Missouri Southern Athletics Timeline

 

1968
Missouri Southern becomes a four-year institution and joins the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

1972
Southern wins NAIA Division II Football Championship, downing
Northwestern (Iowa) College 21 - 14.

1974
Women's athletic program developed at Southern.

1978
Lions baseball earns first trip to NAIA World Series, finishing second.

1982
Women's basketball wins NAIA District 16 and Area IV Tournaments, and finishes second in the nation.

1989
Southern changes membership from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II and joins the MIAA.

1991
Lions baseball finishes second in the NCAA Division II World Series.

Volleyball finishes the season with a 32-11 record and places
second in the MIAA Tournament.

1992
Softball wins the NCAA Division II national championship.

1993
Lions football wins its first MIAA Championship and advances to the NCAA Division II Playoffs

Men's basketball wins MIAA Postseason Tournament and advances
to the NCAA South Central Regional.

1994
Women's basketball wins MIAA Postseason Tournament and advances
to the NCAA South Central Regional.

Six Southern track & field athletes qualify for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships, with three All-Americans and one national champion (Tongula Walker in the triple jump).

1996-97
Men's wins a share of its first MIAA Championship.

Lions football player Justin Taylor wins a $10,000 scholarship for Missouri Southern
for being named a Burger King Scholar-Athlete.

1997-98
Softball team wins its fourth MIAA championship
and finishes second in South Central Regional.
Men's Soccer wins MIAA Championship 


Women's Cross Country team wins its first MIAA Championship
and finishes second in the Great Lakes Regional.
Senior Sonia Eudy goes on to place second at NCAA Championships.

1998-99
Kevin Dotson wins national title in the high jump by clearing 7-1 1/4
at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.

1999-00
Men's basketball team goes 30-3, 16-2 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
Coach Robert Corn's squad wins the MIAA regular season title, the MIAA Postseason Tournament
championship and the South Central Regional crown. The Lions advance to the NCAA Division II
Final Four before bowing out to eventual national champion, Metro State of Denver. Corn is named
Coach of the Year by the Division II Bulletin.

2000-01
Softball finishes the season at 52-12, setting an MIAA record for wins in a single season.
Softball claims it's fifth MIAA title and a berth in the North Central Regional before finishing the year with a loss to the eventual national champions, Nebraska-Omaha.

Men's Cross Country squad upset Central Missouri State to win its first MIAA title, and would finish second in the regional, earning its first-ever trip to the Division II national meet. Tom Rutledge was named MIAA Cross Country Coach of the Year, his first such award.

Geoff VanDeusen also took home conference coach of the year honors for his work with the women's soccer program.
Southern women's soccer improved from 1-16-1 in the program's first season while giving up 77 goals, to 5-11-0 in 2000 and cutting opponents' goals to 33.

The Lions baseball team earned its first regional berth since 1995, and completed the season with a 36-20 record. Southern finished second in the MIAA with a mark of 21-7. Of Southern's 20 losses, six came to eventual national runner-up Central Missouri State, three to World Series qualifier SIU-Edwardsville, four to NAIA World Series qualifier Dallas Baptist, and one to Division I Arkansas. The Lions did manage to snap a 21-game losing streak to Central Missouri by downing the Mules in Joplin for the first time since 1991.

Robert Corn became the winningest coach in Missouri Southern men's basketball history with a February win at Missouri Western. Corn finished the year with 184 wins in his Missouri Southern tenure.

2001-02
The men's cross country team tied Truman State for their second straight MIAA Championship. Southern went on to finish third in the region, and 19th at the Division II national meet.

Junior quarterback Josh Chapman became only the fourth Division II player to eclipse 1,000 yards both rushing and passing in the same season. Chapman finished with 1,025 yards on the ground and 1,623 yards through the air.

The women's soccer team posted its first winning season. Southern finished the year 10-8-2 overall, and 8-4 in the MIAA. Just two seasons prior, the team finished 1-16-1 in their first year.

Southern volleyball notched its first winning season since the 1996 campaign, finishing 21-9 overall, and 9-7 in the MIAA.

In men's basketball, head coach Robert Corn notched his 200th career win with an 83-74 home victory against Washburn. The Lions finished 20-8 for their third straight 20-plus win season, and had 71 wins over a three-year span.

The women's basketball team finished 17-11 under first-year head coach Maryann Mitts, its first winning season since 1995-96. Southern also won its first MIAA tournament game since 1996 with a 69-65 road victory at Pittsburg State. That win was also coach Mitts' 100th of her career.

Lions baseball coach Warren Turner recorded his 750th career win with a 4-3 home victory over Truman State. The Lions finished the season 29-20, 18-9 in the MIAA which was good for second place.

2002-03
Senior quarterback Josh Chapman was named MIAA Offensive Player of the Year for his outstanding season which saw him become the only D-II player ever to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards in the same season. Chapman also finished his career as the only D-II player in history to rush for 3,000 yards and pass for 5,000 yards during a career.

The Lions cross country team won its third consecutive MIAA title, and Tom Rutledge was named MIAA Coach of the Year. Brian Lyons brought home the individual MIAA championship. The Lions won the Disney World Classic, went on to finish second in the region, and seventh nationally.

Sophomore forward Ashley Munnelly was named the MIAA Women's Soccer Most Valuable Player. Munnelly, who was named to the all-region team as well, totaled 19 goals to lead all MIAA players. Southern women's soccer notched its second straight winning season, finishing 15-11-2, and 7-3-2 in the MIAA.

For the first time ever, the MIAA moved its basketball postseason tournaments to a neutral site. The Sonic/MIAA Championships were played at Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium, a building that has hosted more basketball national championships than any in America. The women's basketball team bowed out in a first-round game with Emporia State. The Lions lost in the semifinals for the third consecutive year. The Southern men finished 19-10 overall and ended with 90 wins over a four-year span.

At the D-II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, senior Seth Isringhausen won the national championship in the pole vault with a height of 16'-8.75". It marked just the second indoor national title for a Lion since 1990.

Southern's softball team made its 14th consecutive appearance in the MIAA Postseason Tournament.

2003-04
The Missouri Southern soccer programs both hired new coaches. Former Lion Kiley Cirillo, who played at MSSU from 1997-2000, was brought on as the seventh head coach in Southern's men's soccer history. Trevor Wachsman joined MSSU from Northern Colorado and became the second head coach in Southern women's soccer history.

