Archive for October, 2012
(West Plains) – A rash of hitting errors cost the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team a win over Seminole State College of Seminole, Okla., Monday evening, Oct. 29, in its final regular season match at the West Plains Civic Center.
The Grizzlies, now 23-9, fell to the Trojans 27-25, 25-23, 17-25, 17-25, 14-16 in the teams’ sixth meeting this season. The Grizzlies, currently ranked 12th in the nation, had defeated the Trojans in the five previous contests.
“This match was almost identical to our first match Sept. 22 at the tournament in Hutchinson, except for the score,” Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said. “It was a back and forth battle, too, but last night’s performance by Seminole was, by far, the best they’ve played since our first meeting. I expected to have that kind of match with them each time we played this season, but we were able to take them out of their game in the previous matches.”
The opposite seemed to be true Monday night, as the Grizzlies tried to keep up with the Trojans, and their hitting did not help their cause. As a team, the Grizzlies had an attacking percentage of only .085. Out of 188 swings taken, 42 resulted in errors while 58 found their mark.
“This was not a typical match for us. Our hitting errors absolutely killed us. We haven’t had a team attacking percentage like that at all this season,” Wiedemann said. “It was like we were swinging for all or nothing, and we got a lot of all and we got a lot of nothing.”
Freshman outside attacker Helena Peric led the team in kills with 17, followed by freshman middle attacker Torika Balielekutu with 13 and sophomore right side attacker Candyce Alexander with 11. Peric also led the team in service aces with five and points earned with 23.
Freshman libero Victoria Williams led the team in passing rating with 2.82 and in digs with 19. Alexander was close behind Williams in digs with 18. Baleilekutu paced the Grizzlies defensively at the net with three blocks, including two solos. Freshman setter Sarah Stretch had 52 assists.
Wiedemann said the Grizzlies spent a lot of time talking about what happened on the court following the match and cleared the air on some nagging issues that had creeped into their play. “They’ve let some distractions creep in the last couple of weeks and have just gone through the motions at times. They work hard, that’s not the issue, but they need to remember the process creates the result. You have to take those steps that make up the process to stay focused on the job at hand,” the coach explained.
Wiedemann believes a different Grizzly team will take the court this weekend in the NJCAA Region 16/District N Championships at Park Hills, Mo. “I think this week will be very productive. We’ll get back on track with what makes a good team better. They’ll be more focused on how they go about doing things instead of just the result,” she said.
As first seed in Region 16, the Grizzlies will meet the winner of Friday’s 7 p.m. semifinal match between Jefferson College of Hillsboro and Mineral Area College from Park Hills at noon Saturday. “Jefferson has beat Mineral Area twice this season, but it’s still anyone’s game. We need to be ready to play either team,” Wiedemann said.
The Region 16 winner will then play the winner of Regions 15 (southern New York and Long Island) and 20 (parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland), Harford Community College from Bel Air, Md., for the District N Championship at 6 p.m. Saturday in Park Hills. This is the first year the Region 16 winner will have to play a district match to determine who will advance to the NJCAA Division I Women’s National Volleyball Championship Tournament Nov. 15-17 in West Plains, Wiedemann said. In the past, the Region 16 winner received an automatic berth to the national tournament, but NJCAA officials made several changes to the playoff process during the off season, Wiedemann explained.
The coach also said she would like to thank Physical Therapy Specialists Clinic for sponsoring the “Dig for a Cure” activities at Monday’s match. Proceeds from fundraisers during the match will go toward breast cancer research and education. “We really appreciate the support they show our program throughout the season. This was the fifth annual ‘Dig for a Cure’ event, and it has become bigger and better each year. We love being a part of it,” Wiedemann said.
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, including a copy of the 2012 schedule, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/.
(West Plains) – Tonight is Dig For A Cure Night at the WP Civic Center, featuring the volley ball match between Seminole State College and Missouri State West Plains.
Grizzly coach Paula Wiedemann says partnership between the volleyball team and Physical Therapy Specialist Clinic, the sponsor of the event, has worked very well.
