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MU part of Stephenson’s bio

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark – Many coaches with long-term success often speak in clichés about building a program from scratch.

Wichita State baseball coach Gene Stephenson has done it.

Hallsville takes advantage

Plattsburg’s struggling defense made it easy for Hallsville to advance Wednesday in the Class 2 state semifinals.

The Indians beat the Tigers 7-1 at Taylor Stadium and will play Springfield in the championship at 8 p.m. today.

Cardinals win 3rd straight

PITTSBURGH — Albert Pujols hit his major league-leading 17th home run, Tony Womack had four hits and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Pujols’ two-run shot in the first inning gave him a home run in four of his past five games and helped the Cardinals win for the sixth time in seven games, including three straight.

Pujols’ bat leads way as Cards rip Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Albert Pujols has compiled impressive statistics in almost every place he has played. They’re just a little better in Pittsburgh.

Pujols went 5-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs to lead the Cardinals to an 8-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

St. Louis releases Warner

ST. LOUIS — Kurt Warner’s storybook stay with the St. Louis Rams ended Tuesday, but he’s unlikely to be out of work for long.

The release of Warner, a two-time NFL MVP who led the Rams to two Super Bowls, leaves Marc Bulger as the team’s No. 1 quarterback. Bulger took over as the starter for good after Warner fumbled six times in last year’s season opener.

Missouri garners at-large berth

Missouri got another chance Monday.

The Tigers baseball team received an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. The Tigers (37-21-1) earned a No. 3 regional seed and will play No. 2 seed Wichita State (47-14) at 2 p.m. Friday in Fayetteville, Ark.

World of sports grows

Blake Starkey, the Missouri women’s tennis coach, has made multiple trips to the Czech Republic and Moscow in search of talent.

James Wadley, Oklahoma State’s men’s tennis coach, has gone farther, making trips to Australia. Nebraska track coach Gary Pepin believes so strongly in the value of recruiting foreign athletes he sends assistants on more than five trips a year outside the United States.

Athletes go after dreams

Elin Ohlsson came to the University of Missouri from Sweden in the fall of 1999 having never seen the campus. She had never seen Columbia.

Ohlsson knew she wanted to play golf for the Tigers while majoring in industrial engineering. Other than a few phone calls from Missouri coaches, e-mails and checks of Web sites, Ohlsson didn’t know much about the university.

Unexpected talent

ST. LOUIS — Instead of going for Greg Maddux or Andy Pettitte, the St. Louis Cardinals settled for low-budget free agent Jeff Suppan in the offseason.

So far, they’re happy with their two-year, $6 million investment.

Tigers slugger mangles Royals

DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers expected their offense to pick up once Dmitri Young returned to the lineup. They just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.

In Young’s first game back from a broken leg, the Tigers had their first five-home run day Monday at Comerica Park, beating the Kansas City Royals 8-4 to stop a three-game losing streak.

Title slips away

ARLINGTON, Texas — Oklahoma State coach Frank Anderson might not have agreed with the explanation for some of the weird things that happened, but there was no arguing his description of the game.

“What a game! It was a good game for a lot of reasons,” Anderson said. “It was a strange game.”

Mavericks fall to River City

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks couldn’t prevent the sweep.

The Mavericks couldn’t hold off the River City Rascals on Sunday at Taylor Stadium, losing 11-9.

Pitching problems cost Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Corey Koskie drove in three runs and Alex Prieto hit his first major league home run for the Minnesota Twins in a 8-3 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

Astros’ Redding quiets Cardinals

Tim Redding allowed four hits in 71/3 shutout innings Sunday to lead the Houston Astros to a 7-1 win against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Mike Lamb, Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman hit two-run home runs for Houston, who had lost five straight to the Cardinals.

Final act: MU seeks title

ARLINGTON, Texas — Cody Ehlers hit a tie-breaking two-run home run in the seventh inning, sending Missouri to its first Big 12 Conference Tournament championship game with a 10-7 victory against Baylor on Saturday at Ameriquest Field.

With the game tied at 7, Lee Laskowski led off the seventh with a double against Zane Carlson (0-4). Paul Woody was brought in to pitch to Ehlers, who hit his second home run of the tournament and 17th of the season.

Cornell earns 1,600 crown

JEFFERSON CITY — Hickman’s Tim Cornell picked the best time for his best performance.

Cornell won the 1,600 meters at the Class 4 state championships Saturday at Lincoln University. Cornell, a junior, passed seniors Kevin McNab of Howell North and Jared Kreissler of Truman on the last corner to win.

Kewpies advance to berth in semis

WAYNESVILLE — After a 10-year absence from the state semifinals, the Hickman girls’ soccer team is back in the spotlight and coach Sandy Paulsen couldn’t be happier.

The Kewpies defeated the Glendale Falcons 3-0 in the Class 2 quarterfinals Saturday at Tiger Pride Park.

Rocky start dooms Mavs

Another rocky start sank the Mid-Missouri Mavericks again.

The quick hole was too much to overcome, and the Mavs lost 9-2 to the River City Rascals at Taylor Stadium on Saturday in a Frontier League game.

Dresner-Winner take fifth place

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –- Both teams were assured a medal. Their chances at a championship were gone. It was the fourth match they played in two days. By most accounts, it seemed those circumstances might make for a lackluster match.

Emotions were high, though, for Rock Bridge’s Matt Dresner and Justin Winner and Helias’ Scott and Matt Schlueter. It was the third time the doubles teams met this season, and they had split the first two matches.

Hard day for Rock Bridge tennis

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Jon-Eric Meyer's match with Helias' Andy LeRoy in the quarterfinals of the state championship consolation bracket was, in essence, a five-part epic story, a near-marathon of tennis that resembled a heavyweight title fight.

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