In August of 2003, the institution officially became Missouri Southern State University.

Missouri Southern officially dropped the "Lady" from the nickname of its women's teams. All Missouri Southern athletics squads are now known as "Lions".

The men's cross country team won its fourth consecutive MIAA title. The team went on to finish fourth in the South Central Region to again qualify for nationals, where the Lions placed 19th. The women's cross country team finished second in the MIAA meet, second in the region and qualified for the national championships as a team for the first time ever. The women went on to place 20th in the nation.

John Ware was named the eighth head coach in Lions' football history on Dec. 23, 2003. Ware joined the Southern staff from MIAA rival Truman State University, where he was head coach for nine seasons.

2004-05
Trevor Wachsman's women's soccer team finished the season 10-8-2 overall and 8-5-1 in the MIAA. The team was listed among the top five most improved NCAA-II teams in the nation.

Lions football under first-year head coach John Ware completed the biggest single season improvement in Southern history. The Lions finished 5-6 overall, one year after going 1-10.

The MSSU men's cross country team qualified for the national meet for the fifth consecutive season, finishing 22nd.

Baseball coach Warren Turner was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in January. The Lions beat Grand View (Iowa) 13-1 on March 5, giving "W.T." 800 career wins at Missouri Southern.

Missouri Southern named former SMS assistant coach Chris Willis as volleyball coach, replacing Debbie Traywick, who coached the Lions for 16 years. Southern finished 14-18 overall and 6-10 in the MIAA in Willis' first season.

Missouri Southern's men's track & field team finished sixth at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, led by a 1-2-3 national finish in the pole vault. Junior Matt Campbell was crowned national champion in the event after clearing a school record height of 17 feet, 2.75 inches.

2005-06

The MSSU women's soccer team continued their rapid improvement, 11-5-4, 7-3-4 in the MIAA which tied them for second place.  The 11 wins ties a school record while the second place finish in the MIAA is the highest ever for a Lions team.  Goalkeeper Kaney Tyler was named MIAA Most Valuable Player while Nikki Llewellyn was named MIAA Freshman of the Year.

 Lion football beat Truman State, 41-17, at Homecoming in one of the most emotional games in school history.  The victory came just four days after the sudden passing of head coach John Ware.  Coach Ware died of a heart attack while at work on September 27.  Coach Ware was in just his second season as football coach at Missouri Southern.

MSSU named Aron Potter their new head softball coach in June.  Potter joined the Lions after serving as head coach at Coffeyville Community College for the past three seasons.  Potter is the sixth head coach in Southern softball history.

After an exhaustive national search, the Lions announced Bart Tatum as their new head football coach on December 13, 2005.  Tatum replaces the late John Ware who passed away on September 27, 2005.  Tatum joins the MSSU family after serving as an assistant coach at MIAA rival Northwest Missouri State for the past 12 seasons.

The Lion men s cross country team continued their domination of the MIAA, winning their fifth league title in the last six years on October 22 in Pittsburg, Kan.  Five Lions finished in the top 17 to claim the title for Southern.  Southern went on to finished sixth at regionals and qualify for the national meet.

The Southern women s basketball team finished the season 16-12, 8-8 in the MIAA.  The 8-8 mark gave the Lions a fourth-place finish in the conference, their highest finish since the 1995-96 season.  It was the fourth winning season under fifth-year head coach Maryann Mitts and it marked the team's fifth consecutive season with 15-plus victories.

Missouri Southern's men's track & field team finished ninth in the final indoor team standings at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, Mass. The Lions were led by pole vaulter Matt Campbell, who won his second national championship and first indoors, as Missouri Southern finished 1-2 in the pole vault event.

2006-07

The MSSU women's soccer team continued continued to succeed as the Lions defeated two ranked programs in 16th ranked Washburn and 15th ranked Truman State. The Lions were ranked 21st in Division II when the team made its initial NCAA Tournament appearance, falling to Washburn in a shootout.  The Lions tied a school-record for victories in the season and ran off a school-best 11 match unbeaten-streak that ran from Sept. 17-Oct. 29.  Southern was 8-0-3 over that span.

Lions football ushered in a new era when Bart Tatum was named the new head football coach at the school in December of 2005. Southern went 5-6 in coach Tatum's first season. The team won its first three games, defeated perennial MIAA power Central Missouri at home and took home a thrilling, last-second victory at Emporia State in the final game of the season. Senior offensive lineman Allen Barbre became the highest drafted player ever to wear a Lion uniform when the Green Bay Packers took the Granby native in the fourth round. Barbre was a consensus All-American.

The volleyball team started off 19-2,  earned its first (and only) trip to the NCAA tournament that year, and cracked the AVCA Top 25 for the first time in 14 years. Tessa Woods was named a first-team All-MIAA selection and was also named to the All-South Central Region Team.

The Lion men s cross country team continued their domination of the MIAA, winning their sixth league title in the last seven years on October 21 in Bolivar, Mo.  Four Lions finished in the top 10 to claim the title for Southern.  Southern went on to finished second at regionals and finished 18th in the national meet.

The Lion women's cross country team won its first MIAA Title since 1998 when Southern placed two runners in the top ten and four in the top 15 to take home the trophy. Coach Patty Vavra was named the MIAA Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the team's success, as the Lions went on to finish fourth at the regional.

The Southern women's basketball team went 14-13 on the season and continued the success of coach Maryann Mitts. The Lions started the season 8-0 and enjoyed a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. The Lions went once again to the MIAA Tournament in Kansas City and the season saw the young Lions defeat then No. 2 ranked Missouri Western 75-69 at home.

Missouri Southern's men's track & field team won the MIAA Indoor Track and Field title at Warrensburg and finished 17th at the NCAA Division II National Meet. The Lions finished fourth, sixth and eighth in the pole vault. Junior thrower Jessica Selby remained undefeated in the MIAA Shot Put and finished third in the weight throw. Selby placed second nationally in the shot put earning All-American status. Selby followed up her indoor success winning the shot put and the weight throw at the MIAA Outdoor Championships and finished fourth in the shot put and sixth in the hammer at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

2007-08

The MSSU women's soccer team started the season ranked 19th nationally and won its first four matches. The team finished 11-5-3 overall, including a 6-0 shutout of Emporia State to conclude the season. Junior midfielder Nikki Llewellyn became the all-time leading goal scorer in MSSU women's soccer history, scoring two goals in the final game. Senior goalkeeper Kaney Tyler finished her career as MSSU's all-time leader in saves, shutouts, goals-against-average and minutes. 

