Other Sports

Injuries concern for three teams

ATLANTA — Saddled with a bum ankle, B.J. Elder limped during warm-ups, limped through 12 scoreless minutes, then limped back on the court to celebrate Georgia Tech’s first trip to the Final Four in 14 years.

In Phoenix, Connecticut All-America center Emeka Okafor had two points in the regional final because of an elbow stinger.

Ehlers, Tigers avoid sweep

The seniors on the Missouri baseball team avoided a shameful career mark with a win Sunday against Kansas State.

Missouri’s 12-0 win at Taylor Stadium helped the Tigers avoid their fourth straight sweep in a Big 12 Conference opening series.

Morris blocks out pressures

ST. LOUIS — The audition starts anew on opening day for Matt Morris.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ ace pitcher is in the final year of his contract and facing an uncertain future with the only team he has played for. The Cardinals’ offer for an extension represented a big pay cut, reflecting doubts resulting from a tough 2003 season, so he must prove himself all over again beginning April 5 against the Brewers.

Camp hoping to join K.C. bullpen

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Shawn Camp came into the Kansas City Royals spring training as an unheralded, nonroster invitee with little chance to make the club.

Camp has pitched so well that he may break camp with a spot in the Royals’ bullpen. In eight games, Camp is 2-0 with one save and a 2.38 earned run average, while walking one and striking out nine in 11 1/3 innings.

Walks turn to runs

The conference season has not begun the way the Missouri baseball team would have liked.

The Tigers dropped their second straight game, losing 6-4 to Kansas State in 11 innings Saturday at Taylor Stadium, in their first Big 12 Conference series. A Kansas State win today would be the second year in a row an opponent swept Missouri in its opening conference series.

Cardinals’ closer key to success

ST. LOUIS — All spring, Jason Isringhausen has taken the ball.

That’s the biggest change for the St. Louis Cardinals, much bigger than the additions of Reggie Sanders, Jeff Suppan, Jason Marquis and the question marks surrounding second base, left field and the leadoff slot.

Royals eager to prove last year no fluke

KANSAS CITY — A breakthrough by some promising young pitchers, a healthy Juan Gonzalez and one or two lucky bounces could halt Kansas City’s 19-year postseason drought.

The Royals, in Tony Pena’s second full season at the helm, could also melt right back into the small-market pack and return to their familiar losing ways.

Offense fails Cougars

KANSAS CITY — Columbia College was one of the NAIA’s top defensive teams all season, but its offense went array in the national tournament without its leading scorer.

Oklahoma City beat the Cougars 81-48 on Thursday night in the first round of the NAIA Tournament in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

Pitching staff lifting Tigers’ expectations

The success of the Missouri baseball team this season is no surprise. It is how they are winning that few outside the team expected.

After returning seven position starters, including All-Big 12 Conference Second Team catcher Brad Flanders and All-Big 12 honorable mentions Cody Ehlers and Ryan Rallo, the offense seemed poised to carry the team. It has been the pitching, though, that has frustrated opponents.

Cassis knows what he’s talking about

Luke Cassis is not shy about criticizing his former teammates. In fact, he gets paid to do it.

Cassis, a former Missouri baseball player and student assistant coach, moved into the broadcasting booth this year, providing the color commentary for Tiger baseball radio broadcasts on KTGR 1580/AM in Columbia.

Three Cougars earn All-American honors

Columbia College forward Charliss Ridley was named to the NAIA All-American second team, and guards Lisa Kowalewski and Tiffany Foote were honorable mentions.

All three players are juniors and received All-American Scholar-Athlete honors.

Tigers fall in first conference game

Ryan Rallo had a chance to be a hero Friday night for the Missouri baseball team. The Tigers trailed by two runs and Rallo faced a full count, with two outs and runners on first and third.

Clark still making moves

Bill Clark made the Mid-Missouri Mavericks an offer they couldn’t pass up.

After all, it’s not every day the last-place team in the Western Division of the Frontier League gets a call inquiring about a job from the major league scout who discovered Andruw Jones and Rafael Furcal and almost put Albert Pujols in an Atlanta Braves uniform.

Cougars open with tough test

With all the hoopla surrounding the NCAA men’s basketball tournament each March, it’s easy to forget about the sport’s original extravaganza.

The NAIA Tournament began in 1937 with an eight-team field. The next season, the tournament adopted its 32-team format. The tournament’s five rounds are played during a seven-day span, compared to the NCAA’s six rounds in 19 days.

Clark nuts about oddlifting

It isn’t the weights that are odd at Clark’s Championship Gym. It’s the lifts. Common sense might also argue that any weightlifter who engages in an exercise named the crucifix would have to be an oddity, if not downright crazy.

“A man is essentially nuts that does this,” owner Bill Clark said with a smile on his face after pounding out 20 repetitions of 1,005 pounds in the Harness lift.

MU’s mixed message

At the end of the 2003-04 season, the Missouri women’s basketball team finds itself at a crossroads.

Inconsistency plagued the Tigers’ 17-13 season, but the Tigers achieved measured success.

Standout scorer benched

Basketball fans crave marquee individual matchups.

Thursday’s first-round NAIA Championship Tournament game between Columbia College and Oklahoma City was supposed to feature two of the nation’s premier scorers.

Weather no longer a problem

Outdoor athletes of all kinds share a common opponent: inclement weather.

Stepping on the field can be a challenge in mid-Missouri’s often unpredictable climate. The opportunity to play without braving cold or rain is growing for some athletes.

Opponents gave Tigers tough tests

All season Big 12 Conference coaches praised the talent and competition their teams faced in the league.

When choosing the best players Missouri faced this year, it would be easy to pick Kansas State’s front four of Kendra Wecker, Laurie Koehn, Nicole Ohlde and Megan Mahoney. To do so, though, would overlook many other great players.

NCAA keeps lid on investigation

No one is saying how soon the National Collegiate Athletic Association will reveal details of its nearly 6-month-old investigation into MU’s troubled men’s basketball program.

The NCAA won’t discuss its investigation, and it also bars MU officials from discussing it. And even if investigators do discover the team violated NCAA rules, depending on how serious the infractions are, details might never be revealed.