The coach says the seedings are set for the upcoming region 16 tournament.
Brenda Miller from PTSC talks about some of the events tonight.
The match will start at 5:30.
(Kansas City) (AP) – Seems like a long time ago that the Oakland Raiders had lost four of their first five games and were scuffling along at the bottom of the AFC West.
Turns out a lot can change in a couple of weeks.
Especially when you’re facing two of the worst teams in the league.
Carson Palmer threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, and the Raiders followed up their overtime win over Jacksonville with a comprehensive 26-16 pasting of the Kansas City Chiefs, their sixth straight win at Arrowhead Stadium.
Suddenly, Oakland (3-4) is a player in the division race.
“Yeah, I feel like our guys have confidence that they can go out and compete, that we can win football games,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “Like I told them, this is only important if you’re able to go out and win the next one.”
If the Raiders are overflowing with confidence, the Chiefs could fit all of theirs in a teaspoon. They’ve lost four straight overall and still have not led in regulation this season, the first team since at least 1940 to go this long in a season, according to STATS LLC.
Matt Cassel threw for 218 yards in place of Brady Quinn, who left in the first half with what the team called a “head injury.” Quinn had started his second straight game even though Cassel was cleared to play following the concussion he sustained three weeks ago against Baltimore.
“It’s unfortunate because I think the guys put a lot into it during the week,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. “You just have to go forward and do the best you can.”
The Chiefs committed four turnovers to run their league-leading total to 25, and their fourth-quarter touchdown was the first by the offense since Sept. 30 against San Diego.
Jamaal Charles, their biggest offensive weapon, carried only five times for 4 yards.
Why did Charles have so few attempts? “Now, that I’m not exactly sure, either,” Crennel said.
While the Chiefs struggled to get their ground game going, Oakland finally did with Darren McFadden. He ran for 114 yards, and in doing so opened up the passing game, allowing Palmer to hit Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey with touchdown throws.
“It took us a while to get it going, but once it finally got going, we finished the game out well,” McFadden said. “We feel like with our offense, you just have to stick with it.”
It was the Raiders’ first road win since beating the Chiefs last December, and certainly a satisfying one. Sebastian Janikowski was perfect on four field-goal attempts, and the Raiders (3-4) nearly became the third straight team to keep the Kansas City offense out of the end zone.
The Chiefs got their lone touchdown on Dexter McCluster’s catch with 2:27 left in the game.
Altogether, it’s little wonder that two more banners appeared prior to the game, towed behind an airplane over Arrowhead Stadium. They were paid for by disgruntled Chiefs fans and renewed their plea from earlier this season that general manager Scott Pioli be fired.
The first play of the game pretty much summed up the confrontation between two of the league’s lousiest teams: Palmer threw into tight coverage and was intercepted by Stanford Routt.
Naturally, the Chiefs countered by going three-and-out and punting.
The Raiders finally got on the board when Palmer found Moore for a short completion that he turned into a 38-yard gain, and Janikowski connected from 36 yards for a 3-0 lead.
The field-goal struggle was on.
Janikowski hit from 38 yards early in the second quarter, and Ryan Succop matched him with a 30-yarder. Succop hit again from 42 yards late in the half to tie the game.
The Raiders took the lead into halftime when the Chiefs’ Javier Arenas fumbled a punt while attempting to make a fair catch. Jon Condo recovered it at the Kansas City 11, and Palmer hit Moore in the back of the end zone on third down to give Oakland a 13-6 lead with 49 seconds left.
The game’s circuslike nature continued in the second half.
Cassel fumbled the snap on the first play of the third quarter and the Raiders’ Tommy Kelly recovered, but Oakland couldn’t manage anything in three plays – two of them woeful throws by Palmer. The Raiders had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Janikowski.
Succop added a 52-yarder later in the quarter to get the Chiefs within a touchdown, but Oakland answered by going 80 yards in just six plays for another score. Palmer picked on Routt the whole way, and his 36-yard touchdown pass to Heyward-Bey gave the Raiders a 23-9 lead.
