Cards heading back to Busch

HOUSTON — For a team that fell apart in Game 4, the St. Louis Cardinals sure pulled it all together just in time. The team that lost its cool, its manager and its second-best run producer in a late-game meltdown a day earlier appeared on its way to a quiet postseason exit until one out remained Monday night. Then, Albert Pujols’ dramatic three-run home run rescued the Cardinals’ 100-win season, at least for now, in a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the NLCS.

Bruins lose final home match

This part of the schedule wasn’t supposed to end this way for Rock Bridge’s five senior volleyball players. Playing their final match in Rock Bridge’s gym, the Bruins battled but couldn’t overcome the hitting of the Versailles Tigers, losing 24-26, 25-21, 25-21 on Monday.

Hockey team wants home

JEFFERSON CITY — Despite the 30 minutes it takes to get to the capital city’s Washington Park Ice Arena, fans of the MU Hockey Club regularly pack the bleachers to watch their team’s “home games.” The fans during a Sept. 24 game against rival Kansas were in an uproar. The MU fight song blared over the speakers. Students and alumni chanted as they would at any football game. Children pressed their cold faces against the Plexiglas wall that separated them from the action.

Pinkel says Smith still MU’s starter

Entering the season, many Missouri football fans were skeptical of coach Gary Pinkel’s decision not to redshirt quarterback Chase Daniel. The thought was playing Daniel in mop-up duty behind senior Brad Smith would waste a year of his eligibility. But after Daniel’s game-saving, comeback performance in the Tigers’ 27-24 overtime win against Iowa State on Saturday, that talk was probably put to rest. The discussion now becomes whether Daniel, the former EA Sports National Player of the Year whose name fans chanted as they filed out of Memorial Stadium, should see more playing time or even take over at quarterback for Brad Smith, who had a career-low 45 yards passing and was booed by some after committing two costly turnovers in the third quarter.

Texas Tech falls to MU soccer

The Missouri women’s soccer team ran past Texas Tech 4-1 on Sunday in Lubbock, Texas. Senior Amber Swinehart had two goals and senior Jennifer Nobis added a goal and two assists. Aria Hudetz had the Tigers’ (8-5-3, 3-3-2 Big 12) fourth goal. Nobis got the Tigers out to an early lead with a goal in the seventh minute. The Red Raiders scored to make it 2-1 in the 67th minute. But the Tigers answered with two goals in three minutes.

Surprise ending

Missouri’s star quarterback Brad Smith was lying on the field at the 20-yard line. He had just taken a ferocious hit from Iowa State linebacker Tim Dobbins, and a collective gasp from the 55,016 fans at Faurot Field echoed throughout the stadium. Missouri trailed by 10 with only 8:51 left to play. “Things were not looking good,” coach Gary Pinkel admitted.

Small uniform, big heart

No. 88, a number that does his thick, under 5-foot-tall frame justice, lumbers from the huddle to the line of scrimmage. Backed by 10 warriors dressed in the Chiefs’ deep red uniforms, Eric Pope hikes up the thigh pads of his grass-stained pants before bending at the knees and waist to dig in. He paws at the Pee Wee size football until the laces are turned out and his thumb, which is half the size of a grown man’s, rests firmly on the white stripe of the ball.

Black and Gold game early test for Missouri

No matter how much the MU baseball team scrimmages against itself during the week, practice is still not the game-style environment coach Tim Jamieson has been looking for. So, for the Tigers, Friday night’s annual Black and Gold game at Taylor Stadium was an opportunity to play with the atmosphere of a regular-season game.

N’Garsanet rolls

If the nearly 100 fans who showed up for the Missouri women’s basketball team’s first practice of the season didn’t know who Christelle N’Garsanet was before, they do now. N’Garsanet, a 6-foot-3 senior from the Ivory Coast and returning All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention center, made her presence known on both ends of the court Saturday morning during an hour-and-a-half scrimmage that followed a free pancake breakfast in Brewer Fieldhouse.

Bruins book trip to state

The Rock Bridge girls’ tennis team might want to start adding the date for the state final four to its season schedule at the beginning of the season. The Rock Bridge tennis team will head to Springfield on Thursday, two matches away from its third state championship in four years. This is the girls’ seventh-consecutive trip to the final four, which sets a public school record for most consecutive final four appearances for a girls’ public high school team.

Tigers dominate rival

The Missouri volleyball team dominated the net Saturday at the Hearnes Center against Kansas. Nicole Wilson was one of the more dominating Tigers in the team’s 30-23, 30-21, 30-11 win. Wilson, a junior middle blocker led the team with 13 kills, a .706 hitting percentage and tied for a team-high of six blocks.

Bonding helps Kewps focus on team

The boys on Hickman’s cross country team have brought team camaraderie to another level. “We are always together,” Alex Edwards said. “Nights, weekends, lunches, dinners, movies, everything. We’re pretty much a family.”

To the winners go the spoils . . . and a telephone

The Missouri-Iowa State rivalry has more than just pride on the line. After the 1959 matchup, in which problems with the sideline phones allowed the two teams to hear each other instead of their own coaches, the two teams have played for a Telephone Trophy. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co., which is based in Ames, Iowa, has sponsored the trophy throughout its history, and it is awarded to the winning team after every game between the Tigers and Cylcones.

Former QB still a crowd pleaser

Seven years later, and the quarterback can still draw a crowd. Seven years later, and they still remember his round face, warm smile, and the way he tore up the football landscape in Columbia.

Cyclones dominate time of possession

Dominating is not a word to be used lightly. But for roughly three-quarters of Saturday’s Missouri-Iowa State game, there was no better word to describe the Cyclones. In fact, thousands of fans thought there was no reason to stay at Memorial Stadium when Iowa State took a 24-14 lead with 9:08 to play.

Homecoming: Different problems for teams

Resistible force, meet movable object. The referees won’t say that, but it would be a fitting introduction for the 1 p.m. Saturday game between Iowa State and Missouri at Faurot Field.

New year means new viewpoint for Snyder

If a cloud of gloom has surrounded Quin Snyder and his Missouri basketball program during the past year, then the start of a new season is his moment in the sun. Practice officially begins for the Tigers at 7 tonight, and Snyder has been making the media rounds, ready for a fresh start in his seventh season in Columbia. The practice is closed to the public.

Balanced Bruins offense rolls into Helias

It took a few games, but things are finally starting to click for the Rock Bridge football team. After three straight losses in which the Bruins’ offense scored a combined 42 points, it nearly equaled that total with a dominating 40-8 victory last week against Francis Howell Central. The Bruins’ offense looked as productive as it was in their first two victories that saw it score 37 points per game.

Bike federation will hold new event Saturday

Cyclists from across Missouri are invited to participate in BikeMO, a new riding event that features the fall foliage along the roads of central Missouri. The event, which takes place at 9 p.m. Saturday, celebrates the recent successes of the Missouri Bicycle Federation. “One of MoBikeFed’s biggest successes this year is the Bicycle Safety Bill,” executive director Brent Hugh said in a news release.

Former linebacker enters guilty plea

Former MU football player Alvin Newhouse pleaded guilty to two charges of first-degree sexual misconduct Tuesday and was sentenced to 60 days in the Boone County Jail in connection with a December 2004 incident. Newhouse, 20, was accused of raping an 18-year-old woman who was walking back to her dorm room in Graham Hall. At Newhouse’s preliminary hearing in February, the victim said he pulled her in to his room by her arm and asked her to have sex with him. When she refused, the victim said Newhouse forcibly raped her.