KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Sports Sports en-us Copyright 2018, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 20 Apr 2018 HH:04:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Tigers Topple No. 6 Vanderbilt in Series Opener http://www.komu.com/news/tigers-topple-no-6-vanderbilt-in-series-opener/ http://www.komu.com/news/tigers-topple-no-6-vanderbilt-in-series-opener/ Sports Thu, 19 Apr 2018 9:58:08 PM Logan Ball, KOMU 8 Sports Tigers Topple No. 6 Vanderbilt in Series Opener

COLUMBIA – Missouri Tigers’ Baseball had its biggest win of the season as they take down No. 6 Vanderbilt 2-1.


As for much of the season, the Tiger’s pitching dominated once again.


TJ Sikkema did well in the Thursday night start, going 6 innings and recording a career-high 10 strikeouts. The sophomore gave up seven hit and a run but the hype from 10 K’s was enough to keep the momentum going.


Andy Toelken, who has been in just about every role this season, thrived in his role as a reliever tonight.


Pitching the final three innings, the senior did not let a single Commodore touch first as he went a perfect 7-8-9 to close out the game with 4 strikeouts.


The offense provided two runs for the Tigers without any extra-base hits as they worked four singles out of Drake Fellows and they came at the right time as Trey Harris and Matt Berler picked up RBI’s for Missouri.


The series continues tomorrow at 6:30 PM on the SEC Network+ as Tyler LaPlante takes the bump tomorrow after going 6 innings, giving up 3 earned runs and 5 hits over No. 1 Florida last Saturday.


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Blue-chip point guard hosts Mizzou staff http://www.komu.com/news/blue-chip-point-guard-hosts-mizzou-staff/ http://www.komu.com/news/blue-chip-point-guard-hosts-mizzou-staff/ Sports Wed, 18 Apr 2018 4:25:39 PM Jacob Lang, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Blue-chip point guard hosts Mizzou staff

ST. LOUIS - 4-star prospect Courtney Ramey hosted the entire Mizzou basketball coaching staff for an in-home visit Tuesday evening.

Ramey is one of the most sought after uncommitted recruits in the nation. He is the Tigers' highest priority on the recruiting front for the 2018 class.

Ramey, a St. Louis native, hosted the University of Texas staff for an in-home visit Monday night. He was forced to postpone an in-home visit that was scheduled for Wednesday night with the University of Louisville due to complications with his travel plans to Philadelphia for the Allen Iverson Classic, a high school All-Star game in which he is playing.

Ramey would provide an immediate impact at point guard for the Tigers, a position  the team struggled to get production from last season.  Among the other schools still on Ramey's radar are Oklahoma State and Illinois.

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Mizzou softball infielder receives SEC Player of the Week award http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-softball-infielder-receives-sec-player-of-the-week-award/ http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-softball-infielder-receives-sec-player-of-the-week-award/ Sports Tue, 17 Apr 2018 4:28:49 PM Chance Sticklen, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Mizzou softball infielder receives SEC Player of the Week award

COLUMBIA - Mizzou Softball junior Rylee Pierce has been awarded the Week 10 Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.

Her honor on Tuesday is just the second time the junior has received award.

Pierce’s first Week 10 SEC Player of the Week came back in the 2016-17 season after a stellar performance in her NCAA debut at the Citrus Classic. The junior hit .476 with 10 runs scored, 10 hits, two doubles, three home runs, eight RBI’s and two stolen bases.

The Tigers recently picked up their first series win and sweep over No. 8 Auburn last weekend. They were backed by the junior, who was the top performer at the plate. Pierce lead the team with five hits, two doubles, five RBI’s, 10 total bases, a 1.250 slugging percentage, a .750 on-base percentage and an OPS of 2.000. In her 12 trips to the plate, the junior had no strikeouts and reached base nine times.

Pierce notched her fifth three-hit performance last week after going three-for-three against Omaha. To cap off her week, Pierce hit a late two-run home run in game two to help Mizzou glide past Auburn last Saturday, 5-1.

Pierce’s stats in the SEC this season also rank amongst the finest: (T5) in hits with 17, (T9) in total bases with 26, (9) on-base percentage of .484, (T10) with 10 doubles and (T11) with 49 total hits.

Pierce will look to extend to her six-game hitting streak against No. 12 South Carolina in the team's next three-games series, scheduled to start April 20.

