Bryan Blitz isn’t short on praise for his team. But the Missouri women’s soccer coach found a reason to stop a rainy practice two days before the season opener against Arizona. The coach was dismayed because the entire Tiger defense was caught out of position on a ball controlled by a wide-open Erica Pusch. Pusch stood at midfield near the right sideline with no one around her for 10 yards. She had ample space and time to decide what to do with the ball while the other defenders were positioned either too far from Pusch or too close to the players on the left side of the field.
It’s the first week of classes, but Jenna Holdmeyer knows her team is acing chemistry. The Columbia College volleyball team, No. 3 in the NAIA poll, lost nine players, including three All-Americans, from last year’s 43-6 squad. But Holdmeyer, a senior, is already impressed with how quickly this year’s Cougars have bonded. She said she was initially nervous about how well this team would work together.
Derrick Ming could feel it. Missouri’s weakside linebacker knew Wednesday afternoon’s session at the football practice fields was dragging.
After stepping up unexpectedly in place of injured quarterback Blake Tekotte at the start of Hickman’s 2004 football season, senior Andrew Perkins is ready to go this year. “Last year was weird because he (Tekotte) went down,” Perkins said. “I focused on defense early in the season, so then I just tried to focus on executing the offense as best I could for the rest of the year. This year I’ve been the guy since Day 1, and my expectations for myself are much higher.”
Missouri golfer Shawn Jasper had two firsts Wednesday. Jasper advanced to the match play portion of his first U.S. Amateur Championship, and he made his first hole-in-one. The one first that he didn’t have was a victory in the first round. Gary Wolstenholme of England defeated Jasper 1-up at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
Although All-American Lindsey Hunter says this year’s Missouri volleyball team could be the best in school history, she still enters her senior season with the same attitude as previous years. “Nothing’s really changed,” Hunter said. “I have high expectations for us, but I do every year.”
Leslie Fischer placed third in Rock Bridge’s first girls’ golf competition with an 85 at the Warrensburg Lady Tiger Invitational. Notre Dame de Sion’s Sally Meiners won with a 75. The Lady Bruins took second in the nine-team tournament with a 365, finishing behind Notre Dame de Sion (339).
Three doubleheaders will be included in the Mid-Missouri Mavericks’ final home games to make up rainouts. The Mavericks will play twinbills against the River City Rascals at 6:05 p.m. on today and Saturday. The third doubleheader takes place at 5:05 p.m. Sunday against the Rockford RiverHawks. The Mavericks three remaining home games will be played Friday, Monday, and Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. undefined
The hurt is still there. You can see it in the players’ eyes and uneasy body language as they answer questions day after day, week after week. Trying to figure out, trying to put into words what happened to their brother, their teammate, their friend.
Scott Concannon has shown a propensity for the big play in his two years as a starter for the Rock Bridge football team. The junior has the two longest plays from scrimmage in team history. He also has returned two kickoffs and a blocked punt for touchdowns.
MU junior Shawn Jasper shot an even-par 70 on Tuesday in the second round of the 105th U.S. Amateur at Philadelphia Country Club to jump into contention for the 64-player match-play portion of the tournament. Jasper is one of 19 golfers tied for 48th place. Those 19 will tee off on No. 13 at Merion Golf Club at 6:30 this morning in a sudden-death playoff. When two golfers have been eliminated, the match-play portion will begin.
Taylor Cowen pitched a complete game and added two hits as Hickman opened the season with a 2-1 victory against Salisbury on Tuesday. Cowen, who struck out eight batters, was supported with RBI singles by Stefani Worley and Laura Miller.
Wayne Kreklow will take over as head coach for the MU team this season. He had been an associate head coach with his wife Susan, who was the head coach. She will remain with the team as the associate head coach. “In no way will this change our coaching philosophy or the manner in which our program operates,” Wayne Kreklow said in a statement. “This is only a personal administrative move, based on family considerations. We’ve been co-coaching together for 11 years and in no way does this change the attitude or the meaning of our program.”
The Gateway Grizzlies pounded Mid-Missouri 11-3 on Tuesday. Mavericks’ starter Nate Kuhns was chased in the third inning after allowing six hits and two walks. He was charged with six earned runs.
PITTSBURGH — Let Chris Carpenter get all the attention. For Mark Mulder, winning is reward enough for a good season that keeps getting better. Mulder beat the Pirates for the fifth time in five career starts against them, allowing three hits in eight innings. The St. Louis Cardinals got off to a good start on a season-high 13-game road trip by winning 3-1 Monday night.
ST. LOUIS — To the casual fan, the St. Louis Rams’ blowout preseason loss to the San Diego Chargers looked much like last season, with a spotty defense giving up big plays and big points. But Rams coach Mike Martz saw plenty to like in Sunday’s 36-21 defeat.
KANSAS CITY — The father of first-round draft pick Alex Gordon said he did not attend classes at Nebraska on Monday, which would have caused the Kansas City Royals to lose his rights. The Royals, who made the slugging third baseman the second player taken overall in the June draft, had said they were confident he would not attend classes even though he had enrolled for what would have been his senior season.
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.
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.
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.