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Archive for September, 2012

Coach’s Show for Friday September 21.

Gary Lee talked to Ava’s head coach, Coach Swafford:

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Cabool’s head coach, Coach Brookshire:

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MVBT Liberty head coach, Coach Acklin:

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Thayer head coach, Coach Webber:

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West Plains head coach, Coach Ary:

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Willow Springs head coach, Coach Matt Perkins:

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Tonight’s football schedule- all games start at 7 PM.

West Plains at Joplin  (102.5)

Ava at Salem

Mt. Grove at Cabool (93.9)

Thayer at Houston

Willow Springs at MVBT Liberty (100.3 & 96.9)

ST. LOUIS — While refusing to disrespect the Astros by labeling this three-game series as a should-be sweep, the Cardinals nevertheless know the benefits of their current and upcoming schedule.

A nine-game stretch that began on Tuesday and includes games against the Astros and Cubs presented the Cardinals with an ideal opportunity to create some separation in their quest to lock down the second National League Wild Card spot. While closest competitors Los Angeles and Milwaukee still have games on the docket Thursday, the Cardinals depart St. Louis knowing that they’ve done their part.

St. Louis finished off a three-game sweep, handing the Astros their 102nd loss with a 5-4 win on Thursday, the day the Cardinals organization surpassed the 3 million mark in attendance. In six games at Busch Stadium this season, Houston didn’t win once.

This sweep runs the Cardinals’ winning streak to four games and extends their lead over the Dodgers in the NL Wild Card race to 2 1/2 games.

The Astros missed several opportunities to put up a big inning, including in the first, when Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia allowed three of the first four batters to reach. The lefty struck out J.D. Martinez before walking home a run but left the bases full to avoid additional damage.

St. Louis answered immediately. First baseman Allen Craig connected for a three-run homer off Astros starter Bud Norris in the bottom half of the inning. Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday preceded the blast with singles.

Houston did, however, swarm the bases all day. Three third-inning hits, the last of which caromed off second base in an unlucky break, allowed the Astros to tie the game at 3 against Garcia.

A pair of missed plays by third baseman David Freese in the sixth stirred another Astros rally. Garcia ended it with his 96th and final pitch of the day, which resulted in an inning-ending double play to leave a runner at third.

An inning later, reliever Edward Mujica induced an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

In between, the Cardinals inched back in front with help from Carlos Beltran, who had been kept out of the starting lineup in manager Mike Matheny’s effort to continue finding the right fielder regular rest. The intent, Matheny explained before the game, was to jump-start Beltran’s production by keeping him fresh.

The payoff was immediate. Summoned off the bench with two on and one out in a tied game, Beltran drove both teammates in with a sixth-inning double.

Mujica let the Astros pull back within one run with a three-hit seventh before ending the threat. Fernando Salas then came up big in the eighth. After Mitchell Boggs and Marc Rzepczynski walked the bases loaded, Salas entered and recorded back-to-back strikeouts. On the day, the Astros went 0-for-5 with the bases loaded.

That preserved the win for Garcia (5-7), who has given the Cardinals a quality start in each of his three home outings since coming off the disabled list.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It’s Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals blasted their way into the history books on Wednesday night, while also pushing themselves closer to securing a return trip to the postseason.

Home runs by David Freese and Yadier Molina were more than sufficient to back starter Lance Lynn, whose resurgence in the rotation extended for at least another turn.

St. Louis assured itself of a series win with a 5-0 victory over the Astros in front of 39,062 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals have won three straight for the first time this month and hold a two-game lead over the Dodgers for the second National League Wild Card spot. The Brewers, who beat Pittsburgh for the second straight night on Wednesday, sit 2 1/2 games behind.

“I think we’re calm, we’re relaxed and we’re confident,” Freese said. “We’re having just as much fun as we had last year. We know what’s at stake. There are a lot of teams involved for that second playoff spot.”

The Cardinals pushed their season home run count to 149 with the pair of early blasts, which staked St. Louis to a three-run lead. Freese plated the first two when, with the count full and out one in the second, he drove a pitch over the center-field wall. Allen Craig led off the inning with a single.

With the long ball, Freese joined Carlos Beltran (29), Matt Holliday (27) and Craig (21) as members of the team’s 20-homer club this season. Freese had long ago passed his previous career high of 10, which was established during an injury-interrupted 2011 season.

“I think when you’ve never reached it and you’re a guy trying to solidify himself, I think it’s the number everybody else looks at,” Freese said of reaching the 20-homer milestone. “It’s nice to get to that number for sure.”