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Four Columbia College Athletes earn AMC Player of the Week Awards http://www.komu.com/news/four-columbia-college-athletes-earn-amc-player-of-the-week-awards/ http://www.komu.com/news/four-columbia-college-athletes-earn-amc-player-of-the-week-awards/ Sports Mon, 16 Apr 2018 7:54:50 PM Madeline Boccardi, KOMU-8 Sports Digital Producer Four Columbia College Athletes earn AMC Player of the Week Awards

COLUMBIA- The American Midwest Conference announced Player of the week awards for four Cougar athletes.

Andrew Warner was named AMC Baseball Player of the Week. Warner, a senior first baseman, hit .500 on the week and led his team to a 4-2 record including a sweep against Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) University. This was Warner’s eighth career AMC Baseball Player of the Week award.

Alexandra Linck was named the AMC Softball Player of the Week. The senior third baseman led her team to a 4-0 week, batting 7-of-13. She added a double and two homeruns. This was Linck’s first career weekly award. 

Mason McCaleb and Nikki Smith both earned their first weekly honors at the Darrell Gourley Invitational. McCaleb was named the AMC Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week while Smith was awarded the AMC Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week.

McCaleb, a junior earned two first place finishes in field events. He grabbed a first place in the hammer throw and in the discus throw.

Smith, a sophomore took first place in the 100 meter dash and sixth in the 200 meter run. She also helped the 4x400 relay team earn a third place finish.

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Cardinals rain down on Cincinnati Reds chance of victory http://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-rain-down-on-cincinnati-reds-chance-of-victory/ http://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-rain-down-on-cincinnati-reds-chance-of-victory/ Sports Sun, 15 Apr 2018 9:10:51 PM Sarah Hempelmann, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Cardinals rain down on Cincinnati Reds chance of victory

ST. LOUIS - The Cardinals swept the series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cardinals got on the board first in the top of the second inning with a two-run homer from left fielder Harrison Bader.

The next four innings remained scoreless until an RBI single from the Cardinal's catcher Yadier Molina.

Trailing by three in the top of the 8th, the Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton earns his first home run of the year. 

The Reds close in on the Cardinals in the bottom of the 9th with a home run from left fielder Adam Duvall.

However, the two home runs weren't enough. The Cardinals took a 3-2 victory.

The Cardinals will head to Chicago tomorrow to face the Cubs. The Reds will face the Brewers tomorrow in Milwaukee.

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Illinois' loss is Missouri's gain http://www.komu.com/news/illinois-loss-is-missouri-s-gain/ http://www.komu.com/news/illinois-loss-is-missouri-s-gain/ Sports Sun, 15 Apr 2018 8:21:09 PM Sarah Hempelmann, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Illinois' loss is Missouri's gain

COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball welcomes a familiar name to the roster, Mark Smith.

The former Fighting Illini guard announced he will be transferring to Mizzou.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Yvonne Smith, Mark's mother, said the choice to play for Coach Cuonzo Martin was a "no-brainer."

“It’s (Martin’s) passion for the game and the bond that he has with this players," she said. "It’s very strong and very obvious. It’s a mutual respect. That’s something that stood out and was very evident."

While playing for the Illini, Smith started 19 games and averaged about six points per game.

Last December, Smith scored 11 points in an Illinois victory over Missouri.

In his senior year of high school, he earned the 2017 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year Honors.

He won't start with the Tigers until after the coming season, but that still leaves him three years of eligibility with the team.

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Battle baseball's military appreciation night offers eye-opening experience http://www.komu.com/news/battle-baseball-s-military-appreciation-night-offers-eye-opening-experience/ http://www.komu.com/news/battle-baseball-s-military-appreciation-night-offers-eye-opening-experience/ Sports Sun, 15 Apr 2018 6:24:34 PM Joey Schneider, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Battle baseball's military appreciation night offers eye-opening experience

COLUMBIA – Forty-four servicemen and servicewomen and 52 fallen veterans were honored at the Battle baseball team’s first military appreciation night last Tuesday.

“Putting military in front of baseball, they have to protect us in order for us to play,” Battle baseball coach Doug Boyer said. “We’ve had a chance to engage in freedoms like baseball, and military have provided us with those freedoms.”

Boyer showed his appreciation by presenting Central Missouri Honor Flight with a $1,000 check funded by the baseball team’s t-shirt sales. The money will allow veterans to fly and visit several war memorials.

“It shows the players they should be respective of those folks and grateful for those guys that paid the price for us to ultimately play the baseball game we all love,” Boyer said.

