Wednesday, June 26, 2019

MSSU athletes Ray, Bisotro named Academic All-American

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern women's track and field student-athletes Rachel Ray and Elena Bisotto have been named Google Cloud/Academic All-Americans today by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Ray was a first-team selection, while Bisotto was a second-team pick. Both earn their first Academic All-American honors of their careers.

To be selected for the award, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore in academic standing, as well as not being a first-year transfer to the institution. Student-athletes must also maintain a minimum of a 3.30 GPA, as well as participate in at least 50 percent of their team's competitions. The award is voted on by sports information professionals throughout Division II.

The pair, along with Morgan Ash, were all Academic All-District picks last month.

Bisotto was a national qualifier this year, placing just outside of All-American contention, and was also a national qualifier at the Indoor Championships this year. Ray was the MSSU EO and Virginia Humphrey winner this year as the top student-athlete at MSSU.

Bisotto, a sophomore from Mestre Venezia, Italy caries a 4.00 in biology and Ray, a senior from Alma, Ark. graduated this May with a perfect 4.00 GPA in kinesiology.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Yadier Molina on Pujols return: It was the best weekend of my life

The return of Albert Pujols to Busch Stadium in St. Louis after en eight-year absence provided many magical moments.

In the accompanying video from KSDK in St. Louis, Yadier Molina talks about the weekend and what it meant to him.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sixty-one MSSU newcomer student-athletss named to MIAA Academic Honor Roll

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

A total of 61 Missouri Southern newcomer student-athletes were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll as the league announced its academic honors list for newcomers today.

In addition to those individuals, three were named an MIAA Scholar-Athlete and another eight earned the Academic Excellence Award. These awards are for all first-time enrollees to Missouri Southern (freshman or first-year transfers) in all sports.

To be recognized on the Academic Honor Roll, one must have a grade point average (GPA) used by the institution for purposes of NCAA academic certification of 3.00 at the certifying member institution.

To be named to the Scholar-Athlete list, a student-athlete must meet the above requirements, as well as maintain a 3.5 GPA and be named All-MIAA during their respective seasons. To earn the Academic Excellence Award, a student-athlete must maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Eight student-athletes earned the Academic Excellence Award including: Bryan Candryl (Men's Track and Field), Tori Frazier (Softball), Maggie Moore (Women's Golf), Kelie Henderson and Megan Tramel (Women's Track and Field), Marlee Lett and Layne Skiles (Women's Basketball) and Bailey Belcher (Soccer).

Belcher, as well as Makaila Leonhart of the softball team and Elizabeth Adeoye of women's track and field earned the Scholar-Athlete award.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Missouri Southern student athletes shine in the classroom

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Another year is in the books for the more than 450 Missouri Southern student-athletes and for the fourth-straight semester, the Lions have seen an increase in the department GPA.

For the third-straight semester, the MSSU student-athletes posted a cumulative 3.00 GPA or higher, moving the department's overall GPA from 3.08 this time last year to 3.16 this year. The GPA was 3.12 after the fall semester.

A total of 192 student-athletes carried at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of this academic year with 99 of those maintaining a 3.5 GPA or higher. Twenty-one student-athletes have a perfect 4.00 GPA and were part of the MIAA Academic Excellence Award that was announced throughout this year. The department also saw 86 student-athletes earn a degree in their respective field this year which is the ultimate goal of any athletic department and University as well.

The department had 12 of its 16 sports and activities it sponsors report a 3.00 team GPA or higher, with the remaining sports at 2.85 or higher. The volleyball team had the highest team GPA at 3.61, while the men's golf program had the highest GPA for men's programs at 3.24.

The Lions not only did it in the classroom this year, but also on the field. Southern had 73 All-MIAA selections and 39 All-Region performances. Twenty-two Lions were named All-Americans with five earning Academic All-American honors (track and field is still to come).

The department had the MIAA Coach of the Year in men's cross country, as well as baseball, while also putting forward the Regional Cross Country Athlete and Coach of the Year, and repeating that honor in the outdoor track and field season with the Regional Assistant Coach and Women's Field Athlete of the Year. The women's track and field team finished sixth at the Outdoor NCAA Championships, while also bringing home the individual National Championship in the javelin.

The Lions' men's track and field and cross country program was 8th in the final United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Program of the Year standings, while the MSSU baseball team had the MIAA Pitcher and Freshman of the Year. The men's basketball program made an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16.

