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Tigers set for NCAA play

Ty Singleton entered this season, his second as the Missouri softball coach, needing to come up with an encore.

After earning Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 2003 and leading the Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, it seemed as if Singleton would have a hard time following such an act, but he did not disappoint.

Helias pounds Bruins in semifinal

Helias teammates Kelly Fick and Josh Wilson proved to be too much for Rock Bridge.

Fick, a freshman left-hander, pitched a three-hitter and Wilson, a third baseman, hit a home run over the right-field wall in each of the first two innings as Helias beat Rock Bridge 7-1 on Wednesday at Hickman Field in the Class 4 District 10 semifinals.

Momentum lifts Jays past sluggish Kewps

By the time Hickman finally sent its ninth batter to the plate, in the bottom of the third inning, Jefferson City had scored nine times.

“That’s the worst thing that can happen in a district game, to get behind early like that,” Hickman coach Kent Fewell said. “The momentum switches to them.”

Black resigns from Hickman

Doug Black has resigned as Hickman’s wrestling coach to take the job at Blue Springs South.

“A good opportunity came up for me and my family,” Black said. “I couldn’t turn it down.”

Laskowski saves Missouri in 13th

The first nine innings featured a lot of scoring Wednesday that the extra innings lacked.

Missouri beat Southeast Missouri State 12-11 at Taylor Stadium in 13 innings. The game was 10-10 after nine innings, and neither team could produce the winning run until Lee Laskowski drove it in with two outs in the 13th.

Floyd’s hit lifts Mets past Cards

NEW YORK — Kaz Matsui tied the game with a two-out, broken-bat single in the ninth inning and Cliff Floyd followed with a winning single as the New York Mets rallied for a 5-4 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Trailing 4-3, the Mets got life in the ninth when Mike Cameron opened with a walk against Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen (2-1). Joe McEwing bunted Cameron to second, and pinch-hitter Karim Garcia also walked.

Pujols so-so so far in ’04

ST. LOUIS — A month and a half into the season, the St. Louis Cardinals are waiting for the real Albert Pujols to show himself.

The reigning NL batting champion and two-time MVP runner-up was batting a so-so .278 heading into a stretch in which the Cardinals play 13 of 16 games on the road, beginning with Tuesday night’s 5-4 loss to the New York Mets. That’s 81 points below his .359 average last year and 56 points below his career average.

Putting in a good word

On a warm Saturday afternoon in March, it’s crowded at Dino’s Steakhouse, where customers are taking in breakfast and lunch.

Bill Clark sits across the table and spins yarn after yarn about Douglass School’s athletes. He speaks slowly, and his sentences often trail off with a gentle laugh.

More than a face in the crowd

Pressure has followed the Rev. Raymond Hayes for much of his life.

The feeling was there in high school when, in 1958, he chose to transfer as a junior from Frederick Douglass School to Hickman High School. Hayes felt pressure on the football field where he was the first black football player for Hickman.

Sluggish Kewpies advance to finals

SEDALIA — The Hickman soccer team kept its season alive Monday, but that does not mean coach Sandy Paulsen is happy.

The Kewpies beat Helias 4-0 in the Class 2 District 10 semifinals at Susie Ditzfield Memorial Field, but Paulsen said her team did not play as well as she expected.

Mends lifts Bruins past Jays

SEDALIA — Rock Bridge coach Marc Vandover said between the Bruins’ prom and freshman dance it was difficult to get the effort he wanted in practice this last week.

“I had two girls come up to me and say, “Coach, I’m here and I can’t sweat,’” Vandover said.

Jackson becomes force for Hickman

While Blake Tekotte takes most of the spotlight during Hickman’s baseball games, Justin Jackson’s improved performance is often overlooked.

Jackson has hit .500 and surprised a lot of pitchers more worried about Tekotte, who hits in front of Jackson.

Record lifts Hickman’s confidence

After beating Hazelwood West on Wednesday, the only thing higher than the Hickman girls’ soccer team’s offensive production is its confidence.

With the 2-0 victory, the Kewpies have outscored opponents 33-0 in May.

Friendly rivalry for Kewpies

The friendship of Hickman juniors Josh Brady and D.J. Chung thrives off competition on the golf course.

“Me and D.J., we love to go out there and compete with each other every time,” Brady said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s practice or tournaments, we both love to compete. It’s really pushed me to another level.”

Coaching toward opportunity

Amos Morris, Douglass School’s former athletic director, has a story he likes to tell about George Brooks because he says it reflects the late coach’s attitude on race and equality.

Morris says the coach was waiting in the The Minute Inn where blacks could order take-out food only, and Brooks’ daughter Sharon, who was about 8 or 9, sat on one of the counter stools and began twirling in circles.

Mavs’ start a hit

Mid-Missouri Mavericks fans who saw the team’s preseason game Saturday might have left in a state of shock.

A team that finished 33-57 last season in part because of a sluggish offense, the Mavericks erupted for 17 hits to defeat the Springfield Ducks 13-8 at Taylor Stadium. The teams played 10 innings to get as many players as possible involved.

NU’s James baffles Tigers

The Missouri softball team lost 1-0 to regular-season champion Nebraska in the Big 12 Conference Championship on Saturday in Oklahoma City.

It was the first time since 1997 the Tigers played for the title.

It’s about time for Columbia swimmers

To Hickman sophomore Rachael Maerz, three hundredths of a second will seem like a year.

Maerz won the 100-yard breaststroke at the Last Chance Qualifier meet Saturday at Hickman, but her time of 1 minute and 14.22 seconds was .03 seconds slower than the state qualifying time.

Moran earns heptathlon crown

Michelle Moran picked a great time to have one of the best days of her athletic career.

Moran, a former Missouri heptathlete, won the heptathlon at the Audrey Walton Combined Event Carnival on Friday at Audrey J. Walton Stadium with 5,698 points.

Bruins girls take second at district track meet

The Rock Bridge girls’ track team finished second and the boys’ team third at the District 5 Tournament on Saturday in O’Fallon.

Hickman’s boys’ team was fifth and the girls’ team finished sixth. Jefferson City won the boys’ and girls’ district titles.

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