In coach Bart Tatum's second season as head coach at Southern, the Lions finished with the program's first winning season since the 1997 campaign as Southern went 6-4 overall, including a shutout of Fort Hays State on Homecoming and a blowout victory of Truman on Senior Day. Senior Colin Bado became the the Lions all-time leading receiver in total receptions. His 84 receptions in 2007 raised his career Southern record to 250, placing him third all-time in the MIAA and 13th all time in Division II history. His 2,789 career receiving yards, trail only Southern hall of famer and former Denver Bronco, Rod Smith (3,122).

The Lion men s cross country team continued their domination of the MIAA, winning their seventh league title in the last eight years and third in a row, when Southern took home the title in Kirksville. Dustin Dixon and Dustin Miller finished 1-2 at the MIAA meet as the Lions placed four runners in the top 11 and all five scoring runners in the top 16. The Lions would go on to host the NCAA South Central Regional and the Division II National Championships at the Missouri Southern cross country course. The Lions defeated eventual national champion Abilene Christian to take home the regional title and placed 12th in the National Meet. Dixon finished the last 1,500 meters of the national race with a broken bone in his leg, but still placed 21st to be named All-American.

The Lion women's cross country team won its second MIAA Title in a row when Southern placed four runners in the top ten and all five scorers in the top 19 to take home the second title in as many years. The Lions would go on to make it a sweep at the Regional taking home the trophy as Southern placed three in the top eight and four in the top 14 competing at their home course. Kimi Shank would earn All-MIAA, All-Region and All-American honors as she helped Southern finish 13th at the national meet held at the MSSU Cross Country Course.

The Missouri Southern men's and women's basketball programs saw great success as the men went 17-11 and 11-7 in the MIAA, while the women 18-10, and 9-9 in the MIAA. The Lions' women started the season 9-0 and raced as high as second in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional rankings. They were ranked as high as 16th nationally and were ranked between two and six in all five weeks the NCAA regional poll was released. On the men's side, the Lions saw head coach Robert Corn pick up his second MIAA Coach of the Year honors as the Lions, picked to finish last in the preseason poll, finished fourth overall in the final MIAA standings. Vincent Ateba was a first-team All-MIAA selection and Skyler Bowliln was the MIAA's freshman of the year.

The Missouri Southern baseball program ushered in a new era of coaching as following the retirement of longtime head coach Warren Turner, former Lion Bryce Darnell was named head coach. Darnell had previously served as head coach of nearby Webb City High School winning two state titles in his tenure. The Lions improved in wins, both overall and in conference play, and saw the young squad play one of the most difficult schedules in NCAA Division II. The team won 16 games in MIAA play, including an exciting 3-2 win over MIAA Champ and Division II World Series Participant Central Missouri. 

Missouri Southern's women's track and field team made collected the MIAA's triple crown, taking home the team titles in cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track and field. Jessica Selby continued her dominance of the throws in the MIAA, becoming an eight-time indoor and outdoor undefeated shot put champion. She continued that success at the national level, earning All-American status in both indoor and outdoor seasons, and taking home the national title in the hammer throw at the outdoor championships. The Lions men picked up 15 All-MIAA selections in the indoor season and ten All-MIAA selections at the outdoor meet, while having  three All-Americans in indoor and two in the outdoor season.

2008-09

The Missouri Southern football team finished year three under head coach Bart Tatum with a 4-7 record, including wins against Harding and Haskell to start the season, as well as wins in conference play over Emporia State and Fort Hays State. Senior quarterback Adam Hinspeter finished his career as one of, if not the best, quarterbacks in Missouri Southern history. He put his name in the record books as tops in completions, passing yards, total offense and completion percentage. He set the school record for passing yardage in a game (422) and tied the record for touchdowns in a game (five) in the season opener against Harding. Hinspeter also ranks first all-time in the MIAA in completions, third in career passing yards, fourth in total offense and sixth in passing touchdowns. Junior linebacker Jared Brawner led the MIAA in tackles and was named first-team All-MIAA and All-Region, while being named to three different All-American squads. He finished the season ranked 10th in Division II in tackles per game. The football family, however, suffered heartbreak as sophomore running back Renard Johnson was in a fatal car accident in January when he was traveling back home to visit his family in Oklahoma.

The men's and women's cross country teams continued their success as both programs were nationally ranked the entire season and saw solid team performances at the Division II National Championships with the men placing 22nd and the women 16th. The women won their third-straight MIAA cross country title and their second-straight NCAA regional title in a dominant season that saw the team place no lower than second in five of the seven meets it competed in. Junior Kimi Shank was named an All-American after a ninth place finish in the national meet. The men had another strong campaign, placing second at the annual Southern Stampede. The Lions placed third at the conference meet and second at the regional meet, running a stable of young, but talented athletes.

The volleyball team battled through another tough MIAA campaign and played one of the toughest schedules in recent memory. Two Lions earned All-MIAA status in a season that saw five MIAA teams ranked in the top 16 nationally, with six teams making the eight team NCAA Regional Tournament. Junior libero Kari Hammerbacher and sophomore hitter Ashlee Russell were named honorable mention All-MIAA. Senior Sarah Joles  etched her name into the Southern record books. Joles finished her career with 4,219 assists, ranking second-all time, just 409 off the school record. She ranks seventh alltime with 157 career service aces holds the school record for assists in a match (73).

The women's soccer squad wrapped up the 2008 campaign in style with a 2-1 double-overtime win over Emporia State on senior Nikki Llewellyn's team-leading, fifth game winning goal of the season. The Lions finished the season as winners of two of their last three matches. It was a record-breaking senior season for Llewellyn, as she became the Lions' all-time leader in goals scored (49) and points (109). Llewellyn's 11 goals on the season led the Lions for the fourth-consecutive year. Ironically, Llewellyn scored the Lions' first goal of her freshman season and the Lions' final tally of her senior year. The Lions had four All-MIAA selections, including Llewellyn, freshman Audrey Copenhaver, senior Elise Cairo and junior Stephanie Heines.