How bad were things going for Kansas City? Janikowski finally missed a field goal in the fourth quarter, only for Jalil Brown to be called offsides on the play.
Janikowski knocked the redo through with 8:14 left to put the game away.
“You want to wear a defense down,” McFadden said. “I feel like we did that today, and eventually we were able to start to get them to break out.”
(Hillsboro) – The MSU-WP Lady Grizzlies played in the Jefferson Invitational on Friday and Saturday, and split the tourney 2-2.
Friday, October 26
Lady Grizzlies lost to #4 Iowa Western 25-23, 21-25, 24-26, 18-25
Lady Grizzlies defeated Indian Hills (IA) 20-25, 27-29, 25-19, 25-21, 15-12
Saturday, October 27
Lady Grizzlies defeated Seminole State (OK) 25-14, 25-18, 25-23
Lady Grizzlies lost to Hutchinson (KS) 25-23, 26-24, 20-25, 21-25, 17-19
(Detroit) (AP) – Finally pressed in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants finished off a most unexpected and stunning sweep.
Marco Scutaro delivered one more key hit this October, hitting a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th inning that lifted the Giants over the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in Game 4 on Sunday night.
Nearly eliminated over and over earlier in the playoffs, the Giants sealed their second title in three seasons when Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera looked at strike three right down the middle for the final out.
On a night of biting cold, stiff breezes and some rain, the Giants combined the most important elements of championship baseball – great pitching, timely hitting and sharp defense.
Series MVP Pablo Sandoval and the underdog Giants celebrated in the center of the diamond at Comerica Park after winning six elimination games this postseason.
“Tonight was a battle,” said Giants star Buster Posey, who homered. “And I think tonight was a fitting way for us to end it because those guys played hard. They didn’t stop, and it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Cabrera delivered the first big hit for Detroit, interrupting San Francisco’s run of dominant pitching with a two-run homer that blew over the right-field wall in the third.
Posey put the Giants ahead 3-2 with a two-run homer in the sixth and Delmon Young hit a tying home run in the bottom half.
It then became a matchup of bullpens, and the Giants prevailed.
Ryan Theriot led off the 10th with a single against Phil Coke, moved up on Brandon Crawford’s sacrifice and scored on Scutaro’s shallow single. Center fielder Austin Jackson made a throw home, to no avail.
Sergio Romo struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th for his third save of the Series.
The Giants finished the month with seven straight wins and their seventh Series championship. They handed the Tigers their seventh straight World Series loss dating to 2006.
“Obviously, there was no doubt about it. They swept us,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “So there was certainly no bad breaks, no fluke.
“Simple, they did better than we did.”
An NL team won the title for the third straight season, a run that hadn’t occurred in 30 years. Some find the streak surprising, considering the AL’s recent dominance in interleague play. Yet as every fan knows, the club that pitches best in the postseason usually prevails.
Until the end, the Tigers thought one big hit could shift the momentum. It was an all-too-familiar October lament – Texas felt the same way when the Giants throttled them in 2010, and Tigers knew the feeling when St. Louis wiped them out in 2006.
Howling winds made it feel much colder than the 44 degrees at gametime. Two wrappers blew across home plate after leadoff man Angel Pagan struck out, and fly balls played tricks in the breeze.
The Giants started with their pregame ritual. They clustered around Hunter Pence in the dugout, quickly turning into a bobbing, whooping, pulsing pack, showering themselves with sunflower seeds. A big league good-luck charm, Little League style.
And once again, San Francisco took an early lead. Pence hit a one-hop drive over the center-field fence for a double and Brandon Belt tripled on the next pitch for a 1-0 lead in the second.
The next inning, Cabrera gave the Tigers a reason to think this might be their night.
With two outs and a runner on first, Cabrera lofted an opposite-field fly to right – off the bat, it looked like a routine out shy of the warning track. But with winds gusting over 25 mph, the ball kept carrying, Pence kept drifting toward the wall and the crowd kept getting louder.
