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THE WEEK IN MISSOURI SPORTS: Haith wins award; softball team wins

Sunday, April 1, 2012 | 6:56 p.m. CDT

Missouri men's basketball coach Frank Haith won the Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year award, the softball team swept Baylor at home and the baseball team dropped two of three games to Texas A&M.

Haith named Coach of the Year

The Associated Press named Frank Haith Coach of the Year on Friday after he led the Missouri basketball team to a 30-5 record in his first season as coach.

Haith received 21 votes from the 65-member national media panel. He becomes only the second Missouri basketball coach to win the award, which Norm Stewart also won in 1994. 

Under Haith, Missouri won the Big 12 Conference tournament and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers proceeded to lose to No. 15 seed Norfolk State.

In a Q-and-A with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Haith said the physical toll of the Big 12 tournament affected how the team played in the NCAA tournament. He also said he is not worried about the unresolved NCAA investigation related to his coaching days at the University of Miami.

The AP also named Missouri guard Marcus Denmon to its All-American second team Monday. Denmon, a senior, is the Tigers' first All-American since Melvin Booker in 1994 and the Tigers' 21st overall All-American.

Denmon also participated in the Prelude to the Final Four 3-point shooting contest Thursday in New Orleans before he was eliminated in the semifinals. Missouri forward Ricardo Ratliffe played in the Division I College All-Star Game on Friday.

Softball team dominates at home

No. 12 Missouri bounced back from losing two of three at then-No. 19 Texas A&M a week ago by winning five straight games this week.

The Tigers swept No. 18 Baylor at home and won both games of a midweek doubleheader against Evansville.

Missouri (28-5, 7-2 Big 12 Conference) hit grand slams on Friday and Saturday to take a two-game lead against Baylor. Lindsey Muller hit one in the fifth inning Friday to secure a 6-1 victory, and on Saturday Nicole Hudson's homer rallied the Tigers from a 2-0 deficit in the sixth inning.

Missouri's 7-0 victory over Baylor on Sunday was only part of Hudson's exciting day. Her father reopened his Domino's Pizza restaurant in Joplin after it had been destroyed in the May 2011 tornado.

Pitcher Chelsea Thomas continued to dominate her competition the past week. She now has a 0.58 ERA in 96 innings pitched and has struck out 138 while only giving up eight earned runs.

Baseball team loses series at Texas A&M

Missouri played No. 6 Texas A&M this past weekend at College Station but ultimately dropped two of the three games.

The Tigers beat the Aggies 4-3 Saturday behind the pitching of junior Blake Holovach (5-0). On Friday, they tied the game going in the top of the eighth inning but gave up two runs in the bottom half of the inning, leading to an 8-6 loss. More dramatically, Missouri rallied from a 6-1 deficit in the ninth inning Sunday to the tie the game, only to give up the winning run in the bottom of the inning and lose 7-6.

Missouri (16-11, 3-3 Big 12) split a two-game series with Central Arkansas earlier in the week. A catch by first basemen Gavin Stark against Oklahoma State on March 24 made ESPN's "Top 10 Plays."

SEC commissioner speaks in Kansas City

Mike Slive, the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, spoke Tuesday in Kansas City about television deals and what Missouri fans have to look forward to when the school joins the conference on July 1.

Slive mentioned TV deals with ESPN and CBS and the freedom of schools to make separate TV networks along the lines of the Longhorn Network, but he wouldn't confirm whether Arkansas will be Missouri's cross-division rival.


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