The men's soccer team fought through another tough Southwest Soccer Conference season as two teams from the league advanced to the NCAA regional round. Southern picked up a first-team All-Conference selection in goalkeeper Jon Hansen. Senior Austin Whiles was a second-team pick. The team, however, had more heartbreak than needed as it was announced in January that Missouri Southern would discontinue men's soccer as a varsity sport. A little over two weeks later, more heartbreak hit the Lions as Hansen collapsed during an intramural basketball game and passed away after an apparent heart attack.

The men's basketball team had another successful season under longtime head coach Robert Corn. The Lions started the season strong, winning their first 12 games and setting a new Missouri Southern record in the process for the most wins to start a season. Southern vaulted to the No. 10 national ranking in Division II, including a stunning victory over then No. 22 Central Missouri at home that saw the Lions come from 14 down in the final three minutes and win the game on a buzzer beater. The season saw Corn win his 300th career game and earn his 16th (11th straight) trip to the MIAA Tournament. Southern garnered its second-straight freshman of the year as Jason Adams joined Skyler Bowlin in giving the Lions back-to-back awards.

The women's basketball team and coach Maryann Mitts had another banner season, racing to its eighth straight winning season with a 19-10 overall mark. Mitts became the all-time winningest coach in Lions history when Southern defeated Northwest Missouri 65-47 in Maryville. The win was her 129th career win at southern, passing Jim Phillips for tops on the list. Mitts finished the season with 135 wins to date in her Southern career and also passed the 200 career win plateau as a collegiate coach. The Lions advanced the MIAA Tournament as the fifth seed and defeated the fourth seed Central Missouri, 62-57. Senior Danielle DeVader capped off one of the most impressive careers in a Southern uniform. She became the Lions' all-time leader in three pointers with 196, passing the previous mark of 180. She had a career-high 72 on the season and also led the Lions in rebounding with 6.1 per game. She ended her career with the best free-throw shooting mark in Southern history, as well.

The Southern men's and women's indoor track and field teams had three All-Americans, while outdoor track and field teams produced six All-Americans. Senior Phillip Horn was third in the heptathlon, while juniors Channell Lloyd and Ciara Lipsey placed eighth in the triple jump and pole vault, respectively to earn All-American status. In the outdoor campaign, Horn earned All-American honors in two events (Decathlon and 100m Hurdles). Junior Emilie Mieseler was sixth in the hammer throw and was named an All-American, while junior Ciara Lipsey picked up her second All-American honor of the year with an eighth place finish in the pole vault. Junior Kimi Shank was second in the 10,000 meters, while senior Kara Eckard was sixth in the steeplechase both being named All-Americans.

The Lions softball team started a new era with Bill Gray being named head coach in June of 2008. Gray made an immediate impact as the Lions improved their win total by more than double. Southern had four players named honorable mention All-MIAA in junior Whitney Clute, sophomore Megan Roark and freshmen Brooke Hurley and Breanna Volkmann. Clute broke two Southern single-game records with a monster game against Northwest Missouri where the junior had three home runs, seven RBIs and 14 total bases. The latter two were school records, while the three homers tied a record. She later tied a Southern single-season record with nine home runs.

The Lions tennis team fought through another tough MIAA campaign this year and picked up a pair of wins against Missouri Western including a win over the Griffons in the MIAA Tournament. Southern had its other win on the year against Evangel in a 6-3 victory early in the season. In April, Southern announced that due to budget cuts, the tennis program was being discontinued as a varsity sport.

The Lions golf team had another successful year under coach Kevin Greim as Southern finished third in the 2009 MIAA Tournament, as well as the final overall standings and were paced by All-MIAA performances from junior David Eddy and freshman Andy Hogenmiller. Junior Taylor Griffith (Carthage, Mo.) was an honorable mention All-MIAA selection. The Lions qualified for their seventh straight regional and travelled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they were the ninth seed in the tournament. Jamie Voegeli finished 12th in the tournament.

The baseball team continued its surge under second-year coach Bryce Darnell as the Lions not only had their first winning season since the 2003 season, but had the progra's first appearance in the MIAA Tournament since the 2002 season. Southern went 35-20, the most wins since 2001 when the team won 36. The Lions defeated Central Missouri in the opening round of the MIAA Tournament, 10-0 and junior pitcher CJ Maffei shutout the Mules twice in the season. It was the first time Central had been shut out twice in one year in more than 20 years and it was the first time the same pitcher had done it in many more. The Lions also took three out of four games from then third ranked and eventual national runner up Emporia State at home. Eight Lions were named All-MIAA including first teamers Maffei and sophomore third baseman Skyler Rawlins. The season ended on a high note when senior shortstop/pitcher Justin Beal was drafted in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

2009-10

 The Missouri Southern football team finished their injury riddled 2009 campaign 3-7, with wins over Emporia State, Truman, and a thrilling come from behind win over then 12th ranked Missouri Western on the road. All-American linebacker Jared Brawner, coming off of an outstanding 2008 campaign, broke his leg in the Lions’ week two matchup at Washburn and was lost for the season. This came after junior defensive back Corderial Collier suffered a similar injury in week one at Harding and just like that, the Lions two biggest playmakers on defense were lost for the season. Stepping up on defense in the absence of Brawner and Collier was defensive end Jairius Jarvis who finished the season with 9.5 sacks and was named to the All-MIAA and All-Region team. On offense, the injuries were also apparent. Sophomore quarterback Collin Howard, began the year as Missouri Southern’s starter under center. However, after only four weeks, Howard was lost to a knee injury and wouldn’t return until the final game of the season against Fort Hays State. In stepped junior Roland Thompson who was thrust into the flames right away. His first career start was in the Sonic Miner’s Bowl against border rival Pittsburg State. The Lions fought well in that game and the defense held strong but in the end, Pitt State handed Southern its fourth loss on the season Senior wide receiver Daniel Thompson pulled down an impressive 10 touchdowns in his first year as a starter and became just the second Lion in Southern history to achieve that feat (Rod Smith being the other). Senior wide receiver turned running back Johnny Johnson ran for 570 yards and seven scores in his first season toting the ball, highlighted by a senior day performance that saw him rack up 133 all-purpose yards to go along with four touchdowns. And looking towards the future, freshman wide receiver Landon Zerkel dazzled fans at Fred G. Hughes Stadium in 2009 with an assortment of exciting big plays down the field and acrobatic catches, finishing the season as the Lions’ number one receiver with 44 catches for 641 yards and six touchdowns.