Just like that, it was gone.
Cabrera’s homer gave Detroit its first lead of the Series, ended its 20-inning scoreless streak and reaffirmed a pregame observation by Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline.
“The wind usually blows to right at this time of year,” Kaline said.
In the fourth, Max Scherzer and catcher Gerald Laird teamed on a strike ’em out-throw ’em out double play. Scherzer yelled, first baseman Prince Fielder clenched his fist and the Tigers ran off the field on a chilly, windy, rainy evening. At last, it seemed, all the elements were in their favor.
Trailing for the first time since Game 4 of the NL championship series, Posey and the Giants put a dent in Detroit’s optimism. Scutaro, the NLCS MVP, led off the sixth with a single and clapped all the way around the bases when Posey sent a shot that sailed just inside the left-field foul pole for a 3-2 lead.
Posey, the only Giants player on the field from the starting lineup in the Game 5 clincher in 2010, almost tripped nearing first base and he watched the ball and began his trot.
Detroit wasn’t about to go quietly, however. Young, the ALCS MVP, made it 3-all with another opposite-field homer to right, this one a no-doubt drive.
Fielder finished 1 for 14 (.111) for the Series.
All 24 teams to take a 3-0 lead in the World Series have won it all. In fact, none of those matchups even reached a Game 6. This was the first sweep for an NL team since Cincinnati in 1990.
Working on nine days’ rest and trying to extend the Tigers’ season, Scherzer kept them close into the seventh. Often recognized for his eyes – one is light blue, the other is brown – he’s also known as a solid postseason pitcher.
Ditto-plus for Matt Cain, who was working on a nearly perfect year.
The Giants’ ace threw a perfect game in June, was the winning pitcher in the All-Star game in July, beat Cincinnati to clinch the division series and topped St. Louis in Game 7 of the NL championship series.
After they left, the relievers decided it.
Octavio Dotel shouted, “Yeah! Let’s go!” toward his dugout after striking out Posey to end the eighth. In the bottom half, winning pitcher Jeremy Affeldt got around a leadoff walk when he struck out Cabrera, a flinching Fielder and Young.
Coke returned the favor in the top of the ninth, fanning the side. With Jose Valverde having lost his closer role during a shaky month, Coke stayed in for the 10th and faltered.
The Giants became the first champion that hit the fewest home runs in the majors since St. Louis in 1982. Sandoval’s three drives in Game 1 started San Francisco’s romp, and its dominant pitching took over from there.
The parade to a sweep masked the problems San Francisco overcame to get this far.
Closer Brian Wilson pitched only two innings before an elbow injury ended his year. All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games for a positive testosterone test, and not welcomed back when the ban ended. Two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum struggled and wound up in the bullpen.
Swept in a three-game set at Arizona to start the season, the Giants were floundering under .500 in mid-May. They soon hit their stride and, boosted by trade deadline deals for Scutaro and Pence, passed the Dodgers in the NL West for good in late August and posted 98 wins.
Getting past Cincinnati and St. Louis in the playoffs presented challenges. Down 2-0 in the best-of-five division series, they rallied for three straight victories in Cincinnati. Trailing the defending champion Cardinals 3-1 in the NLCS, they again took three in a row to advance, clinching in a driving rainstorm.
Six elimination games, six wins. Facing the Tigers, San Francisco proved it could play with a lead, too.
The Giants became the first NL team since the Big Red Machine in the mid-1970s to win two titles in a three-year span. Shut out for 56 years – Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Barry Bonds never won it all – their self-described “misfits” captured that elusive crown in 2010.
While many of the pitchers have remained, the lineup has seen quite a turnover. Posey, the NL batting champion, was the only position player to start Sunday night who also started the Game 5 clincher in 2010 at Texas.
The Tigers’ flop finished off a season in which Cabrera became baseball’s first Triple Crown winner since 1967. Detroit overtook the White Sox in the final week to win the AL Central and wound up at 88-74, the AL’s seventh-best record.
