Rarefied Air

Austra Skujyte could break a world record today.

Skujyte, the silver medalist for Lithuania in the women’s heptathlon at the 2004 Olympics and a Kansas State graduate, is one of four women competing in the first official women’s decathlon held in the United States.

MU gets look at nation’s elite pitcher

Missouri softball coach Ty Singleton has a philosophy he has preached to his Tigers from the start of the year.

“One thing I ask them to do is, ‘I want you to put a curtain in front of that pitcher,’” he told his team after the Tigers’ game against Drake on March 13. “You can’t see the pitcher. All you see is the arm and the ball being released.”

Gymnasts end year too early

In February, the outlook of Missouri’s gymnastic team wasn’t so hot.

Coach Rob Drass said his team wasn’t performing at the level it should be. His challenge was to make the Tigers believe how good they were and force them to stop coasting at an average level.

Team play boosts MU tennis players

The key to the Missouri women’s tennis team’s recent success has been its team play.

In their 5-2 home victory against Kansas on Saturday, every Tiger that played scored a victory for the team. Although Charlotte Bellis and Hana Kraftova did not win their singles matches, they teamed up to win the doubles match and get the Tigers that point.

Hickman hosts rummage fundraiser

The Hickman baseball players are taking out the trash to raise money.

The team, with assistance from the Hickman parents’ dugout club, is hosting a rummage sale and a waffle breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning at Hickman High School.

Events overlap in more ways than one

It’s normally no big deal when a softball player fouls a pitch behind home plate or over the press box on the third base side of University Field.

The ball makes a loud “clang” on the metal bleachers of adjoining Audrey J. Walton Stadium, home to Missouri soccer and track.

Advancement opportunities

Ten stolen bases.

Rock Bridge coach Terry Whitney had a feeling the number was up there.

Rock Bridge keeps ball in Quincy zone

Rock Bridge’s Lauren Kelly was finally part of a goal.

Kelly fired a shot that clipped the top of the crossbar in the first half and missed a shot wide right in the second half. She made up for those misses with a centering pass to an uncovered Rachel Mends, who scored in the 19th minute of the second half.

Helias tops Bruins at A.L. Gustin

From 100 yards out, the ball sailed high into the air and landed within five feet of the pin.

Rock Bridge’s Thomas Schuenemeyer was having a slow day until this shot on the sixth hole at A.L. Gustin Golf Course on Thursday.

MU caps spring practice on stage

Missouri football fans eager for their first glimpse of the Tigers this year will get the opportunity Saturday when the team holds its annual Black and Gold spring game.

Don’t expect the most familiar faces to see most of the action though.

Working Overtime

Justin Jackson was eyeing a starting spot on Hickman’s varsity baseball team when he was in Lange Middle School.

“He was basically like a team manager in seventh grade,” said Hickman coach Dave Wilson, who introduced Jackson to the team six years ago.

Cincinnati’s calculated risk beats Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — Choosing to face Albert Pujols with the bases loaded was a no-brainer for Danny Graves.

Nursing a one-run lead and with runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cincinnati Reds manager Dave Miley had his closer walk Larry Walker intentionally to load the bases. The move worked out perfectly when the St. Louis Cardinals’ most dangerous hitter grounded into a double play, ending the Reds’ 6-5 victory on Wednesday.

Missouri proves it learned lesson

After his Missouri baseball team lost to Southeast Missouri State in extra innings a week ago, coach Tim Jamieson had a lesson for his players.

“It was just to be better prepared, to be more aggressive,” Jamieson said. “Recognize that you have a target on your back, not just because we’re ranked but because we’re Mizzou, and any time you play SEMO … that’s a big game for them.”

Extra training part of routine for Rock Bridge’s Ben Martin

Every player on the Rock Bridge baseball team had gone home Tuesday after practice except Ben Martin.

This isn’t unusual for Martin, a sophomore pitcher.

Two wins and a ring for Mueller

Sometimes softball isn’t about the plays or pitches.

Sometimes it’s about life.

Second-inning home run lifts KU past Tigers

Erin Kalka breezed through the first inning of Wednesday night’s game, retiring the Kansas Jayhawks in order on two line-drive outs and a ground out.

She was getting ahead in counts and looked in total control on the mound.

First U.S. women’s decathlon at Mizzou

Liz Young will make history this week.

Young, a junior on the Missouri track and field team, will be one of four women competing in the first official women’s decathlon held in the United States. The event is part of the Audrey Walton Combined Event Carnival beginning Thursday at Walton Track Stadium.

Strong second half not enough

The Rock Bridge girls’ soccer team’s second-half surge couldn’t overcome an early deficit.

Jefferson City was able to fend off the Bruins for a 2-1 win Tuesday night at Cosmopolitan Park and finally get a win in Columbia.

Fast freshmen leading squads

A strong youth movement has the Rock Bridge swimming and diving team taking shape.

Thirteen of the 17 Bruins who competed in their most recent meet were freshmen.

MU, Cumulus reach new deal

The University of Missouri and its multimedia rights holder, Mizzou Sports Properties, signed a five-year deal with Cumulus Media, Inc. to keep the Tigers on Cumulus radio affiliates in mid-Missouri.

Missouri football and basketball games, along with “Tiger Talk,” will continue on KFRU 1400 AM and KBXR 102.3 FM in Columbia through 2010.