Tigers think they have the kick they need

In a 2004 football season full of disappointments for Missouri, one of the biggest was an inconsistent field-goal kicking unit. Tiger kickers combined to make just 4-of-12 field goals from 30 yards or more last year, and were so undependable that at times coach Gary Pinkel would pass up a chance at a mid-range field goal and instead attempt a fourth-down conversion.

Unlikely hero for rare Mavs triumph

The Mavericks scored 12 runs on 10 hits in the eighth inning Sunday night en route to a 15-7 win against the Ohio Valley Redcoats. The rally produced its share of heroes, none more unlikely than center fielder Josh “Mighty Mouse” Wettlaufer. The Mavericks leadoff man, listed at 5 feet 8 and 165 pounds, hit his first home run of the season in the middle of the inning, pulling an inside fastball down the right-field line to score two runs.

Royals off the hot seat

OAKLAND, Calif. - Some members of the Royals speak optimistically about following their club-record 19-game skid with a long winning streak. But the fact is every other team in the major leagues is better than Kansas City, and the final month and a half of the season could be just as frustrating as the previous three weeks for this inexperienced club.

Cards fall short

ST. LOUIS - This time, the San Francisco Giants survived a ninth-inning scare. Two days after the Giants blew a four-run lead against St. Louis, the Cardinals had the tying runs on base Sunday and sent up pinch-hitters Larry Walker and Albert Pujols. But Armando Benitez struck out So Taguchi to preserve a 4-2 win.

Senior softball player not short on desire

Ernie Blow packs a lot of game into is small frame. Blow, who is 4 feet, 11 inches tall, competed in the Senior Show-Me State Games’ softball tournament this weekend at the Rainbow Softball Complex.

Big Play Day

Yes, it was just a preseason scrimmage. And true, it was against a thin second-team defense.And true, it was against a thin second-team defense.

But when Missouri sophomore running back Tony Temple took a handoff on his team’s 38-yard line during Saturday’s scrimmage and spun and twisted his way to a 62-yard touchdown, it set off an electric and much-needed buzz throughout the sparse Memorial Stadium crowd.

Mavericks lose, face test

The ability to forecast the future hasn’t been a strong suit of the 2005 Mid-Missouri Mavericks. In the offseason, team co-owner and president Gary Wendt wagered half of season ticket revenues with the claim that the Mavericks would play .500 baseball or better.

Teel takes seniors title

David Teel’s 4-foot birdie on the 18th green at A.L. Gustin Golf Course on Saturday afternoon echoed how he had played all day. Teel won the 12th annual Columbia Invitational Seniors Championship tournament after shooting a 3-under-par 67 on the second and final round of the two-day tournament.

Defensive line out to prove itself

Opposing offensive coordinators probably crack a smile anytime the Missouri defensive line is brought up in conversation. The Tigers lost three of four starters on the line that combined for 90 tackles and 11.5 sacks and some speculate the defensive line is the weakest link on MU’s defense. Jamar Smith, a newcomer to the line, is hoping to force opponents take it seriously.

Hood on the move for Tigers

Evander Hood has come a long way since his high school graduation last spring. He has crossed two states and jumped two spots on the Missouri football team’s depth chart. Hood, a freshman defensive tackle from Amarillo, Texas, has been known as Ziggy since a young age. The nickname started with his grandmother. who is Mexican-American and had trouble pronouncing Evander.

Slide hard to ignore

KANSAS CITY – In a bizarre twist that no one expected, this long, miserable losing streak that has has turned Kansas City into a national joke might wind up doing the Royals some good. At least people do, for a change, seem to care. Embarrassment and anger have shocked fans out of their apathy. Instead of shrugging off one more losing year, they’re demanding action.

Arizona keeps Marquis from ending slump

ST. LOUIS – Claudio Vargas worked six solid innings and Luis Gonzalez hit a pair of home runs, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-2 on Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep. Cardinals pitcher Jason Marquis had an infield hit and an RBI double his first two at-bats, giving him six straight hits, before flying out in the seventh. He leads all pitchers with 25 hits, four more than the rest of the St. Louis rotation, and a .373 average.

Mavs rally by Otters

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks staged a late rally Thursday night, scoring eight runs in the final three innings to end a three-game losing streak with a 10-7 victory in Evansville. The host Otters led 7-2 heading into the seventh, but Alex Derhak reached on an error and Brett Winn singled. Wayne Astrauskas followed with his first home run of the season.

New route for receivers

When Missouri coach Gary Pinkel decided to revamp the Tigers’ offense after last year’s disappointing 5-6 season, the team’s wide receivers were unsure how they would be affected. But after beginning offseason practice last spring, it quickly became apparent that the biggest difference, at least according to many, is the amount of running. There’s a lot more of it.

Folly continues

SEATTLE — One of the Kansas City Royals has even had to change his evening plans.“I’m embarrassed," right-hander Jose Lima said. “I’m embarrassed to go into a bar. The people would say, ‘They lost 18 in a row. They really stink this year."

Scherzer, Mense gain from national team play

A special summer for two Missouri baseball players should benefit the Tigers next season. Max Scherzer, who will be a junior pitcher for the Tigers in 2006, and Hunter Mense, who will be a junior outfielder, played on the USA National Baseball Team this summer. The team consisted of the top collegiate players in the country that are non-draft eligible. “Everyone of these guys will play professional baseball,” said Baylor head coach Steve Smith, who managed the national team this summer. A long list of major and minor league players have been on the team in the past, including Mark ...

Something to think about

The play appeared to be finished. The ball had been snapped directly into the ground, a good foot and a half in front of the quarterback, and in all honesty, it didn’t really matter. Because Chase Daniel was the fourth-string quarterback, after all, and how impressive could he possibly be?

Howard drawing praise at tight end

Junior DeQuincy Howard watched last season while sophomore Martin Rucker earned the starting tight end spot and emerged as a legitimate receiving option for quarterback Brad Smith. But he was not jealous. Howard, Rucker’s backup, took it as a learning experience.

Taguchi's career day lifts Cardinals

ST. LOUIS – So Taguchi, one of the St. Louis Cardinals’ unexpected regulars due to injuries, is doing more than his part to keep the team on top of the National League. Taguchi matched career highs with four hits and three RBIs, and Jeff Suppan pitched seven strong innings to win for the third time in four starts in an 8-2 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

Scrimmage gives players chance to exhibit skills

There won’t be any fans cheering as the Missouri football team makes its way onto the field this morning. There won’t be flashy player introductions, cheerleaders or firing cannons either. No one will even be keeping score. Still, for many players seeking playing time, today’s game might be the most important of their college football careers. After a week of studying playbooks and attacking tackling dummies, the Tigers will scrimmage for the first time this fall.