Here’s the latest Grizz Talk with head MSU WP volleyball coach, Paula Weidemann:
SAN FRANCISCO— A Giant dose of small ball, and suddenly San Francisco finds itself in a most unique position — way ahead in a postseason series.
Madison Bumgarner shut down the Detroit Tigers for seven innings, then the Giants took advantage of a bunt that stayed fair to eke out the go-ahead run in a 2-0 win Thursday night for a 2-0 edge in the World Series.
Gregor Blanco’s single trickled to a stop inches fair on the infield dirt, setting up Brandon Crawford’s run-scoring double-play grounder in the seventh. Hunter Pence added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and that was plenty for these masters of the October comeback.
“It definitely feels a whole lot better than having our backs against the wall,” Bumgarner said. “But you can’t relax. We’ve got to keep pushing.”
Game 3 will be Saturday night in Detroit and for once, the Giants aren’t playing from behind. They overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat Cincinnati in the best-of-five division series and escaped a 3-1 hole against St. Louis in the NLCS.
The loss certainly left the favored Tigers wondering what else could go wrong. Prince Fielder was thrown out at the plate by a hair and moments later starting pitcher Doug Fister was struck squarely in the head by a line drive.
The 6-foot-8 Fister managed to stay on the mound, and even excelled. Bumgarner more than matched him, however, allowing just two hits before the San Francisco bullpen closed it out before another pulsating crowd.
Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect eighth and Sergio Romo worked the ninth for a save in the combined two-hitter, leaving Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and his team in a huge hole heading back to Comerica Park. Anibal Sanchez will start for the Tigers against Ryan Vogelsong in Detroit.
The Tigers looked rusty at the plate, maybe still lost following a five-day layoff after an ALCS sweep of the Yankees. Cabrera hopped up in frustration after third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who homered three times in the opener, snared his early line drive.
“Well, what are you going to do about it?” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “We got two hits tonight. I’m certainly not going to sit up here and rip my offense because last night I thought we had some pretty good swings. Cabrera hit a bullet tonight.”
Bumgarner had something to do with the Tigers’ troubles, too.
Bumped from the NLCS rotation after two poor postseason starts, he returned with a flourish. The left-hander struck out eight and looked as sharp as he did in the 2010 World Series when, as a 21-year-old rookie, he stopped Texas in Game 4 on the way to a championship.
“Just able to make pitches,” Bumgarner said. “I hadn’t done a very good job of making pitches this postseason so far and this is a team that you’re not going to be able to afford to miss with.
“They hit some balls hard, but luckily we were in the right spot,” he said.
Along with his bunt, Blanco might have hit the hardest ball of the game — the liner that nailed Fister in the second inning. The ball struck the right side of his head and deflected on the fly to shallow center field.
Fister showed no visible effect from the blow — in fact, some in the crowd wondered whether the ball perhaps glanced off his glove because Fister stayed on his feet. Only when fans saw replays did groans echo around the ballpark.
Leyland, pitching coach Jeff Jones and a trainer went to the mound, and Fister insisted on staying in the game. He walked the next batter to load the bases with two outs, but retired Bumgarner on a popup, starting a streak of 12 straight hitters set down by Fister.
“Well, if you’d have been out there, it was something to see,” Leyland said. “Because the trainer was saying, ‘Where are you?’ ‘San Francisco.’ ‘What game is it?’ ‘Game No. 2.’
Gallery: Tigers-Giants World Series images
“I don’t want to make light of it, but it was kind of comical really because Doug was right on with everything. But I was scared to death when it happened.”
The game remained scoreless until the seventh, right after actor Tom Hanks — a former peanut vendor at the nearby Oakland Coliseum — sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” on the field.
Pence led off with a single and Fister departed, getting lots of hugs in the dugout. Rookie reliever Drew Smyly walked Brandon Belt on a full-count pitch and Blanco’s bunt loaded the bases.
The Tigers kept their infield back up the middle, and had no play at the plate on Crawford’s bouncer.