Military appreciation night also held significance to starting pitcher Zech Shaffer, who is considering following his family’s footsteps and enlisting in the navy.

His sister, Makaila Monson, is actively serving in the navy, while his father, Jeff Shaffer, had served in the army for multiple years as a military policeman.

“I’m really considering going to the navy to keep the family in that direction,” Zech said.

Jeff had an opportunity to toss the game’s first pitch to his son, a moment that the two will remember for a lifetime.

“It was a great experience receiving the first pitch, and it was pretty special knowing that my dad helped out our country,” Zech said. “It was really good to see the old man throw the first pitch to his son that’s possibly going to go in the service as well.”

While Zech left the game in the third inning in Battle’s only loss of the week, he was grateful for the large turnout and community’s support in recognizing past and present military.

“With all the veterans we shook hands with after the game, they did a lot for you when you’re here just living an average normal life,” Shaffer said. “Hopefully I can be in that line of people to shake hands with in the future.”

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Mizzou Softball shuts out Omaha, 6-0 http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-softball-shuts-out-omaha-6-0/ http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-softball-shuts-out-omaha-6-0/ Sports Wed, 11 Apr 2018 8:28:51 PM Aaron Carter, KOMU8 Sports Reporter Mizzou Softball shuts out Omaha, 6-0

COLUMBIA -- Mizzou Softball and starting pitcher Lauren Rice rebounded from a series loss against Georgia over the weekend to shut out Omaha, 6-0.

Rice, the highly touted freshman out of Illinois, pitched a shutout and at one point set down 18 consecutive Omaha batters. Her previous outing wasn't as successful, as she allowed five runs and seven hits in just one inning of work.

Wednesday's game gave Rice her second complete game shutout of the year and her fifth scoreless outing. It was also the team's seventh shutout of the year, the last of which came on March 24 against Arkansas.

Rice wasn't the only Tiger who impressed Wednesday, as junior Rylee Pierce tallied a game high three hits.

Pierce not only got on base for Mizzou but drove in runs while she was up there. All three of Pierce's, including two doubles, hits brought runners home.

Six other Tigers joined Pierce in the hit parade.

The Tigers, sitting in last place in the SEC, will host No. 8 Auburn for a three-game series starting on Friday.

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Royals continue early season struggles http://www.komu.com/news/royals-continue-early-season-struggles/ http://www.komu.com/news/royals-continue-early-season-struggles/ Sports Wed, 11 Apr 2018 4:52:55 PM Jacob Lang, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Royals continue early season struggles

KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Royals were unable to prevail on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber game of a mid-week series with the Seattle Mariners.

Royals ace Danny Duffy struck out seven and gave up four hits in 5.1 innings of work on Wednesday afternoon.  Paulo Orlando tied the game in the 4th on a two-run double after the Mariners jumped out to an early lead.  This score held until Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager smashed a two-run home run to take the lead in the top of the 8th.  This score held, and the Royals fell to the Mariners by a score of 4-2.

The Royals were dominant in game one of the series on Monday night.  Starting pitcher Jakob Junis took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, eventually giving up one of the Mariners' only two hits on the night.  The offense showed out as well, led by Mike Moustakas.  He was 3-5 with three RBI and a home run.  The Royals won by a score of 10-0.

Tuesday night was not as fortunate for the Royals.  The Mariners jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with back-to-back RBI extra-base hits from Jean Segura and Robinson Cano in the 2nd inning.  Moustakas' home run in the 4th and RBI single in the 6th were not enough to catch the Royals up, and they went down by a score of 8-3.

With Wednesday afternoon's loss, the Royals overall record drops to 3-7.  The Los Angeles Angels will travel to Kansas City for a four-game weekend series with the Royals beginning on Thursday.

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Cardinals drop two out of three to Brewers http://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-drop-two-out-of-three-to-brewers/ http://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-drop-two-out-of-three-to-brewers/ Sports Wed, 11 Apr 2018 4:22:36 PM Jacob Lang, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Cardinals drop two out of three to Brewers

ST. LOUIS - With Wednesday afternoon's loss, the St. Louis Cardinals lost their second game in a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Veteran starting pitcher Adam Wainwright was able to go seven innings for the Cardinals on Wednesday, giving up three runs on eight hits.  A 9th inning home run by Tommy Pham was not enough to tie the game.  The Brewers won by a score of 3-2.