Molina wouldn’t be left behind.

Two innings after Freese went deep, Molina also hit his 20th. Molina’s blast gives the Cards five 20-homer hitters for the first time in franchise history. No other National League team has achieved the feat this season. Only two American League clubs have done so.

“That’s a pretty impressive statistic,” manager Mike Matheny said. “There is a long, rich history of tradition here. I think that’s the kind of team we’ve really been. We’ve been a team that puts it in people’s mind that if you back off at any second, you have quite a few guys here who can put it over the fence.”

Like Freese, the achievement was a first for Molina, who had never hit more than eight home runs in a season before connecting for 14 last year. He joins Ted Simmons as the only catchers in franchise history to hit at least 20 in one year.

“I can’t lie. I feel so good,” said Molina, who reached base three times. “I’ve never hit 20 before. It does feel good. To get the win feels better. It was a good night for the Cards.”

The homers came against Astros starter Lucas Harrell, who recently became the eighth Astros rookie to reach double-digit wins. Harrell had allowed only two homers in his previous 12 starts combined.

“You can’t make a mistake to a team like this,” Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “The middle of the lineup you’ve got guys with 29 homers, there’s 20, there’s 19. It’s a powerful offense that if you make a mistake they’re going to hurt you. They’re guys not only looking to pull, but to spray the ball all over the field.”

Before the Cardinals tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth, Lynn outdueled Harrell with 6 1/3 scoreless frames. Plugged back into the rotation last week because of an injury to Jake Westbrook, Lynn is making a strong case to stay as a starter.

Showcasing simplified mechanics, Lynn limited Houston to three hits and two walks. He struck out five and became the Cardinals’ first 16-game winner of 2012. Only four other National League pitchers hit that win total before Lynn, who is nearing the end of his first full season in the Majors.

“I feel good,” Lynn said. “I learned some things down in the bullpen and I’m back to being who I am.”

With Westbrook getting healthy, Lynn’s immediate future remains undefined beyond this point. But regardless of whether the Cardinals call upon him to make another start or assist out of the bullpen, the club has to be excited by the right-hander’s recent turnaround.

In the six starts Lynn made from July 27 to Aug. 24, Lynn averaged less than five innings and posted a 7.31 ERA. That was enough for St. Louis to boot him from the rotation. A six-appearance stay in the ‘pen followed, during which Lynn focused heavily on smoothing out his delivery. For the first time in his career, he completely eliminated his over-the-head motion.

“I cut that out because it was an unnecessary movement,” Lynn explained. “When you have an unnecessary movement, sometimes it’s hard to sync it up.”

Lynn took pointers from teammates on how to better rein in his emotions while on the mound and also adjusted his physical conditioning program. All combined, the payoff has been tremendous.

There’s not been a substantial sample size since, but nevertheless, in Lynn’s two starts since moving back into the rotation, he’s allowed one run in 12 1/3 innings.

“I think he got a little loose [in his mechanics] right before he went to the ‘pen,” Matheny said. “You’re seeing quicker times. You’re seeing repeated pitches. All that is due to the fact that he didn’t go down to the bullpen and sulk. He figured out how to make himself better.”

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It’s Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

@ Cabool


Final Score: Junior Varsity Cabool 25, 25  Willow Springs 16, 17

Nichole McGrath- 4 service points; kill

Rebecca Picard- 4 service points; 2 aces

Kearsten Douglas- 5 service points

Kendra Aldridge- 7assist, 3 kills

Alyssa Tooley- 2 kills and a block

Taylor Cauldwell- 2 points, kill

Madison Osborn- 2 kills and 1 assist

Final  Score: Varsity  Cabool 25, 25   Willow Springs 16, 21

Game 1 Kyla Hutsell 9 assist and 2 service points; Shilo Letterman 5 kills; Mary Kate Martin 4 kills; Shelby Bridwell 3 digs

“In first game we played well but couldn’t get a rally going. No one had more that one service point. We couldn’t take advantage of Cabool’s missed serves”

Game 2 Kyla Hutsell 12 assist; Madison Hines 4 kills; Shilo Letterman 2 kills; Alexis Brooks 2 service points and 2 kills; Mary Kate Martin 3 kills and 4 service points and 2 aces; Jane Sherbo 3 digs.

“I was pleased with our effort tonight, I thought that we did several things well. Our serve reception was much better tonight. We had several passes that led to an assist or kill.

