Mizzou Links & Softball NCAA First Round Preview for Friday, May 18
Welcome! Part softball preview, part links. Let’s dive in.
WHEN: Friday, May 19 @ 6:30pm CT
WHERE: Marita Hynes Field | Norman, Okla.
HISTORY: Cal leads the head-to-head series 5-3, but Mizzou won the last matchup 11-7 in the 2020 Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, CA.
Let’s check in with our hometown Tigers!
Karen Steger Designs
2022 RECORD: 38-22, 12-11 (7th in SEC)
2023 RECORD: 34-24, 7-17 (tied for 13th in SEC), 14-5 neutral
RANKINGS: no. 38 in RPI; no. 34 SOS
RANKED RECORD: 8 (#8 NW, #20 UCF, #8 UF, #17 Alabama, #12 LSU, #25 TX A&M, #12 Arkansas x2) – 18 (#6 Texas, #22 OR, #3 OK State, #16 UK x3, #8 UF x2, #21 Auburn x3, #17 Alabama x2, #12 LSU x2, #25 TX A&M x2, #12 Arkansas)
RECORD VS. RPI RANKS: 7-16 v. #1-25 | 3-6 v. #26-50 | 12-2 v. #51-100 | 4-0 v. #101-200 | 8-0 v. #201+
2023 OFFENSIVE STATS:
2023 PITCHING STATS:
- All-SEC: Alex Honnold and Jenna Laird were both named to the 2023 All-SEC Second Team, the league announced May 12. Clearly, they got it REALLY wrong, as I can think of no reason Alex wasn’t named First Team. The #disrespect. On Thursday, it was also announced that our girl Al Pal was named NFCA All-Region 2nd Team.
- Alex finished the season ranked 10th in the SEC with a .443 OB%, to go with a .290 conference BA, 4 home runs, two doubles, 14 runs scored, and 10 RBI to go with a .493 SLG% in SEC play. That’s elite.
- Laird had a .291 BA in SEC play to go with 14 runs, three doubles, five RBI, .371 on-base percentage, and a .329 SLG%, per MUTigers.com. She was also 5th in steals.
- Smart Cookies: Kara Daly (3.914 GPA, Health Sciences) and Alex Honnold (3.908 GPA, Sports Management) Sophomore third baseman Kara Daly and junior center fielder Alex Honnold were both named to the Academic All-District Softball Team on Tuesday.
- From Larissa’s time on KTGR earlier this week:
“All season long, we really measured ourselves against ourselves. And there isn’t anything any teams gonna do that we haven’t prepared for.”
“We have alot of respect for Oklahoma and their tradiions and what they’ve done for the game. But we’re not going to do anything different. We just have to play sharp softball and teams like Oklahoma, they take advantage of mistakes. So we have to minimize our mistakes, because if we make mistakes, then we’re just beating ourselves. They have a very potent lineup. They have a lot of depth. So we really have to focus on playing perfect, taking advantage of opportunities. That if they throw the ball at the heart of the plate, we can’t miss it. We can’t expect that we’re going to get multiple opportunities within an AB.”
- About the recent offensive onslaught:
“We’re getting production at any point in the lineup, so we’re not really hoping that the lineup turns and get someone up in the right spot… They are really staying disciplined in the strike zone. I’m not seeing them chase a lot of balls. They’re understanding what pitcher they’re looking to hit and what pitches they’re looking to take where we’re drawing a lot of key walks. We’re getting that leadoff batter on base, and now we just have to have better situational hitting to be able to get some runners in scoring position to capitalize.”
And now… the opponent:
Karen Steger Designs
2022 RECORD: 28-27-1 (8-16 in PAC-12)
2023 RECORD: 33-19 (9-14-1, 6th in PAC-12), 12-3 Neutral sites
RANKINGS: RV (ESPN/USA Today) | 29 in RPI (highest was #20 in March) | 31 SOS
RANKED RECORD: 4 (#2 UCLA, #24 Utah x2, #8 Stanford) – 12 (#2 UCLA x 2, #24/21 Utah x2, #10 UW x3, #8 Stanford x2, #14 OR x3)
RECORD VS. RPI RANKS: 4-12 v. #1-25 | 1-1 v. #26-50 | 12-5-1 v. #51-100 | 14-1 v. #101-200 | 2-0 v. #201
2023 TOP OFFENSIVE STATS:
2023 PITCHING STATS:
- Four Golden Bears were named to the Pacific Region Team: Makena Smith (First Team, back-to-back); Tatum Anzaldo (2nd Team, back-to-back); Kacey Zobac (3rd team); Elon Butler (3rd Team)
- Smith, the fifth year senior, is finding her way atop of the all-time lists in Golden Bears history, and is top 5 in HR (44) and xx in RBI (159). Anzaldo tied for the lead in hits in the Pac-12 (32) and finished 7th in BA (.390). Zobac made All-PAC 12 3rd Team and finished 6th in the Pac-12 with 12 doubles and 8th in on-base% (.462). Butler, a freshman, was also named 3rd Team All-Pac 12 as well as to the All-Freshman team.
- Makena was recently selected as the 15th pick in the Women’s Pro Fastpitch draft on May 17 by the Smash It Vipers out of Alabama.
- The Golden Bears’ 67 home runs are the second most in school history and led the Pac-12 this year.
- From Larissa Anderson, when asked about Cal’s team on KTGR earlier this week:
“Chelsea Spencer is their head coach. She’s a Cal alum. She’s coached at Oregon. She’s coached at Texas. She is a fireball of a coach and I know that Cal is going to have a ton of energy becuase of that. They haven’t been (to the tournament) in a while, so I know they’r egoing to be really excited for this opportunity. They’re scrappy. They fight like crazy. We have to match that energy and match that competitiveness, if not bringing more.”
“They make a lot of changes in their pitching staff, so that’s going to be a key for us to be able to make those adjustments when we go from pitcher to pitcher because we’re probably going to see multiple throughout the course of the game.”
How they Match up:
On to the Links! M-I-Z!
Other Mizzou Sports
- SOCCER: Grace Pettet is spending the offseason playing for Racing Louisville FC, and got a GOALLLLLLLLL! Sound the vuvuzelas!
- TRACK & FIELD: Mizzou is sending a crap-ton of qualifiers to the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in Sacramento. Make sure you visit their Twitter to see them all! I spy recent J-School grad and KOMU sports reporter, Euphenie Andre, in the Triple Jump!
- An SEC Championships movie for your viewing pleasure. I tell ya, this would look so nice streaming on my giant work monitor….
Mizzou in the Pros
- WHEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. What a 4th quarter (Links to Mike Singer’s DP article on the game)! I didn’t actually watch the first part of this game, but turned it on in the third when MPJ had played all of 12 minutes (foul trouble) and then watched the rest of it to see the former Tiger hit some tough, key shots (I’ll just pretend that bone-headed inbounds didn’t happen) to give the Nuggets a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals 108-103.
31 minutes | 16pts on 5-10 FG (4-7 3PT) | 7 D-REB | 3 AST | 3 TO | 3 PF | +1
- Well… looks like that knee injury Sophie sustained in the preseason game is going to take her out a bit longer. Per Twitter, she’ll likely be back on Sunday though.
- Here’s Soph interviewing the GOAT, Diana Taurasi
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