Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mu's 20th-Rated Softballers Ready to Heat It Up

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mu's 20th-Rated Softballers Ready to Heat It Up

Article excerpt

Here's a thought to frost your tootsies the University of Missouri softball team will open its season in less than three weeks.

Fear not. If mid-Missouri remains in a deep chill come Feb. 25, the game against Indiana will move indoors to the field house in the Hearnes Center.

No matter where they play this season, the Tigers will be favored most games. At least that's the opinion of coaches surveyed by the NCAA Division I softball subcommittee, who ranked Mizzou 20th nationally.

"The preseason ranking is a good indication we have a strong team returning," coach Jay Miller said. "We have nearly everyone back from last season's squad, as well as very talented newcomers who showed during fall competition that they're ready to compete at this level."

The Tigers were 31-18 last season with no seniors on the team. They have eight returning starters, including top pitchers Kacey Marshall (New Franklin, Mo.) and Christe Boen (Parkway West High). Marshall, who pitched last summer in the U.S. Olympic Festival, had a 16-9 record and 1.38 earned-run average last season. Boen was 12-9 with a 1.53 ERA.

Top position players include these St. Louisans: first baseman Tiffany Heick (Parkway West), last season's runs-batted-in leader with 37; third baseman Janie Lanis (Parkway Central); and outfielder Dana Way (Northwest-House Springs).

Mizzou's top competition will come from Big Eight Conference opponents OKlahoma State, tied for third in the preseason rankings behind Arizona and UCLA, and co-No. 11 Kansas.

Among other St. Louisans who figure prominently in "spring" sports at Mizzou are tennis players Erica Schwedt and Sheri Heftel, each from Parkway Central, and Amy Watson (Incarnate Word). The Tigers open their season today at Memphis State.

The good news for Southwest Missouri State's basketball team? A live national telecast of tonight's game against Creighton, the team the Lady Bears are chasing in the Missouri Valley Conference. …

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