Each of the first two games of the series needed extra innings to be decided. 

Monday night's game was back and forth early on.  A sacrifice fly from Dexter Fowler in the bottom of the 9th tied the game.  New closer Greg Holland made his first appearance in a Cardinals uniform, walking four hitters to give the Brewers the 4-3 lead and the eventual victory.

Tuesday night was highlighted by a series of late inning comebacks by the Cardinals.  Tied 1-1 in the 9th, the Brewers took the lead on a single by Domingo Santana.  The Cardinals were able to answer in the bottom of the 9th as Tommy Pham scored on a wild pitch.  The Brewers retook the lead in the 10th with a single by Orlando Arcia, and the Cardinals tied the game again on a Greg Garcia single.  The Cardinals were finally able to pull ahead on a two-run walk-off home run by Matt Carpenter in the bottom of the 11th, giving them the 5-3 victory.

This series brings the Cardinals to an overall record of 5-7.  They will be back in action Thursday evening in Cincinnati for game one of a four-game series with the Reds.

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Mizzou baseball travels to Springfield http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-baseball-travels-to-springfield/ http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-baseball-travels-to-springfield/ Sports Tue, 10 Apr 2018 3:57:37 PM Chance Sticklen, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Mizzou baseball travels to Springfield

SPRINGFIELD - After dropping an SEC series against Alabama over the weekend, the Mizzou baseball team prepares for its upcoming four-game road trip, with the first game against the Missouri State Bears on Tuesday.

Missouri State enters the contest having won its last three games, completing the series sweep over Evansville last weekend. The Bears scored an impressive 25 runs over the three days. The Bears have collected 11 total wins over their last 12 games.

This will be the Tigers first game against an in-state team this season. Thus far, Mizzou is 6-4 on the road this season and 8-6 in games played away from their home soil.

The Bears do have a slight advantage over the Tigers, leading the all-time series, 29-26. Since 2014, MSU has beaten Mizzou in six of the seven last games.

Junior LHP Tyler LaPlante will get the start on the mound for the Tigers. The junior is 4-1 so far this season and has a fiery ERA of 1.50.

The Bears will start RHP Austin Knight on Tuesday night. The senior is 1-0 and has pitched just over 25 total innings for MSU.

First pitched is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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St. Louis Blues organist transitions from the ice to the diamond http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-blues-organist-transitions-from-the-ice-to-the-diamond/ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-blues-organist-transitions-from-the-ice-to-the-diamond/ Sports Mon, 9 Apr 2018 11:41:10 PM Joey Schneider, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter St. Louis Blues organist transitions from the ice to the diamond

ST. LOUIS - While the St. Louis Blues missed playoffs for the first time in seven seasons last week, team organist Jeremy Boyer is not taking a break from his musical passion.

Boyer transitions from the ice to the diamond this week, shifting over to Busch Stadium to serve as a part-time organist for the St. Louis Cardinals for the sixth straight season.

“I don’t play every game for the Cardinals, but just enough to keep me busy over summer,” Boyer said. “I love playing baseball too, and I take advantage of it whenever I get the chance.”

The baseball setting is familiar for Boyer, who has performed part-time for the Kansas City Royals and played for the Cardinals minor league affiliate Memphis Redbirds three years after college.

Boyer’s first experience performing music at baseball games came while attending Southeast Missouri State from 2000-2004, when he proposed his own position as an organist.

“I asked the baseball coach to play, and he invited me down to the stadium to play and after a game or two they loved it,” Boyer said. “I caught on, and I played every SEMO game for at least the four years I was there. SEMO was a good fit, and it was fun to play for D1 baseball.”

In the mid-2000’s, Boyer started taking lessons from Ernie Hays, a long-time St. Louis sports organist he admired as a child. 

“Whenever I would watch the games, I would try to mimic what Ernie would do at the time,” Boyer said. “Eventually I got to work with Ernie and study under him. It was awesome to learn some of the neat tricks behind the scenes with him, then one day get the chance to play and learn it live.”

Boyer took the torch as the Blues organist in the 2007-08 season. Since then, he has been behind the organ for seven playoff runs. He said he enjoys the opportunity to interact with fans and provide energy for crowds of nearly 20,000 people.

“Seeing a lot of the fans walk by, they’re really surprised to know, 'hey there’s somebody playing really alive playing that organ,'” Boyer said. “It’s not a recording. It’s alive, it’s happening in real time.”

Boyer has one major career goal in mind.

