Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou, Kansas to Revive Rivalry in Softball

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou, Kansas to Revive Rivalry in Softball

Article excerpt

at University Field, Columbia

FRIDAY

* Kansas 1, Louisville 0

* No. 10 Missouri 7, Indiana State 0

SATURDAY

* Game 3: Kansas (39-13) vs. Missouri (40-14), 10 a.m.

* Game 4: Louisville (30-18) vs. Indiana State (26-30), 12:30 p.m. (loser eliminated)

* Game 5: G3 loser vs. G4 winner, 3 p.m. (loser eliminated)

SUNDAY

* G6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, noon

* G7: If Game 6 loser has one tourney loss, 2:30 p.m.

COLUMBIA, Mo. * Conference realignment can't forever extinguish the Missouri-Kansas Border War as long as the schools' softball teams keep meeting in the postseason. For the second year in a row, the Tigers and Jayhawks secured a rivalry revival with victories in Friday's opening round of NCAA regional play at University Field.

Missouri, the No. 10 seed in the NCAA field and host for this weekend's four-team double-elimination regional, did its part with a 7-0 win over Indiana State. Earlier in the day, Kansas held off Louisville 1-0.

The two longtime rivals will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday in the winner's bracket for a chance to play in Sunday's championship round. Mizzou (40-14) and Kansas (39-13), their rivalry severed by MU's move to the Southeastern Conference in 2012, also met in last year's NCAA regional in Columbia, with the Tigers winning 6-3. Missouri leads the all-time series 65-43.

For Tigers coach Ehren Earleywine, a lifelong Mizzou fan, his players might not appreciate the history and vitriol that brewed between the schools and states, but facing the Jayhawks still means something for the Jefferson City native.

"Absolutely. Sure it does," Earleywine said. "I'd be lying if I said it didn't. We're looking forward to it. The unfortunate part is getting revved up doesn't help. This isn't football. We've got to keep our heart rate in check. This is the best team Kansas has had in a long time."

Hosting an NCAA regional for the seventh consecutive season, the Tigers borrowed a page from Indiana State's small-ball playbook in the first inning Friday with Taylor Gadbois leading off with a slap single and a stolen base. Earleywine called for Emily Crane to bunt Gadbois to third, an uncharacteristic move for a Mizzou lineup that came into the postseason on pace for the best batting average in team history. …

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