 The MSSU women’s soccer team ended their 2009 campaign on a high note with a 2-0 win over conference foe Emporia State. Senior forward Stephanie Heines led the Lions with four goals on the season to go along with one assist en route to earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors. She was joined on the honorable mention team by fellow senior midfielder Jentri White and sophomore midfielder Michelle Dimza. Sophomore defender Audrey Copenhaver earned a second team nod. Randi Russell, a sophomore Joplin native, took over as the Lions’ keeper this season and tallied 118 saves and a pair of shutouts.

 The Volleyball team once again had to make it through the best volleyball conference in Division II in 2009 and the team finished 13-21 overall. Southern had conference wins on the road against then No. 20 Truman State and No. 20 Nebraska-Omaha. Freshman outside hitter Renee Rheinecker earned All-MIAA second team honors after finishing the season with 416 kills. Fellow hitter Jeanna Feldman, a junior, earned honorable mention for the Lions. The Lions said goodbye to one lone senior this season, Kari Hammerbacher finished her career with 1505 digs good for third all-time in Missouri Southern Volleyball history.

  The 2009 Missouri Southern women’s cross country team proved to be the best the program has ever had. The team completed the season with its fourth-straight MIAA title, third-straight NCAA Division II South-Central Regional title and placed third in the Division II national meet in Evansville, Indiana. The Lions never lost to a Division II opponent throughout the season until that final meet and set MIAA and NCAA Regional records for lowest point total with 18 points in each event. The Lions had four women named All-American as junior Ashley Siler and senior Kimi Shank finished third and fourth, respectively. Seniors Courtney Waltbillig (20th) and Ashley Bunch (25th) were All-American. Shank and head coach Patty Vavra picked up regional athlete and coach of the year awards, while the Lions had six named All-Region and Vavra earned her fifth MIAA Cross Country Coach of the Year award.
 
The 2009 Missouri Southern men’s cross country team picked up steam midway through the season and starting with the MIAA/GLVC Challenge at Missouri S&T, won three straight events including an MIAA and NCAA South-Central Regional Championship on their way to an 11th place finish at the 2009 NCAA Division II Nationals. The Lions won their second Regional title in the last three years and also won their eighth MIAA cross country title in the last ten years. Head coach Tom Rutledge was named MIAA and Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year by his peers. It was his fifth cross country coach of the year award. Senior Brennan Benkert placed 24that the national meet to earn All-American honors while he and Dustin Dixon, Josh Mathis, Aki Nummela and Jarkko Jarvenpaa were all named All-Region. 

The women's basketball team and coach Maryann Mitts had another banner season, racing to its ninth straight winning season with a 15-13 overall mark. The Lions finished as the sixth seed in the 2010 MIAA Post Season Tournament and faced off against Central Missouri for the second-straight season. A year after defeating the Jennies in the first round, Central returned the favor as the Lions ended their season with a 77-67 loss in Kansas City. Southern was the first team to beat the previously undefeated Washburn Lady Blues and one of just three teams to defeat Washburn heading into regional play.

 Senior guard Jolea Apon had one of the most memorable two-week runs in recent memory when the Springdale, Ark. Native set the Missouri Southern record for three pointers in a game when she knocked down 11 against Missouri Western. That mark also tied the MIAA single-game record. She followed up that performance with eight against Pittsburg State and five at Emporia State. She finished her career by setting the MIAA Tournament single-game record with eight treys against Central Missouri. 

Both Apon and Jasmine Lovejoy were All-MIAA selections with Lovejoy being named second team and Apon picking up honorable mention honors.

 The men’s basketball program made its 12th-straight appearance in the MIAA Post Season Basketball tournament and the 17th in coach Robert Corn’s 21 seasons at Missouri Southern.  The Lions finished as the sixth seed in the MIAA Tournament field, with a record of 17-11 and faced off with Nebraska-Omaha in the first round. The two teams had split every game in the short six game series, and despite a furious late run from the Lions, UNO escaped with a first round 89-83.
 

Junior guard Skyler Bowlin was named to his second-straight All-MIAA team, this time picking up Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was named to the All-Defensive team and was a second-team All-MIAA selection along with sophomore Jason Adams. Adams finished third in the MIAA in scoring and fourth in rebounds, while Bowlin finished in the top three in five different MIAA statistical categories.

 Bowlin adds Defensive Player of the Year honors to a resume that included a Freshman of the Year honor in 2007-08. 

The 2010 Missouri Southern baseball team continued its resurgence under coach Bryce Darnell and made the MIAA post season tournament for the second-straight year. The Lions had their second-straight winning record with a 28-26 mark and finished third in the MIAA Tournament, losing out to eventual Division II World Series participant Central Missouri.

 Southern had, at one time, the toughest schedule in Division II, but fought through a rough 3-14 start to go 14-5 over its next 19 games and finished the regular season as the fifth seed in the MIAA Tournament. The Lions had four players named All-MIAA and two were named All-Region with senior shortstop Jacob Taylor picking up All-American honors. Junior catcher Joe Lincoln was drafted in the 34th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers and both Taylor and fellow senior CJ Maffei signed professional contracts, as well.
 

The 2010 Southern softball team had a tough season, but continued to improve under coach Bill Gray. The Lions won 19 games and had three players (Angie Turner, Megan Roark, and Kelli Bax all named All-MIAA.

 Despite a strong run down the stretch, including splitting the final eight games, the Lions fell just short of making the MIAA Tournament.
 Angie Turner concluded her record-setting career at Southern  and is the all-time leader in home runs (26) and walks (89), while setting the single-season record for walks this year with 31. She ranks fourth in career RBIs (99), fifth in total hits (181) and sixth in career batting average (.366) and earned All-MIAA status each year as a Lion.
 

The Lions golf team had a season to remember under coach Kevin Greim and had a fall that saw records fall. The Lions won the University of North Alabama’s Fall classic, defeating the host team and third ranked UNA in the process. The team score of 568 is also a new school record for lowest team total in an event.