“To get to the Stanley Cup Finals would be amazing, and I’d love to be behind the keyboard whenever the Blues win their first cup,” Boyer said. “I can’t think of anything that would be more awesome than that.”

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Columbia College athletes receive AMC honors http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-athletes-receive-amc-honors/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-athletes-receive-amc-honors/ Sports Mon, 9 Apr 2018 4:36:13 PM Nathalie Jones, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Columbia College athletes receive AMC honors

COLUMBIA - The American Midwest Conference named two Columbia College students as athletes of the week on Monday. 

Meaghan Rice was named the AMC's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week after finishing in the top-11 in two events at the Central Methodist University Invite. 

Over the weekend, Rice finished second in shotput with a 10.97 meter toss and took 11th in the javelin throw, tossing it a distance of 25.5 meters. On the track she ranked second in the 100-meter hurdles and finished 13th in the 800 meter run. 

Additionally, the Cougar's Jordan Wright was honored as the AMC's Baseball Player of the Week, following a successful weekend in Illinois. He recorded a .769 batting average versus the Fighting Illini, leading the Cougars to a 2-1 record. Wright finished the week with an RBI, 10 hits, two scored runs and a stolen base. 

The AMC weekly honor was a first for both Columbia College Cougars. 

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Missouri pitcher awarded with SEC honors http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-pitcher-awarded-with-sec-honors/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-pitcher-awarded-with-sec-honors/ Sports Mon, 9 Apr 2018 4:17:02 PM Nathalie Jones, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Missouri pitcher awarded with SEC honors

COLUMBIA - The SEC named Missouri's Michael Plassmeyer as SEC co-pitcher of the week on Monday, following his first career shutout on Saturday versus Alabama. 

In the shutout, Plassmeyer only allowed four baserunners, striking out seven batters on the day. The junior pitcher retired 16-straight hitters from the first to the sixth inning, which was the longest streak of retired batters for the program this season and in Plassmeyer's career. 

The shutout over Alabama marked his fourth start in conference play, pitching 29.1  SEC innings. In conference play, Plassmeyer has only allowed four runs, 20 hits and four walks. 

Plassmeyer now ranks fifth in the SEC among pitchers with a 1.99 ERA and second in strikeouts with 65. 

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Royals look ahead after a loss to the Indians http://www.komu.com/news/royals-look-ahead-after-a-loss-to-the-indians/ http://www.komu.com/news/royals-look-ahead-after-a-loss-to-the-indians/ Sports Sun, 8 Apr 2018 9:16:35 PM Sarah Hempelmann, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Royals look ahead after a loss to the Indians

KANSAS CITY - The Royals take a 3-1 defeat after Sunday's loss against the Cleveland Indians.

The Royals were first to get on the scoreboard in the fifth inning after an RBI triple from left fielder Jon Jay.

Both the Royals and Indians pitchers were able to keep the 6th and 7th innings scoreless.

In the eighth inning, Indians center fielder Bradley Zimmer scored on an RBI from third baseman Jose Ramirez.

The game ended in the bottom of the 9th with a walk-off, two-run homer from Indians catcher Yan Gomes, the third in his career.

Monday, the Royals will host the Seattle Mariners and the Indians will host the Detroit Tigers.

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Cardinals set off fireworks against Diamondbacks http://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-set-off-fireworks-against-diamondbacks/ http://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-set-off-fireworks-against-diamondbacks/ Sports Sun, 8 Apr 2018 7:57:53 PM Sarah Hempelmann, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Cardinals set off fireworks against Diamondbacks

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Cardinals were defeated by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina scored, their only run. 

The Diamondbacks clinched the game with one run in the 7th and four runs in the 8th inning.

While the scoreboard may have been empty in the beginning, there was plenty of action happening on the field.

Second baseman Kolten Wong led the team with two hits and one RBI.

Of course Molina was the only one to score, but he was also the only one to bring everyone onto the field.

Diamondbacks coach Torey Lovullo expressed strong words about Molina to the umpire after a call at home plate.

Molina lunged at the coach and within seconds both teams cleared their benches. Lovullo was ejected and the game continued.

In a post-game interview with ESPN, Lovullo said, "I wish I could take back what I said but it really wasn't really directed at him. It was more a term of me saying I respect him on that level that he's getting certain things because he's that good."

The 4-1 win for the Diamondbacks brought Lovullo to his 100th win as the team manager.