"As you can see from the number of student-athletes above a 3.0, as well as the number that have a 4.0 GPA, it is proof positive that our student-athletes not only excel on the athletic field but also in the classroom," said Director of Athletics Jared Bruggeman. "This is a tribute to the dedication of our academic services, MSSU faculty, and support personnel for the University. We are extremely proud of our overall department GPA of 3.16, as it shows our commitment to our goal of graduating student-athletes with a quality collegiate and NCAA championship experience."

Friday, June 14, 2019

Sixty-one MSSU athletes named to MIAA Spring Academic Honor Roll

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

A total of 61 Missouri Southern student-athletes were named to the MIAA Spring Academic Honor Roll as the league announced its academic honors list for the spring sports today.

In addition to those individuals, five were named an MIAA Scholar Athlete and another five earned the Academic Excellence Award. The Spring Awards cover the sports for MSSU of baseball, softball, men's and women's golf, as well as men's and women's outdoor track and field.

To be recognized on the Academic Honor Roll, one must have a grade point average (GPA) used by the institution for purposes of NCAA academic certification of 3.00 at the certifying member institution. The individual must also have at least two terms of attendance at the certifying member institution, excluding summer terms. To be named to the Scholar-Athlete list, a student-athlete must meet the above requirements, as well as maintain a 3.5 GPA and be named All-MIAA during their respective seasons. To earn the Academic Excellence Award, a student-athlete must maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA, as well as satisfy the two terms of attendance.

Five student-atheltes earned the Academic Excellence Award for the Lions, including: Jordan Banker and Rachel Ray of women's track and field, as well as Abby Atkin, Angel Badalamenti and Taurean Guzman of the softball team.

Banker and Ray, as well as Morgan Ash and Morgan Smith earned the MIAA Scholar-Athlete Award, while Guzman earned the award for the softball team.

The complete list for the Academic Honor Roll, Academic Excellence Award and Scholar-Athlete Award is listed above in the story links. The MIAA will release the honorees for the above awards for all freshman and first-year transfers in all sports on Tuesday.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

MSSU Athletics finishes 34th in NACDA Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Fueled by seven of the 15 sports that the Missouri Southern Athletic Department sponsors making the NCAA postseason, the Lions finished 34th in the final NACDA Learfield IMG Sports Director's Cup Standings ad the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) released today.

Schools earn points toward the standings based on NCAA postseason finishes.

The Lions were led by their track and field teams which provided five of the seven NCAA postseason appearances. The women's track and field team had an 8th-place finish in the indoor season and a 6th-place finish during the outdoor season. The men's cross country team finished 11th, while the men's track and field teams placed 25th in the indoor season and 24th in the outdoor season.

The men's basketball team had a Sweet 16 appearance, while the MSSU baseball team made the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last seven seasons.

Southern was the fourth-highes finishing MIAA team, finishing behind Lindenwood who was 11th, Central Missouri (29th) and Central Oklahoma (30th). Northwest Missouri was 44th, while Pittsburg State (47th), Lincoln (49th), Fort Hays (56th), Washburn (83rd), Southwest Baptist (87th), Nebraska-Kearney (124th), Emporia State (139th), Northeastern State (145th) and Missouri Western (219th) gave the MIAA all 14 MIAA schools represented in the standings with half of the League appearing in the top 50. The MIAA was the only conference in Division II with all of its members to score points in the standings.

Friday, June 7, 2019

MSSU softball signs six players

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern head softball coach Hallie Blackney announced the signing of six student-athletes that will be joining the MSSU family heading into the program's 2020 campaign.

"We are thrilled to welcome this class into our Lion family! Not only do we expect them to make an impact on the field with their talent and athleticism, but we anticipate exceptional scholastic achievements and a positive impact to be felt within the MSSU community," coach Blackney explained. "Our returning softball student-athletes have set the gold standard for Lion tradition, and we are excited to add to our ranks when these newcomers arrive in the Fall."

This is Blackney's first official recruiting class at the helm after taking over the role as head coach back in October. The class is well balanced with half of them graduating high school and the other three becoming accomplished at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) level.

MSSU Softball 2019 Recruiting Class
Kayla Arzate 

Arzate attended Glendora high school in La Verne, California where she was a three-year letter winner for the Tartans under head coach Mike Quiroz ... earned All-League honorable mention after batting .301 with 25 hits, 15 runs scored, and 11 RBIs along with a fielding percentage of .933 in the outfield on her way to assisting the squad to a second place finish in the Palomares league and a round two berth into the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs as a senior ... part of the team that won a League championship as sophomore in 2017 and a third place finish as a junior to conclude the 2018 season ... is the daughter of Cynthia and Jamie, Kayla plans on majoring in sociology during her time at Southern.