 Junior Jamie Voegelli also set an individual best as he shot the lowest-round in Missouri Southern history at the event, carding a first-round 65 (seven under par).  The Lions finished tied with Washburn for second in the final team standings in the MIAA and junior Seve Smith was named an All-MIAA selection.
  

The men’s outdoor track and field team saw records set and had a few All-American performances in 2010.

The 4x100 meter relay team of Maurlon Bembry, Jordan Patton, Jacob Khan and Andrew Wright set a new school record in the event multiple times during the season, the last coming in qualifying at the NCAA Division II outdoor nationals. The group ran a time of40.66 in the prelims and qualified for the finals and then ran the same time in finals to finish fifth and earn All-American status.

Brennan Benkert set a few school records, as well, throughout the course of the season, the last coming in the 1,500 meters as he, like the relay team, set a new school record in qualifying at nationals. He then went on to claim All-American status, finishing fifth.

Finally, James Coleman set a new school record in the discus prior to nationals and kept his momentum going, finishing second to earn All-American honors. In all, the Lions had six All-Americans and 11 All-MIAA performers in the season. Southern finished 15th overall as a team at the outdoor NCAA nationals.

 

The Missouri Southern women’s outdoor track and field team had a very successful year, as well, resulting in five All-American performances at the 2010 Outdoor Nationals.

The year also saw the end of one of the most dominating distance runners the MIAA, let alone Missouri Southern has ever seen. Kimi Shank finished her stellar four-year career as a Lion with two All-American performances at the outdoor nationals in both the 5k and the 10k, setting school records in the process. She was also a finalist for the MIAA’s Ken B. Jones Award (an award that annually goes to the best male and female athlete in the conference).

The Lions also had other All-American performances at nationals including Emilie Mieseler placing seventh in the hammer throw, and Nicole Green in the shot and Ciara Lipsey in the pole vault, both placing seventh in their respective event. Mieseler was also named the Missouri Southern Female Athlete of the Year, while the Lions squad, as a whole, (Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track) was named the fifth-best program in Division II by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. 

2010-11

The Missouri Southern Lions soccer squad saw major improvements in the 2010 season over the 2009 campaign under new head coach Alese Woolard.  The Lions came away with a four game improvement overall at 5-8-5 and a five game improvement in conference at 5-6-5 in MIAA play.

The offense improved in its goal average from 0.88 per game to 0.98 and the defense cut its goals against average in half going from 2.06 to 1.18 per game.  The offense continued to improve in other areas as its shots per game increased from 8.4 in 2009 to 11.2 in the 2010 season.

The defense in the goal was a key, as junior Randi Russell sparked a 19 goal against difference in the net. Junior Danai Noftz finished the season leading the Lions with four goals and junior Shannon Kuhn finished second on the squad with three. Sophomore Corrine Tebbs finished with the team lead in assists with three while Kuhn and senior Sarah Evers finished with two each.  Russell  logged over 107 minutes in the net for the Lions giving up 22 goals with 91 saves and five shut outs.

 

The Missouri Southern football team had another successful showing on the All-MIAA squad as nine different Lions earned honors, including first-teamer Brandon Williams. Williams was also an All-Region and All-American pick after he led the Lions and the MIAA in sacks with nine and ranked 21st nationally in both sacks and tackles for a loss.

He had a memorable game earlier in the season when he helped the Lions sack the Missouri Western quarterbacks eight times, picking up three of his own in that game. On the season, Williams had 50 tackles, with 17 for a loss of nine yards, three pass break ups, six quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.

Senior defensive back Justin Cowper became a four-time All-MIAA selection with a second-team nod, while junior center Ian Saxton also earned second-team honors.

The Lions picked up their second win in a row over in-state rival Missouri Western with a 23-6 victory. Two of Southern’s losses were by just three points and in three others, the Lions were around two scores of their opponents.
 

The Missouri Southern volleyball team saw an increase of five more wins overall and two more in conference play as coach Chris Willis had his Lions in the regional hunt all season, finishing ninth in the South Central Regional Poll and just outside of the NCAA Playoffs.

Ashlee Russell had a stellar senior campaign, earning All-Conference, All-Region and All-American honors. Rachel Olinyk joined Russell on the All-Region team, while Amelia Judge joined both Olinyk and Russell on the All-MIAA squad.

A four-year starter for the Lions, Russell is 10th all-time on the career kills list at Southern and all-total, Russell has amassed 1,024 kills, 127 aces, 751 digs and 182 blocks. Judge was a four-year starter and emerged as the best blocker in MIAA this season. She ranked 34th in Division II in blocking and her 103 block assists ranked fifth all-time in a single season at Southern. Her career totals of 279 total blocks and 250 block assists ranked ninth and third all-time.

 

Both the Missouri Southern men’s and women’s cross country teams had successful campaigns that went deep into the post season.

The Southern women placed second in the MIAA meet and qualified for their fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Division II National meet with a third place finish at the Regional Meet. Both senior Silvia Pineda and sophomore Marlee Tegenkamp earned All-Region honors, while the pair, as well as freshman Rachel Schrader were named All-MIAA. The team placed 16th at the NCAA National meet. Also at that meet, senior Victoria Kline was named the NCAA’s Elite 88 Award winner. The award goes to the athlete with the top GPA at the national meet.

The Southern men placed second in the MIAA meet, as well, with senior Jarkko Jarvenpaa and Viktor Kuk earning All-MIAA honors, while Kuk was named the league’s Freshman of the Year. Jarvenpaa was fourth in the meet, with Kuk placing sixth.

The Lions placed eighth as a team at the Regional Meet, but Jarvenpaa earned All-Region honors and qualified for the National Race with a fifth-place finish at the Regional Meet. 

 

The Missouri Southern women’s basketball team continued its long standing success and finished the 2010-11 season with the tenth-straight winning record under Coach Maryann Mitts and another trip to the MIAA Basketball Tournament. The team was also ranked regionally for nearly every week the poll was conducted during the season and it was one of the most enjoyable groups of young women to be around as coach Mitts stated on many occasions.