“We felt like we played double-play depth because we felt like we couldn’t give them two runs. That’s why we did that, and we got the double play,” Leyland said.
“To be honest with you, we were absolutely thrilled to come out of that inning with one run. Absolutely thrilled. I mean, we had to score anyway.”
Pence added the insurance run the next inning with his flyball off Octavio Dotel.
“We played good small ball today,” Pence said. “We played a great game of baseball, had outstanding pitching and great defense and we found a way to get it done.”
Fielder and the Tigers came up inches short of taking an early lead, the result of yet another alert play by second baseman Marco Scutaro and a dubious decision by third base coach Gene Lamont.
Fielder was hit by a pitch to lead off the second, Delmon Young followed with a double and when the ball rattled around in left field, Lamont waved the burly slugger home. Even with no outs, Lamont sent him.
“I think Gene just got a little overaggressive,” Leyland said.
Scutaro, in the middle of every big play for the Giants this month, dashed across the diamond, caught Blanco’s relay and unleashed a strong throw to the plate. All-Star catcher Buster Posey made a swipe tag to Fielder’s backside, just as the Tigers star slid home. Umpire Dan Iassogna had a clear look and made a demonstrative call — out!
Fielder immediately popped up from his slide and pleaded his case with two hands, saying he didn’t feel the tag. Leyland rushed out and pointed to the plate. At second base, Young yelled, “No!”
But even if there was replay review, it wouldn’t have helped the Tigers. Because TV replays showed Iassogna, working his first plate job in a World Series, got it right.
There was no dispute that Fister somehow avoided a serious injury moments later.
Among those who winced was Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who sustained a skull fracture and brain contusion after being hit by a line drive last month.
“I’m not watching but did just see the replay. Certainly hope he’s ok,” McCarthy tweeted.
NOTES: Bumgarner struck out Austin Jackson and Omar Infante to start the game. Two other Giants fanned the first two batters in a Series game: Christy Mathewson (1905) and Carl Hubbell (1933). … Bumgarner picked off Infante at first base to end the fourth. Infante made a break for second and, like Fielder earlier, came up short with his slide. … Scutaro was the only Giants hitter to have previously faced Fister. … Posey has a hit in all seven World Series games in his career.
Following the loss to Johnson County Community College last week, the Lady Grizzlies fell to 12th in the national poll. The team rebounded nicely and maintained their perfect record in NJCAA by defeating Jefferson College last night in Hillsboro, 25-15, 25-19, 25-16. The Ladies play in a tournament in Hillsboro today and tomorrow.
Missouri Week 10- First Round Of Districts, was played out last night. Find out who’s going on and who’s done:
Webb City 45 vs. West Plains 7 (Webb City has now won 91 regular season games in a row).
Mt. Grove Panthers 56 vs. Pleasant Hope 6 (Mt. Grove remains undefeated)
Willow Springs 35 vs. Fair Grove
Thayer 49 vs Chaffee 6
Eldon 12 vs. Ava 7
Houston at Liberty
Cabool at Portageville
“It’s exciting because you want to be in action like this, face the best,” he said.
On Wednesday, he created his own excitement, homering in his first two at-bats against the Tigers‘ Verlander. And then he did it against reliever Al Alburquerque, helping the Giants to an 8-3 victory. .
Verlander was gone after four inning, leaving in a 5-0 deficit with even pitcher Barry Zito singling home a run against him. It was Verlander’s shortest outing of the reuglar season or postseason this year.
Sandoval homered to right center with two outs in the first inning and then shot a two-run homer over the left field wall in the third inning.
The Giants’ three-run third inning rally started with a fluke double by Angel Pagan, whose infield chopper hit third base and ounced into left field. He scored on a single by Marco Scutaro, who then scored on Sandoval’s second homer.
Sandoval came in as one of the Giants’ hitters, batting .320 in the first 12 postseason games.
The Tigers had a one-out single in the third inning and a leadoff single in the fourth inning that turned into a double play.