Monday, Arizona will head to San Francisco to play the Giants and the Cardinals will host Milwaukee.

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Mizzou softball loses series in fifth inning defeat http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-softball-loses-series-in-fifth-inning-defeat/ http://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-softball-loses-series-in-fifth-inning-defeat/ Sports Sun, 8 Apr 2018 7:37:54 PM Sarah Hempelmann, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Mizzou softball loses series in fifth inning defeat

COLUMBIA - Fifth inning domination from the Georgia Bulldogs brought their series finale against Missouri to a close with a final score of 7-2.

The Tigers and Bulldogs rallied in the first four innings.

The Tigers were able to pick up a total of five stolen bases, the most from Mizzou this season. Infield junior Rylee Pierce set her new personal single-game career-high with two stolen bases.

Unfortunately for the Mizzou Tigers, stolen bases weren't enough to bring home the win against the Bulldogs.

"Today was frustrating, as we competed almost all game yet again against a great opponent in Georgia." Mizzou coach Gina Fogue said. "Offensively, we had numerous chances to build a multi-run lead but couldn't come up with the big hit."

The beginning of the fifth looked promising as the teams were tied 2-2. By the end, the Bulldogs walked away with a 7-2 lead after a five-run inning.

Mizzou junior pitcher Danielle Baumgartner was able to hold the score with another scoreless appearance as a relief in the series. 

With no more runs coming in for the Tigers, the Bulldogs took the win. Fogue said  he could tell the pitchers were tired, but they still gave their all.

"I'm still pleased with our effort this weekend," Fogue said "As we played a top 5 team really well each time out."

Mizzou will come home to face Omaha on Wednesday (April 11) and Auburn Friday-Saturday (April 13-15).

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Berglund powers Blues past Blackhawks 4-1 http://www.komu.com/news/berglund-powers-blues-past-blackhawks-4-1/ http://www.komu.com/news/berglund-powers-blues-past-blackhawks-4-1/ Sports Sat, 7 Apr 2018 7:53:37 AM The Associated Press Berglund powers Blues past Blackhawks 4-1

CHICAGO (AP) — The playoff field for the Western Conference is almost set.

Patrik Berglund and St. Louis are going to Colorado to try for the final spot.

Berglund scored three times to help the Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Friday night, setting up a showdown with the Avalanche for the conference's last wild card.

"When you have to win your last game, it's intense," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "Obviously there's lot of pressure. I hope our guys embrace that because it's going to be a fun game."

Carter Hutton made 19 saves as St. Louis stopped a three-game slide that included a 4-3 home loss to Chicago on Wednesday night on Duncan Keith's power-play goal with 8.5 seconds left. Jaden Schwartz also scored in the third after an ugly turnover by the Blackhawks.

St. Louis (44-31-6) moved one point ahead of idle Colorado (42-30-9) heading into their finale Saturday night. The Blues have won three of four against the Avalanche this season.

Colorado needs a regulation win to make it to the postseason, while St. Louis takes the spot if it goes to overtime.

"Final game, 82 all on the line at Denver," Hutton said.

Erik Gustafsson scored for Chicago, and Jean-Francois Berube made 31 saves. The last-place Blackhawks (33-38-10) finished with an 18-18-5 record at home.

Veteran forward Patrick Sharp got the start in what was likely his final game at the United Center. The 36-year-old Sharp, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in his 15th NHL season, said he probably will retire after the finale Saturday night in his native Winnipeg.

"It's never easy, but I'm just ready to take that next step in my life, and I'm looking forward to it," Sharp said.

The team honored Sharp with a highlight video in the third period, and he waved his stick and tapped his heart to acknowledge the sustained roar from what was left of the announced crowd of 22,218. With his parents, wife and children watching from the stands, he took another spin around the rink after the game was over and waved as the crowd cheered again.

"It was a tough game out there, tough to concentrate with what was going on inside my head," said Sharp, a key part of three Stanley Cup-winning teams in Chicago. "But thankful that I was able to do that. The Hawks put that video on for me in the third which was really special. The guys staying on the ice and making me do a lap was something I'll always remember. So, special night."

Berglund redirected a shot by Joel Edmundson past Berube with 1:43 left in the first period. The Blues carried the 1-0 lead into the third, but Gustafsson whipped a wrist shot by Hutton on the stick side at 8:08.

Just 16 seconds later, Berglund swept in from the side and poked home a rebound for his 16th of the season. After Brayden Schenn set up Schwartz's one-timer at 12:40, Berglund added an empty-netter to complete his second career hat trick.