The team opened up the season with two very tough games at Arkansas-Fort Smith and at home against eventual Lone Star Champion Northeastern State. Both games the Lions came away with losses, but it proved to be learning material for Southern as the team learned it could play with some of the best teams in the country. The Lions then went on to win seven out of their next eight games and won ten of the final 13 games of the regular season, including wins over defending national champion Emporia State and 18th ranked Northwest Missouri State, an NCAA National Semi-Finalist.
Even though the Lions’ season ended with a loss to Pittsburg State in the MIAA Tournament in overtime, the team saw many bright spots throughout the campaign. Coach Mitts won her 250th career game with the win at home over Northwest to end the regular season. Jasmine Lovejoy was a first-team All-MIAA selection and a member of the All-Defensive team, while Erin Rice was a third team All-MIAA pick. Lovejoy was also a second-team All-Region pick. Lovejoy was a two-time MIAA player of the week, finishing second in the conference in scoring with 17.7 points per game, while finishing sixth in rebounding. Her 16.3 points per game scoring average puts her just outside of the top five in career scoring average at the school and she scored 896 points in her short, two-year career at Southern. She had 401 rebounds and was a career .496 shooter from the field and the 2010-11 season saw three different 30-point performances from the Springfield, Mass. native.
 The Lions also played the 1,000th game in the history of women’s basketball at Southern, a December 11 win over Lincoln at home that was televised regionally on the MIAA Network. The Lions also broke a 17-year winless streak at Missouri Western when the women paired with the men to sweep the Griffons on the road for the first-time in school history. 

 

The 2010-11 campaign for the Missouri Southern men's basketball team proved to be one of the best the school has ever seen. The season saw one of the best-ever players to wear a Southern jersey end his stellar four-year career with All-American accolades and saw the Lions win the regular-season MIAA title after being picked fourth in one pre-season poll and seventh in the other.

The Lions started the season with nine-straight wins and were ranked in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II poll for all but three weeks of the year and for nine-straight weeks, tying a Southern record. Southern would finish the season ranked ninth nationally. The Lions would win 21 of their first 23 games, and were ranked either first or second in every NCAA South Central Regional poll, finishing the season ranked second in the region. Southern made it to the championship game of the MIAA tournament and went to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to eventual regional champ Midwestern State.

Senior Skyler Bowlin led a charge that saw the Lions sweep the MIAA post season awards. Bowlin was named the unanimous MIAA Player of the Year, while also repeating as MIAA Defensive Player of the Year, an honor he shared with Dijon Smith of Fort Hays. Coach Robert Corn was named the MIAA's Coach of the Year, while freshman Marquis Addison was named the league's Freshman of the Year. It is the third time in the last four years that a Lion has won that award (Bowlin in 2008, Jason Adams in 2009). Bowlin made his fourth-straight MIAA All-Defensive Team, while sharing first-team All-MIAA honors with Jason Adams. Big man Keane Thomann was a third-team All-MIAA pick and Bowlin was also named to the MIAA All-Tournament Team.

The honors did not stop there for the Lions as Bowlin (first team) and Adams (second-team) were both named All-Region by both Daktronics and the NABC with Bowiln picking up Regional Player of the Year honors from both groups. Bowlin was named to three different All-American teams (Daktronics, NABC and the Basketball Times), while being one of eight finalists for National Player of the Year as selected by the NABC. He was also chosen to participate in the NABC Division II All-Star Game at the end of the season.

Bowlin finished his career as the Lions' all-time leader in three pointers with 224, while his 1,664 career points rank him fourth all-time. His 568 assists and 265 steals rank third and second all-time and free-throw percentage of .830 ranks second all-time. He led the MIAA in steals and ranked 19th in d-2, while ranking 2nd in the MIAA in assists and 13th in d-2 in that category. Adams moved to sixth all-time in scoring, while ranking third all-time in three pointers made in a career.

Corn earned his third MIAA Coach of the Year honor as he was a unanimous pick by his peers in the league. He won his 350th career game in a win over Northwest Missouri to end the regular season and was a finalist for the NABC's National Coach of the Year. He led the Lions to their seventh 20-win season and won the third most games in a regular season every in Southern history, advancing to the school's second-ever NCAA post season.

 

The baseball team narrowly missed making the MIAA Tournament for the third-straight time under coach Bryce Darnell as the Lions finished a half a game out of the final spot in the postseason tournament. The Lions finished the season 24-26 overall and 20-24 in the MIAA.

Southern had six players named All-MIAA as Dallas Burke was named a first-team All-MIAA utility player. Burke played at both the catcher and outfield spot for the Lions, while also serving as a designated hitter at other times throughout the year. He ranked fourth in the MIAA with a .392 average and led the team with 60 hits.

Jesse Kinzey and Dane Kolkmeyer were named second-team All-MIAA at the first and second base positions. Kinzey was tied for a team-high five home runs, while leading the Lions with 37 RBIs. Kolkmeyer finished the season with a .386 batting average, ranking sixth in the MIAA. He finished the year with 59 hits and was tied for third with 32 RBIs.

Pitchers Brett Abell and Cody Griebling, as well as right fielder Patrick Deao, picked up honorable mention honors. Abell led the team with an 8-6 record on the mound and ranked second in the MIAA in strikeouts, while Griebling was 7-5 and proved to be the Lions top starter down the stretch. Deao led the Lions with eight outfield assists this year and was tied for the team lead with five home runs and 60 hits. 

 

The golf team had another solid season on the links this year as the Lions finished the fall and spring seasons in third place after the final MIAA points standings were announced in May. The Lions had All-MIAA representation from both Andy Hogenmiller and Jamie Voegeli as the pair finished ninth and tenth, respectively, in the final MIAA Individual Points standings.

Hogenmiller qualified as an individual to the 2011 NCAA Division II Regional Golf Tournament, where he placed 45th in a field of more than 100 golfers. 

 

The softball teamexperienced its best season in 10 years, going 32-22 on the season, winning 30-plus games for the first time since the early 2000s. The Lions logged a win over the only ranked team they faced in 2011, when on April 22, Southern defeated then-14th ranked Emporia State 4-0 to salvage a split in Emporia, Kansas.

Junior pitcher Nicole Reed, a junior college recruit from California, won 25 games. It was the first time a Lion pitcher has won 20-plus games since Hailey (Stanley) Burpo in 2004. Reed also set a new MSSU record for strikeouts in a season with 225.

