ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals are about to find out if their late-season pitching swoon was just a collective exhale after months of dominance, or a reason for concern. St. Louis, coming off its second straight 100-victory season, opens the postseason today in a best-of-five division series against the San Diego Padres, who were only 82-80. But the Cardinals’ recent pitching struggles could be the equalizer.
It’s been a strange couple of days for the Rock Bridge volleyball team. First, senior Amanda Hanson suffered a concussion in a car accident on Wednesday, and required stitches on her face.
KANSAS CITY — The day after, everybody was still blinking their eyes and wondering how in the world this happened. How could the Kansas City Chiefs, with what they think is one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, let a robust 18-point lead dissolve into a disquieting 37-31 loss?
One game after Tony Temple busted a career long 59-yard touchdown run, the sophomore was held to 0 yards on Saturday; not by a stifling Texas defense, but by an ankle injury. Temple, a key element of Missouri’s running game and special teams, saw no action in the team’s 51-20 loss to No. 2 Texas at Memorial Stadium and his status for the Tigers’ next game at Oklahoma State is uncertain.
ST. LOUIS — The final day of the regular season was doubly pleasing to St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan. His team won its first NL ERA title since 1969 and his son, Chris, hit the winning home run. “I’m proud of them both,” Duncan said after the Cardinals posted their 100th victory by rallying past Cincinnati 7-5 Sunday in the last regular-season game at Busch Stadium. “A lot of work goes into winning an ERA title, these guys have to really put their nose to the grindstone and be consistent.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A week after spending the first quarter on the sideline for violating team rules, Plaxico Burress redeemed himself with one of the best days of his career. The sixth-year wide receiver had two touchdown catches among a career-high 10 receptions Sunday as the New York Giants defeated the St. Louis Rams 44-24. In addition to Burress’ two touchdowns, Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw scoring passes of 1 yard to Amani Toomer and 31 yards to Jeremy Shockey.
If there was ever a sign of things to come, this was it. The game was barely a minute old, and Missouri was driving from its own 25-yard line, looking to jump ahead against a Texas team ranked No. 2 in the country. Quarterback Brad Smith, under pressure, threw a pass that ended up in the arms of Texas’ Brian Carter, who returned the ball to the Missouri 3-yard line and paved the way for running back Jamaal Charles’ touchdown one play later.
Missouri’s Brad Smith might call Youngstown, Ohio, home, but in the much-hyped matchup with a fellow dual-threat quarterback at Memorial Stadium, Columbia turned into Vince Young’s town. Young finished the game, a 51-20 Longhorn win, with 13 carries for 108 yards on the ground and 15-of-22 for 236 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Young had three carries for more than 30 yards, the first which came with the game tied at 7 in the first quarter after Young faked a handoff to Jamal Charles.
Midway through a typical Missouri practice, Ali Kreklow, 10, and her brother Ryan, 8, are running around Hearnes Center, climbing on the referee’s stand, borrowing their mom’s camera phone to take pictures as she is trying to serve a ball, and getting hugs from the No. 7 team in the nation. Wayne Kreklow has won a state, college and professional championship. His wife Susan Kreklow has won a college national championship and has earned conference, regional, and national coaching awards.
There are many things that play a large role in Leslie Fischer’s life. Her father, her golf game, her friends and her faith. Not necessarily in that order.
During Rock Bridge’s football games, you don’t have to be watching to know when Andrew Adams makes a tackle. That’s because sitting in their regular seats in the last row before the press box, are Adams’ parents, Dave and Susie along with his neighbors. Collectively, they form the loudest cheering section at Rock Bridge.
If Kip Bayte were an animal, he’d be a banty rooster. At least that’s what Southern Boone assistant football coach Andy Curtis thinks. Curtis saw enough similarities between his senior wide receiver/cornerback and the small, feisty farm animal, to give Bayte presumably his oddest nickname to date.
When Hickman freshman Whitney Grathwohl stepped up to the plate in the left-handed batter’s box, the Rock Bridge Bruins might not have thought anything of it. But when she stepped into the right-handed batter’s box the next time up and smacked a double into the left-field gap, she forced the Bruins to take notice. Grathwohl later scored in the inning and helped the Kewpies (13-7) beat rival Rock Bridge 3-0 Friday, dropping the Bruins to 6-14 on the season.
With a tough schedule looming for the Columbia College men’s soccer team, Saturday’s game against visiting Williams Baptist College of Arkansas might as well have been presented to the Cougars giftwrapped by the American Midwest Conference. After two disappointing tie games in which the Cougars couldn’t get more than one goal, they took out all their frustrations on the Williams Baptist Eagles in a 13-0 win.
After losing two straight games, Rock Bridge football coach A.J. Ofodile is trying to make adjustments. Not only with his team, but with his coaching approach as well. Ofodile said that after the team’s loss to Liberty two weeks ago he realized he might have been a little too hard on his team and expected too much.
The Hickman Kewpies might be the only high school football team in Missouri not suiting up this weekend. And that’s just fine with wide receiver Brandon King. “We’ve got Friday off, that’s probably the best part,” he said, referring to this week’s scheduling bye.
Carrie Ingersoll takes pride in the way she handles herself on the tennis court. She avoids controversy. Rarely does she lose her composure. Though she doesn’t hide her feelings, she doesn’t disrespect her opponent.
Missouri will have its hands full with the Longhorns, and might need a bit of luck. How, then, to answer the question of what it will take for the Missouri football team to upset No. 2 Texas?
The Missouri football players aren’t the only ones out to prove something Saturday. While thousands of fans will pack Memorial Stadium for the Tigers’ showdown against Texas, a smaller but just as loyal following will gather in the bleachers at Cosmo-Bethel Park.
The Rock Bridge and Hickman girls’ golf teams are seeking to improve before Tuesday’s Class 2 District 4 Tournament. “I just hope that the girls can shoot the best that they can do and feel good about those scores,” Bruins’ coach Melissa Melahn said.