"I think we all played a pretty good game today," Berglund said. "It's good for everybody's confidence and now we know what we have to do tomorrow."

NOTES: The Blackhawks honored Hall of Fame forward Stan Mikita with "One More Shift" before the game. The 77-year-old Mikita, who is the franchise's career leader in games played, points and assists and is second in goals to Bobby Hull, has a brain disorder called Lewy body dementia, so his three grandsons represented him on the ice for the national anthem. ... Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury. Anthony Duclair (lower body), John Hayden (upper body) and Tomas Jurco (illness) also were scratched, and Chicago went with seven defensemen. ... The Blues scratched G Jake Allen, and G Ville Husso was the backup for Hutton. Allen is expected to start against the Avalanche in the finale.


Blues: Visit Colorado on Saturday night.

Blackhawks: Visit Winnipeg on Saturday night.

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Mr. Comeback: Brantley leads Indians to 3-2 win over Royals http://www.komu.com/news/mr-comeback-brantley-leads-indians-to-3-2-win-over-royals/ http://www.komu.com/news/mr-comeback-brantley-leads-indians-to-3-2-win-over-royals/ Sports Sat, 7 Apr 2018 7:41:51 AM The Associated Press Mr. Comeback: Brantley leads Indians to 3-2 win over Royals

CLEVELAND (AP) — Michael Brantley has perfected the comeback season. Now he has to master completing one.

Brantley singled home two runs on the first pitch of his first at-bat this season, and Carlos Carrasco worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 3-2 win in their chilly home opener over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

Brantley missed Cleveland's first six games while on the disabled list recovering from offseason ankle surgery. But just hours after being activated, the two-time All-Star who has overcome injuries the past two seasons, delivered in the first inning against Danny Duffy (0-2), who managed to hang around until the sixth.

It was an ideal start for the 30-year-old, who means as much to the Indians as any player on their roster.

"He's an easy guy to bet on," manager Terry Francona said. "I could give you pages and pages of why. He's the heart and soul of our team. He does everything the way you're supposed to. If people saw the way he works to get healthy, it would be hard to bet against him or to ever want to bet against him."

Following devastating, disappointing finishes the past two postseasons, the Indians are hoping this is the year they end a 70-year World Series title drought, baseball's longest. Brantley is a major part of those plans, but he needs to stay healthy after being limited to 101 games the past two seasons.

Brantley has learned one major lesson from his injuries.

"Be patient," said Brantley, who hit a walk-off single to win last year's home opener. "Understand that I'm listening to my body and understand exactly what's going on and how I feel every day and make sure I'm being honest with myself and with this team. I'm feeling good right now. I'll wake up tomorrow and we get to do it again.

"That's all I'm looking forward to, one day at a time, playing as many games as I can."

Carrasco (2-0) gave up two runs in the first inning, but settled in. The right-hander retired 13 straight before running into trouble in the sixth, when the Royals loaded the bases with one put. Carrasco then struck out Lucas Duda looking and retired Cheslor Cuthbert on a liner.

Nick Goody worked the seventh, Andrew Miller put two on then struck out the side in the eighth, and Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his second save.

Francona joked about Miller's ability to escape self-inflicted jams.

"Like he's his own reliever," Francona said. "Once he has to start attacking, it's like he gets better. That's a good feeling. Not too often you look up and it's first and second, and you're just not too sure they're going to score. A lot of times, that's not a good recipe, but with him you're like, 'I think we're going to be OK.'"

The Indians, who didn't hit while blowing a 2-0 lead to New York in the AL Division Series last October, came in batting a league-low .161. They only got four hits, but that was enough thanks to Carrasco and their top-flight bullpen.

The Royals dropped to 3-16 in Cleveland since May 8, 2016.

Down 2-0 in the first, the Indians benefited from Duffy's early wildness to score three times.

The left-hander, possibly bothered by the bitter, blustery weather conditions, walked Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis before Jose Ramirez dribbled an RBI single through the middle. After Duffy's third walk, Brantley dropped his single into right.

"The first inning really hurt us, and I've got to be better than that, man," Duffy said. "Two games in a row, my team has given me a lead and I've let it go. That's a bummer."


Rajai Davis received a huge ovation from Cleveland's fans during pregame introductions. Davis, who hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning of Game 7 in the 2016 World Series, re-signed with the club this winter.