“Serves haven’t been a problem, but missed several tonight at key points in the match. Had a lot of balls fall in between players. Our defense is getting better, but still moving when opponent is attacking.:”

“We just have to build from this game and continue to move forward.”.:-)

Our record is 3-9-1

Next contest: Thursday against Houston @ Home





LIBERTY           25         25

THAYER           5          10


Liberty wins in two straight sets




LIBERTY           25         24         25

THAYER           19         26         7


Liberty wins in three sets.

(St. Louis) (AP) –

Cardinals' Kyle Lohse is congratulated by bench coach Mike Aldrete after doubling in a run and scoring in the fifth inning Tuesday. (Photo by Chris Lee/St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Loss No. 100 didn’t appear to register in the Houston Astros clubhouse. They’re too busy concentrating on making things tough for a string of postseason contenders.

“That’s why we’re here right now. We’re trying to match up,” interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said after a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and Kyle Lohse on Tuesday night. “We’re doing everything we can.

“Their games mean a lot,” DeFrancesco said. “Our game is we try to knock them out.”

Beginning Aug. 28, the Astros’ final seven series features six opponents in the postseason hunt. They need nine wins in the final 14 games to avoid topping last season’s franchise-record 106 losses.

It’ll be tough for a roster filled with prospects. The kids appear unaware that they’re closing in on a dubious record.

“What is that?” cleanup man Justin Maxwell said. “None of us think about that. We just try to win every day. Go out there and do our best for our teammates.”

Lohse threw seven scoreless innings for his 15th victory and contributed an RBI double for the Cardinals, who stayed in front for the second NL wild card.

Fernando Abad (0-5) had a career-best six strikeouts for the Astros. They’re 8-8 this month, taking three of four from the Phillies before coming to St. Louis.

“We’ve got a young team, with inexperience, and some mistakes are going to be made,” DeFrancesco said. “But overall I was pleased. The effort is there.”

Daniel Descalso got a key early RBI and Jon Jay had two hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals, coming off a 2-5 trip but with a favorable upcoming schedule with the next eight against lowly Houston and Chicago.

With 14 games to play the defending World Series champions are 1½ games ahead of the Dodgers, rained out at Washington, and 2½ games ahead of the Brewers.

Lohse (15-3) matched his season best for victories set in 2008 with St. Louis, on his fourth attempt while stranding two runners in the third and seventh. A .281 career hitter entering the season, he raised his average this year to .100 with his third RBI.

Due for free agency after the season, Lohse leads the majors with a winning percentage of .833 and is among the National League leaders with a 2.71 ERA.

Abad allowed three runs in five innings, the longest of his five career starts – all this year – and is 1-10 with a 5.12 ERA in parts of three seasons with Houston. Brett Wallace had an RBI single off Mitchell Boggs in the eighth.

The Cardinals had four extra-base hits, three of them in succession with one out in the fifth. Pete Kozma tripled, Lohse doubled and Jay doubled to make it 3-0.

They missed a chance for more when Carlos Beltran struck out and Jay was thrown out at third. It was the second time one of St. Louis’ best hitters whiffed in the clutch and Astros catcher Jason Castro turned it into a double play. Matt Holliday struck out and Jay was thrown out at second to end the first.

Yadier Molina singled with one out in the second and scored on a two-out single by Descalso, who had been batting just .104 with runners in scoring position (8 for 77) on the year and was 1 for 16 on the trip. Descalso batted .294 with runners in scoring position as a rookie.

Jason Motte worked the ninth for his 36th save in 43 chances.

Listen below to this week’s Grizz Talk with Jim Lambert and Head Volleyball Coach Paula Weidemann:

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@ Eminence


JV Scores: Willow Springs 16, 16; Eminence 25, 25

“We spotted Eminence 7 points in first game and continued to give them points. Started them off with 5 points in the second game. It is hard to compete if you will not execute one of the first fundamentals of volleyball.”

Game 1: Hutsell 3 assist; Martin 2 service points and 2 kills and Letterman 3 kills; Sherbo 3 digs

Game 2: Osborn 5 assist; Hines 2 kills, 1 block; Letterman 3 service points and 1 kill and Martin 2 kills and 3 service points

Varsity scores: Willow Springs 13, 17; Eminence 25, 25

@ Cabool 9/18/2012 & Houston @ Home on Thursday







Liberty              25

Summerville       15


Liberty Junior Varsity improves their record to 4-0 on the season.




Liberty              19         25         25

Summersville     25         17         18


Liberty wins in three sets.  Improving season record to 11-3-1


Both teams play Tuesday, September 18th against Thayer at Mountain View Elementary.