Makayla Hall 

Hall was a four-year letter winner for the Rangers of Iberia R-V high school under head coach Madeline Cochran ... the Iberia, Missouri native became a four-time All-District (freshman-senior) and three-time All-Conference (sophomore-senior) first-team selection, along with first-team (freshman) and second-team (junior) All-Region honors throughout her scholastic career ... her efforts led the Rangers to their first final four appearance in school history as a freshman in 2015 ... transformed into an All-Sectional, All-District, and All-Conference track athlete in the offseason by competing in the 200m, 400m, 800m, and 4x2 relay events, including a third place mark as a freshman in 2016 ... also played two years on the basketball squad where the 5'5 point freshman point guard rallied the team to its second district title in school history ... led the team in most stolen bases and highest batting average as a freshman while becoming the leading rebounder on the basketball team throughout her freshman year ... the daughter of Melissa and Jon Hall, Makayla plans on majoring in pre-vet.

Izzy Medrano 

Medrano was a three-year letter winner for the Broncos of Lee's Summit North high school under head coach John Gage ... the Lee's summit, Missouri native wrapped up her scholastic career finishing fifth in stolen bases and runs scored among the school record books as well as a second-team All-District performer as a junior and honorable mention recipient as a senior while becoming a a three-time All-League honorable mention selection in all seasons played (sophomore-senior) ... the daughter of Michelle and Steve, Izzy plans on majoring pediatrics once on campus.

Taylor Hinnenkamp 

Comes to Southern after hitting over .300 as freshman and sophomore in her two years playing for the Cowley County CC Tigers ... came out of the gate batting .345 and registering a .441 on-base percentage in 87 at bats with 22 runs scored and 12 stolen bases towards a spot on the first-team All-Academic team (4.0) as a freshman in 2018 ... the Tigers recorded a 42-16 record on their way to a Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC)/Region VI title and a berth into the fourth round of the NJCAA Divsion II championship tournament ... the Augusta, Kansas native continued being a tough out at the plate by batting .310 and matching her seasons high of 22 runs scored to go along with 17 stolen bases ... prior to committing to the Tigers, Hinnenkamp was a four-year letter winner for the Augusta high school Orioles where she helped the team to back-to-back state titles to conclude her freshman and sophomore seasons under head coach Shane Steinkamp ... became a three-time first-team All-League performer (sophomore-senior) as well as a first-team All-State outfielder as a junior ... in the offseason, Hinnenkamp competed on the basketball court for three years at the point guard position, earning All-League second-team as a senior after taking honorable mention status on year prior as a junior ... cracked the All-Hustle team as a junior and senior seasons ... also dominated on the Cross Country course for two seasons by landing on the All-League first-team as a junior and senior ... named the 2017 Wendy's Heisman and Butler County Female Athlete of the Year for her outstanding effort across all three sports ... placed on the Academic Oriole in all four years while holding a 4.0 GPA ... the daughter Corney Hinnenkamp and Nicole Renollet, Taylor plans on majoring in accounting throughout her time at Southern.

Haleigh Scott 

Scott comes to Southern after spending one year at Cowley County Community College as a teammate of Hinnenkamps and another season at Panhandle State upon graduating as a four-year letter winner for the Choctaw High School Yellowjackets ... in her lone season with the Cowley County Tigers, the Newalla, Oklahoma native drove in 36 RBIs and scored 41 runs off 57 hits in 143 plate appearances (.399 BA) towards earning a spot on the All-KCCC Division II and All-Region first team at third base ... before joining the Tigers, Scott spent her freshman year at Panhandle State where she earned second-team All-Sooner Athletic Conference recognition after batting .356 with 58 hits and a team-high 47 RBIs while registering a .946 fielding percentage in 53 games behind the plate ... the versititle player earned District 6A-1 All-District first team and All-Conference as well as Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in high school ... the daughter of Mark Scott and Kip McElwee, Haleigh plans on majoring in biology while at Southern.