Davis doubled in three at-bats.


The Royals have played a league-low five games, thanks to two weather postponements. But manager Ned Yost isn't fretting about their erratic workload. "You can't do anything to change it, so it's as difficult as you want to make it," he said. "You just try to go with the flow the best you can."

Saturday's forecast calls for temperatures in the low 30s.


Kansas City right fielder Jorge Soler went hitless in three at-bats, making him 0 for 34 dating back to last season. He did draw a walk off Allen in the ninth.


Kansas City RHP Ian Kennedy (0-0, 1.50 ERA) takes on Cleveland RHP Trevor Bauer (0-0, 3.60 ERA) in the second game of the series Saturday. Kennedy is winless in his last five starts against the Indians. Bauer pitched five innings in his first start.

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Ray, D-backs spoil Cardinals' home opener with 2-hitter http://www.komu.com/news/ray-d-backs-spoil-cardinals-home-opener-with-2-hitter/ http://www.komu.com/news/ray-d-backs-spoil-cardinals-home-opener-with-2-hitter/ Sports Fri, 6 Apr 2018 6:13:12 AM The Associated Press Ray, D-backs spoil Cardinals' home opener with 2-hitter

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Robbie Ray was ready to make a new memory in St. Louis.

The left-hander struck out nine over six innings and the bullpen closed out a two-hitter, helping the Diamondbacks spoil the St. Louis Cardinals' home opener 3-1 on Thursday night.

Arizona improved to 6-1 for the second straight season and tied a franchise record for its best seven-game start. The team was also 6-1 in 2000.

St. Louis dropped its first home opener since 2015.

Ray (2-0) gave up one run on two hits and five walks. He was making his first appearance at Busch Stadium since being knocked out of a game by a line drive off his head on July 28, 2017.

"I kind of just put it behind me," Ray said. "It's something that happened and it's over. It was just another game."

Ray took the hard liner off the bat of Luke Voit just below his ear and left the stadium on a stretcher. He went on the concussion list from July 29 until Aug. 23.

Ray returned to the scene and took control early, allowing just one hit over the first three innings.

The walks were a problem, but he wriggled out of jams in the second and fourth innings with back-to-back strikeouts of Paul DeJong and Yairo Munoz.

"You hold this team to two hits on (their) opening night, that's pretty special," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "He made big pitches when he had to. I don't think he has a back-down mentality. He stood on his stuff."

David Peralta capped off a two-run second inning with an RBI single. He pushed the lead to 3-0 with a double in the fourth.

Yadier Molina had a run-scoring double in the fourth for the Cardinals, who have lost two of three.

Brad Boxberger picked up his third save in three chances. Four Arizona relievers were perfect except for an error by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth.

"The pitching has set the tone," said Arizona third baseman Daniel Descalso, who tripled and reached base three times. "That was the story last year and it's the same thing going forward this year."

Adam Wainwright (0-1) came off the 10-day disabled list to make the start for St. Louis. He gave up four hits and three runs over 3 2/3 innings. Wainwright struck out three and walked four. He had been slowed since pulling his hamstring late in spring training.

"I was getting underneath most of my stuff as the game wore on and wasn't making the good adjustments as often as I needed to," Wainwright said.

Ray, who went 8-1 in 15 road starts last season, also drove in Descalso with a sacrifice fly for the first run of the game.

"Guys were having a tough time picking up a very good slider and that led to quite a few strikeouts," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of Ray. "His elevated fastball was good, too."

Chris Owings had three hits and reached base four times for the Diamondbacks, who won their fourth in a row. He has hit safely in six successive games.

"I thought it was a great win for us," Lovullo said.

Goldschmidt broke out of a 1-for-20 skid with a single in the sixth.


St. Louis Hall of Fame right-hander Bob Gibson threw out the ceremonial first pitch to catcher Tim McCarver. The duo was celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gibson's 1968 season in which he went 22-9 with a 1.12 ERA.


Diamondbacks: INF Jake Lamb remains on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. He suffered the injury diving for a ball on Monday.

Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty was sent to Triple-A Memphis to make room for Wainwright on the roster. Flaherty struck out nine and gave up one run in five innings of a 5-4 loss in Milwaukee on Tuesday.


St. Louis RHP Michael Wacha (0-1, 7.71) will face RHP Zach Greinke (0-0, 1.59) on Saturday in the second game of the three-game set. Snow is in the weekend forecast.

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