COLUMBIA — This week in Missouri sports, the Missouri baseball and softball teams had different experiences at weekend series. The baseball team lost in a three-game series against Alabama. The Missouri softball team won against Arkansas, advancing the team to the semifinals, only to lose against Florida 10-4.
Missouri softball advance to Southeastern Conference Semifinals, lose against Florida
The week started off with good news for Missouri softball. Missouri's Chelsea Thomas was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time this season. The honor is the 17th conference honor of Thomas’s career and puts her in the company of former Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott as the only two pitchers in conference history to earn five weekly awards in a single season.
"I was just so proud of just the way she pitched,” Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine said after Saturday's game against the then-No. 2 Tennessee.
Thomas' battery mate, catcher Jenna Marston, also received SEC honors Tuesday, being named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Marston, an industrial engineer major, has a cumulative 3.99 GPA while also being a starter for most of her time as a Tigers player.
After going 4-1 in the past week, the Missouri softball team (33-10, 15-8 SEC) improved to No. 8 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.
The Tigers continued their streak of success by beating Arkansas in its first Southeastern Conference tournament victory Thursday, advancing Missouri to the semifinals.
Then the Tigers lost 10-4 to Florida in Saturday's game.
Winning the SEC tournament was never a goal for Missouri. The Tigers just wanted to have a high enough seed to host a NCAA Super Regional. Missouri will now wait to find out its fate when the NCAA selection show airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU.
“The goal coming in was to try to get a top-eight seed, and I think by beating Tennessee this morning, I think that did it for us,” Earleywine said. “If the committee decides otherwise, they’re entitled to that, but I felt like us winning the first two games would do that for us.”
Missouri baseball loses three-game series against Alabama
The week started off with the arrest of Gavin Stark early Tuesday in connection with an incident of vandalism at the Reynolds Alumni Center at MU. Stark, a senior infielder, was charged with second-degree burglary and resisting arrest by creating a substantial risk of serious injury or death — both felonies, court records show.
The Tigers will end the regular season with a three-game series against Kentucky at home next weekend, which will probably determine whether Missouri will advance to the SEC tournament beginning May 22 in Hoover, Ala.
Ervin, Peoples, Pennix place at SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships
On Friday, Missouri senior Cortni Ervin placed in the women's hammer throw at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Ervin threw 55 meters 57 centimeters, the best of Ervin's season.
Missouri redshirt sophomore Kearsten Peoples finished second in discus at the championships after a disappointing indoor season.
“Today was just a taste of the competitor she is,” Missouri throws coach Brett Halter said Saturday. “I had a coach come up to me this weekend (before Peoples' season record) and say ‘I thought Kearsten was a good thrower?’ Yeah she’s a good thrower. Does Tiger Woods win every event he’s entered in?”
Missouri senior long jumper Malcolm Pennix placed fifth in field of standout SEC athletes at the championships Saturday.
Supervising editor is Maggie Walter.