season.”

Martin started the first game of the season for the Eagles on Friday afternoon, dominating his first start in a CMU uniform. Martin tossed all seven innings in the Eagles 10-0 victory at Blue Mountain College in Mississippi. On 83 pitches, Martin allowed just five hits and struck out three.

The Eagles return to action this weekend when they travel to Henderson, Tennessee for games against Freed-Hardeman University and Roosevelt University. 

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Mizzou Athletics receives another gift for south end zone facility http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-athletics-receives-another-gift-for-south-end-zone-facility/ http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-athletics-receives-another-gift-for-south-end-zone-facility/ Sports Mon, 13 Feb 2017 4:14:21 PM Matt Antonic, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Mizzou Athletics receives another gift for south end zone facility

COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Athletic Department has received a new gift toward the new south end zone facility at Faurot Field. An anonymous donor contributed $2 million towards the facility, scheduled to open ahead of the 2019 football season.

This gift marks the ninth, seven-figure gift contributed toward the project in the past eight months, a fiscal record year for Mizzou Athletics. The project, currently pending approval from the Board of Curators, has raised over $46 million to date. The project's final cost is estimated to be $96.7 million.

“We’re really excited to continue the momentum from our donors, and coming on the heels of the Board’s action last week, this is great news,” said Mizzou Head Football Coach Barry Odom. “We are very grateful to the Board of Curators for their support of this project, and I’m looking forward to working with the Populous team as we design a facility that will be one of the best in the country.”



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J'den Cox's Final Journey at the Hearnes Center http://www.komu.com/news/j-den-cox-s-final-journey-at-the-hearnes-center/ http://www.komu.com/news/j-den-cox-s-final-journey-at-the-hearnes-center/ Sports Sun, 12 Feb 2017 8:12:18 PM Tyler Murry, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter J'den Cox's Final Journey at the Hearnes Center

COLUMBIA - J'den Cox's story at Missouri has been one of success and countless accolades.

From a bronze medal in Rio during the 2016 Summer Olympic games, to a NCAA National Title, Cox's success garnered a large spotlight.

However, before the games in Rio, Cox said he doesn't want the limelight, but if it's going to be there, he'd take it.

The limelight was on him one last time at the Hearnes Center Sunday Feb. 12 as (7) Missouri took on (19) Northern Iowa.

The public address announcer read off Cox's career achievements under a thunderous applause from his fans as Cox walked with his mother and father out for the final time. He embraced with his head coach, Brian Smith, and looked to the crowd with watery eyes.

"This was a big moment. I wanted this win," Cox said.

Unfortunately for Cox, his team around him crumbled under pressure as Missouri dug a 12-3 hole early. Problems continued in the 149-pound weight class as (2) Lavion Mayes suffered a 7-2 defeat to (8) Max Thomsen. Then, just minutes later the crowd went silent as (4) Daniel Lewis was pinned in the first round by (10) Bryce Steiert outing the Tigers out of reach.

"But I just didn't feel any fight, and that hurt for me as a person, as a teammate. When these guys look back on this they can say what they want, but they're not going to change my mind on that," Cox said.

Missouri Wrestling Head Coach Brian Smith said, "These games are never fun. You get your a** whooped it's never fun especially when you have a good program and expect to put trophies in the trophy case and win battles like that."

With his team down 25-5 before Cox could even step on the mat, he didn't care anymore. He was only focused on dominating like he had for four years under these lights.

"It just kind of hurt. I just uh....I just really wanted this win," Cox said with tears welling in his eyes.

Cox fired out of the gate with a take down followed by two no falls. Ironically, the some of the lights overhead the met shining down on the wrestlers went out, but it didn't matter. That's when Cox shined brightest.

Cox won his match in the 197-pound weight class over Jacob Holschlag on a technical fall. Right after the final whistle he smiled, raised his arm to the crowd and ran to his uncle. They hugged, and the emotion poured out.

"I'm hurting man. I can't say it enough how bad I wanted this."

The Tigers will look to get back on track against SIU Edwardsville Wednesday, Feb. 15.

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Unique weightlifting club in Columbia takes national stage http://www.komu.com/news/unique-weightlifting-club-in-columbia-takes-national-stage/ http://www.komu.com/news/unique-weightlifting-club-in-columbia-takes-national-stage/ Sports Sun, 12 Feb 2017 6:47:03 PM Chris Turner, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Unique weightlifting club in Columbia takes national stage

COLUMBIA -- The Mid-Missouri Weightlifting Club (MMWC) will be on the national stage later this month, taking part in the 2017 USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships in Kansas City. The club will be represented by Zia Kelly, Forrest Wilson, and Will Swartz, who are competitng across various divisions over the weekend. 

Wilson and Swartz are both students at Hickman, who are members of the baseball and football teams respectively. Kelly is a freshman Journalism major at the Univeristy of Missouri. 

"We all have a really great opportunity here, because it's a free club," said Wilson, "And we get a lot of good coaches with great experience that help us."

"I started mid-Missouri a month after I got to Mizzou," Kelly said, "Finding that, and being in a sport, especially being in kind of an unsual sport was pretty amazing. I was pretty lucky to find it so quickly after moving to Columbia."

The three competitors have learned under coach Brian Higginbotham, who bring decades of experience to MMWC. 

"I was an olympic hopeful as a kid, trained out of the Olympic Training Center," Higginbotham said, "Got hurt before the Olympic Trials in my hometown in 1996. Had knee surgery, quit for 17 years. I came back in 2014 and started competing again." 

Along with Higginbotham, the club works under the tutelege of Dr. Tom LaFontaine, who qualified for and competed in the 1972 Olympic trials for olympic weightlifting, and has achieved plenty in his weightlfting career. 

"I started [in weightlifting] when I was 15 years old," LaFontaine said, "And when I was 15 I taught myself basically, I didn't have any coaches. Mostly, when I come in, coach the kids for technique and encourage them, and things like that."

The 2017 USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships will take place in Kansas City at the Crown Center Exhibition Center, part of downtown Kansas City’s Crown Center complex, from February 23– 26. 

For more information on the event, visit the 2017 National Junior Championships website here. 

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Dodgeball tournament raises funds for charity http://www.komu.com/news/dodgeball-tournament-raises-funds-for-charity/ http://www.komu.com/news/dodgeball-tournament-raises-funds-for-charity/ Sports Sun, 12 Feb 2017 2:49:55 PM Austin Hough, KOMU 8 Reporter Dodgeball tournament raises funds for charity

COLUMBIA - The inaugural "Playing 4 Hope Dodgeball Tournament" raised nearly $3,000 for the charity on Saturday.

"Playing 4 Hope" started in the fall as an organization that brought Missouri Tiger football players together with sick children at the MU Women's and Children's Hospital. The players would pay a visit to the children, as well as bring them a gift basket from Pascale's Pals. Nearly 10 different players visited during the season.

"It was amazing this year because we had such a huge opportunity with the Mizzou football team," Playing 4 Hope founder Haley Ennis said. "Their community outreach is great. It was really neat."

The tournament was used as a fundraiser for the organization, which hopes to expand to more sports in 2017.

"It'll be more than football hopefully," Ennis said. "The plans are for us to go Mizzou-wide next year."

Along with the tournament, a silent auction of paintings and memorabilia was held to raise additional funds. In total, $2,800 was raised for "Playing 4 Hope." 

"Something like this raises a tremendous amount of awareness," Playing 4 Hope Vice President Nathan Jones said. "We've got over 100 people here today, and a bunch of them didn't know what we did before this. And they're going to leave knowing a lot more."

Ennis said she plans on making the tournament an annual event.

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