Kristen Wade 

Wade comes to Southern after finishing up two years at Crowder College upon becoming four-year letter winner as part of the Vilonia high school Eagles under head coach Kevin Sullivan ... the Conway, Arkansas native combined played a total of 112 games for the Crowder Roughriders between her freshman and sophomore seasons combined ... as a sophomore, Wade capped off her time at Crowder with a .373 batting average and a .553 slugging percentage in 50 game played, knocking in 42 RBIs and scoring 32 runs ... assisted the team to a 54-5 record and a Region 16 Championship (25-0 at home) ... the infielder ended her freshman season batting .447 with 89 hits in 199 at bats while scoring and driving in 62 runs off of two triples, eight home runs, and a nation leading 29 doubles on her way to earning first-team recognition on the All-Region XVI and second-team NJCAA D1 Midwest All-Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) ... the team went 54-13 and finished as the Region 16 runner-ups ... teammate of current Lion second baseman Makaila Leonhart at Crowder during the 2018 season ... during her time at Vilonia, she wasa four-time All-Conference (2014-2017) and a three-time All-State (2015-2017) selection, and entered her senior season as a 2017 River Valley Player to watch as well as a River Valley and Ozark All-Area softball teams as a junior in 2016 ... helped the Eagles to secure back-to-back state champions (2015 & 2016) after the team finished runner-up in 2014 while batting over .300 in every season played throughout her scholastic career ... also acted as the libero on the Volleyball team for four years, becoming two-time All-Conference (2016 & 2017) and an All-State selection (2016) outside the ballpark ... the daughter of Gayla and Allen, Kristen is currently undecided.

Monday, June 3, 2019

MSSU track and field great Jessica Selby-Tallman inducted into MIAA Hall of Fame

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Former Missouri Southern track and field great and MSSU Athletics Hall of Famer Jessica Selby-Tallman was inducted into the MIAA Hall of Fame tonight as part of the MIAA Awards Ceremony in the Truman Forum of the Kansas City Public Library - Plaza Branch.

Selby-Tallman was one of 11 going into the Hall of Fame in June as part of the MIAA Awards Ceremony presented by Husch Blackwell. Joining Selby-Tallman as part of this year's class is Erin Alewine (UCM), Gene Iba (PSU), Bill Jolly (Missouri S&T), Jenni (Miller) Croy (PSU), Nikki Olberding-Greenwalt (WU), Melissa Stevens (ESU), Michelle (Stueve) Corpening (ESU), Bob Sundell (NWMSU), Brent Vogel (UCM) and OK "Dimp" Evans (William Jewell).

The most decorated female thrower in MSSU history, Selby-Tallman was an eight-time NCAA Division II All-American and finished her career with a National Championship in the hammer throw in 2008. She was also a three-time national runner-up in the shot put. Selby-Tallman dominated the MIAA in the throws, winning four outdoor MIAA shot put titles, four indoor MIAA titles, three MIAA hammer throw titles, and one weight throw championship.

She was a three-time MSSU Female Athlete of the Year winner and holds the school record in the hammer throw. At the time of her graduation, Selby-Tallman also owned the records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, and still owns the MSSU facility records for the indoor and outdoor shot put.

She was the USTFCCCA National Outdoor Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2008 and was a two-time Academic All-American. In her career, Selby-Tallman was an 11-time MIAA Champion, a two-time Academic All-American, the 2008 MIAA Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, 2008 Ken B. Jones Finalist and earned multiple MIAA Academic Honors.

Selby-Tallman currently owns her own business in Lenexa, Kan. where she is a chiropractor. She is married to Jamie Tallman and the couple has three children: Josie, Julia and Janna.

Also earning an honor from Missouri Southern at the Awards Ceremony is Denise Terry, an employee with Fresh Ideas, the food service provider to Missouri Southern. Terry was nominated by the MSSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the MIAA SAAC Mentor of the Year Award and wins the honor for the first time for Missouri Southern.

Mama D, as she's affectionately known to the student-athletes at MSSU, attends nearly all the home sporting events at Missouri Southern. She is a mother-figure to all of the student-athletes and is one of the biggest fans for MSSU Athletics.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

MSSU pitcher Zach Parish earns third All-American selection

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern junior pitcher Zach Parish has picked up his third different All-American nod as the lefty was named a third-team selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA).

Parish, the MIAA Pitcher of the Year, is a concensus All-American selection as he has been named an All-American by the three organizations that select teams: Conference Commissioners Association (CCA), National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the ABCA.

He was was also tabbed as the ABCA Central Region Pitcher of the Year, while being a first-team All-MIAA selection and also a first-team All-Region selection by the CCA, the ABCA and the NCBWA.

Parish led the MIAA in strikeouts with 136, games started with 16 and wins with nine. He ranked second in strikeouts per nine innings, third in hits allowed, fourth in WHIP, and fifth in ERA. This year Parish finished 9-2 with a 2.85 ERA and his 136 strikeouts are a school record. He threw 101.0 innings in 16 starts with one complete game and two shutouts, while holding batters to a .199 average. He ranks fourth nationally in strikeouts and third in games started, while helping the Lions set the school record for season strikeouts by the pitching staff with 558 k's of opposing hitters this season, finishing just five away from tying the MIAA single-season record.