Tigers aim high at Big 12 meet

When Tipper O’Brien crossed the finish line he knew he had run a fast 1,500 meters.

What O’Brien did not know was his time of 3 minutes, 44.14 seconds at the Billy Hayes Classic in Indiana was the fastest any Missouri athlete had run in the 1,500 since 1973.

MU softball stays alive

Amanda Renth hit her second grand slam of the season to help the Missouri softball team beat Oklahoma State 5-1 in the Tigers’ second game of the Big 12 Conference Tournament on Thursday in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Baylor (47-10) beat Missouri 7-3 earlier in the day before MU eliminated the Cowgirls (33-22). Erin Kalka (8-5) allowed three hits and one run in seven innings for the Tigers (39-12) against Oklahoma State.

Kewpies set for districts

Hickman’s tennis team had a new look this week.

In preparation for Saturday’s Class 2 District 5 Tournament, Hickman coach Jeff Moore sat out his top two players this week against Hannibal and Smith-Cotton. Moore said he made the move to see how his bottom four starters would respond to sharper competition.

Eckstein sparks Cardinals past Los Angeles

If David Eckstein keeps hitting like this, the Cardinals won’t miss Scott Rolen much.

Eckstein set the table for another St. Louis victory with three hits, helping the Cardinals beat Derek Lowe and the sloppy Los Angeles Dodgers 10-3 on Thursday.

Rolen put on 15-day DL

The Cardinals placed third baseman Scott Rolen on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a sprained left shoulder. He could miss up to six weeks.

Rolen’s shoulder was still too sore to undergo complete medical testing, but Dr. George Paletta, the team physician, indicated the third baseman could be sidelined anywhere from two to six weeks. Paletta said the results of an MRI exam Thursday showed no significant structural damage, and he was hopeful Rolen would be able to take a second exam Friday that would detect any damage to the labrum.

Confident Tigers seek Big 12 title

Missouri coach Ty Singleton was verbose after the No. 15 Tigers’ regular season-ending 1-0 win against Nebraska on Sunday.

He praised senior Erin Kalka’s final home start, a three-hit shutout in which she struck out 10 Cornhuskers.

Looking to Bounce Back

“Bear down, Chicago Bears.”

The famous first line of the Chicago Bears fight song is played after each Bears touchdown at Soldier Field. But in 2004, with the Bears finishing last in the NFL in offensive touchdowns with 19, the song was rarely heard.

Suppan, Walker boost Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — Larry Walker had three of St. Louis’ season-high 19 hits and drove in three runs, backing a strong seven-inning effort by Jeff Suppan in the Cardinals’ 9-3 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

David Eckstein had four hits and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for St. Louis, which has won seven of eight at home against the Dodgers counting the playoffs. Of the Cardinals’ 19 hits, only three were for extra bases.

Kansas City scavenger in hunt for new skipper

KANSAS CITY — Hiring a new manager might not be as simple as finding the man the Kansas City Royals want. It will have to be someone who wants the Royals.

The small-market Royals have fallen upon hard times. Deep problems may prove sobering to any would-be successor to Tony Pena, who resigned Tuesday night with the worst record (8-25) and second-lowest team payroll ($36.9 million) in the major leagues.

Kansas City looks to NASCAR’s future

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Other cities might have more stock car racing history, bigger international profiles, brighter star power.

But backers of a bid to win the NASCAR Hall of Fame for Kansas City, Kan., where the relatively new Kansas Speedway is entering its fifth season of operation, said Wednesday they represent the sport’s future and NASCAR’s best chance to reach beyond its traditional fan base in the southeastern United States.

Extra Points: Six Tigers named to All Big 12 team

Six Missouri softball players were named to the All-Big 12 Conference Team and four earned Academic All-Big 12 honors.

Senior shortstop Heather Kunkel and junior outfielder Janessa Roening were first-team selections. Sophomore outfielder Leanne Bowers, sophomore catcher Kathy Masterson, redshirt freshman outfielder Micaela Minner and freshman first baseman Amanda Renth made the second team. Bowers, Kunkel and Masterson first team Academic All-Big 12 and sophomore pitcher Erica Peterson was on the second team.

Once a Kewpie, always a Bruin

Rock Bridge baseball coach Terry Whitney said one of his favorite high school baseball memories actually came against Hickman, a team he used to coach.

“It’s kind of ironic, but my last game senior year, I led off against Hickman with a home run,” Whitney said, who was an outfielder for the Bruins. “I only hit one in my high school career, and it was against Hickman.”

Royals continue slide

TORONTO — Roy Halladay made quick work of the worst team in baseball.

Halladay pitched his AL-leading third complete game of the season, and Toronto beat the struggling Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Tuesday night in game that took 1 hour, 44 minutes — the Blue Jays’ shortest of the season.

Dodgers reverse hex in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — Hee-Seop Choi hit a go-ahead, three-run home run after he withstood a collision that forced Scott Rolen to leave the game with a sprained left shoulder in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 9-8 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Jeff Kent also hit a home run, and Cesar Izturis had two hits and two RBIs, helping the Dodgers end a six-game losing streak at Busch Stadium, counting the first round of the postseason last year.

No. 1 Kewpies get huge road victory

One day after a loss to Smith-Cotton — a team hovering around the .500 mark — the top-ranked Hickman baseball team bounced back in a big way Tuesday.

The Kewpies beat Wentzville Holt 7-3 at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon in a battle of the top two Class 4 teams in Missouri.

Cougars lose control of destiny

The Columbia College softball team was eliminated from the NAIA Region V Tournament Tuesday in Springfield when the Cougars fell 2-1 to Evangel University.

The Cougars (47-17) aren’t necessarily finished for the season. Coach Wendy Spratt said she thinks the team has about an 85 percent chance of earning an at-large bid to the NAIA National Tournament. She said the team will have a clearer picture of its chances at a bid when updated national rankings are released today.

Extra Points: Hickman doubles shine

The Hickman boys’ tennis team made a successful trip to Hannibal on Tuesday, handing the Pirates a 6-3 loss in a tightly contested dual.

Five of the nine matches went to tiebreakers, with Hannibal winning all three singles tiebreakers. Hickman (4-10) won the two doubles tiebreakers to clinch the victory.

Cougars alive in regional

The Columbia College softball team lost its first game of the NAIA Region V Tournament on Monday, but won its next two to stay alive in the chase for a title and a berth in the national tournament.

The Cougars managed two hits in a 3-0 loss to McKendree in the opener. Monica Mueller suffered the loss allowing seven hits.

Toronto Towers over K.C.

TORONTO — Josh Towers won his third straight start by pitching eight strong innings, and the Toronto Blue Jays ended a four-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory against the struggling Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

Russ Adams hit a two-run triple for the Blue Jays, swept in three of their previous four home series.

Clear shot

The Hickman girls’ soccer team is on a streak it hopes to ride all the way to the district finals.

After beating Rock Bridge and Jefferson City in the past two games, the Kewpies extended their winning streak to three, routing Smith-Cotton 9-0 on Monday at Cosmopolitan Park.