For the second straight year, Southern qualified for the MIAA Postseason Tournament.

As the fourth seed, the Lions pushed first seed Missouri Western to the bottom of the ninth in a winner’s bracket semifinal before falling, 7-6. 

 

The men’s and women’s teams had another successful outdoor season that saw three men and two women earn All-MIAA status (top three place finishers in each event).

On the men’s side, Corey Reynolds was the MIAA Champion in the pole vault, and John Lowe also picked up All-MIAA honors in the vault. Aki Nummela was second in the 5k to earn All-MIAA honors. The men placed seventh in the final team standings.

On the women’s side, Lisa Vengels was second in the high jump and picked up All-MIAA honors, while Carita Riutta placed third in the 800-meter and was named an All-MIAA athlete, as well. The women placed fifth in the final team standings.

The women and men both qualified five individuals altogether for the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championships as Michael Juergens, Nummela and Reynolds made trips to California, while Vengels and Nicole Green made return trips to nationals.

2011-12

The Missouri Southern volleyball team suffered through a tough season that saw an injury sideline its starting Libero before the season started. The Lions also played with a rather young lineup, starting three freshman at various times throughout the season.

That didn't stop the Lions from seeing some success this season. Senior Rachel Olinyk led the team with 3.25 kills per set and was an All-MIAA selection, as well.

The Lions also swept the season series with Pittsburg State winning in Pittsburg for the first time since the 1999 season, taking the point in the Sonic Trophy Series between the two schools.

The Lions football team went 3-7 in 2011 with wins over Lincoln, Truman State and Southwest Baptist. The game against Lincoln pitted the two schools in the Gateway Classic, a game played in the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis.

In the game against SBU, the Lions broke numerous school records in a 68 point explosion against the Bearcats. Southern broke a record for total offense (672) they had set previously in the year against Lincoln. They also set a record for first downs (35) breaking the previous mark of 33 set against Washburn in 2002. The Lions tied marks for total points (68) with the previous mark coming against Evangel in 1982, while the nine sacks in the game tied the school record set twice, once against Fort Hays in 1988 and again against Missouri Western in 1991.

Junior defensive tackle Brandon Williams once again was named an All-American as three different publications picked him. He was a unanimous All-MIAA pick, as well as being named All-Region. Joining Williams on the All-Region and All-American teams was junior wide receiver Landon Zerkel. Zerkel was also a first-team All-MIAA pick with Williams and senior center Ian Saxton. The Lions had ten named to the All-MIAA squad.

Not to forget the talents in the classroom, two Lions were named Academic All-American as Kenny Smith and Alex Wong picked up those honors. Smith was a first-team pick, while Wong made the third team.

The Missouri Southern men's cross country team had a tough start to the season as the annual Southern Stampede was cancelled for the first time in its more than 20 year existence. Heavy rains and lightening led to the cancellation of the event. To make up for the loss of the home event, the Lions hooked up with Pittsburg State for a duel the next week and Southern came away victorious.

Southern would go on to win the Missouri S&T Invite later in the season, and finished third at the 2011 MIAA Championships. The Lions' Eric Schott was named the MIAA Freshman of the Year, while he, Jake Benton and Andrew Webster all earned All-MIAA honors.

Southern kept up the momentum the next weekend as the Lions placed fourth at the NCAA Division II South Central Regional, where Schott, Benton and Webster were once again honored, this time being named All-Region.

The Southern women's cross country team would have to suffer the loss of a big home event, as well , to start the season, but they made up for it with a strong finish to the season. Marlee Tegenkamp won the duel with Pittsburg State, and won the race at Missouri S&T, while the Lions placed third as a team.

Southern went on to place second at the 2011 MIAA Championships where Tegenkamp placed second. Rachel Schrader, as well as Tegenkamp, were both named All-MIAA.

Tegenkamp would keep up her hot streak as the junior placed second at the NCAA Division II South Central Regional meet, qualifying for the NCAA Division II National Meet. The Lions placed sixth at the regionals and Tegenkamp and Schrader were both named All-Region.

After starting the season 0-7-1 the Lions' soccer team won nine of their last 12 games finishing third in the MIAA regular season and making their way into the championship game of the first MIAA Post-season soccer tournament held on the campus of the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

The season's turnaround started on October 2 as the Lions went to Emporia, Kansas and came away with a 2-1 victory over the Emporia State Hornets. Southern would win their next two matches by the same score taking a double overtime decision at Southwest Baptist University on October 6th and two days later defeating the newest program in the MIAA, Fort Hays State, at home 2-1 in overtime. The Lions would add two more victories in a row to tie the school record for most consecutive conference wins at five, defeating Washburn in Topeka, Kansas 2-0 on October 11 and shutting out Missouri Western 2-0 on October 15.

Following those five straight wins the Lions dropped a second 2-1 overtime decision to Truman State this season and fell to 10th ranked Central Missouri in Warrensburg, before closing out the season with a 2-1 double overtime victory over Northwest Missouri, which clinched the third place finish in the regular season and the third seed in the MIAA Post-season tournament, and a 3-1 victory over future MIAA member Lindenwood on senior day.

Going into the MIAA Post-Season Tournament the Lions had split 2-1 decisions with 6th seeded Southwest Baptist, this time the Lions would come out 1-0 winners on a goal in the 88th minute on a goal by sophomore defender Dana Wilhelm. With that win the Lions were now poised to take on the 2nd seeded Truman State Bulldogs, which had beaten Southern twice with both victories coming in 2-1 overtime decisions. The Lions fell down early in the 24th minute as the Bulldogs struck first and Southern just couldn't find the back of the net until in the final seconds as junior forward Megan Stueve connected on a pass from junior defender Corinne Tebbs to send the game into overtime. This time the Lions would extract some revenge on the Bulldogs as senior midfielder Shannon Kuhn connected on a Tebbs' corner kick to advance the Lions to the MIAA Post-Season Tournament Championship match against eighth ranked Central Missouri. In the championship match the Lions fell behind late in the first half as the Jennies scored in the 42nd minute. Sophomore forward Kelly White scored the lone Lions' goal in the second half to even up the score at 1-1, but Central would prove to be too much as the Jennies scored twice more to win the match, 3-1 and advance to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional.

For the season the Lions finished 9-10-1, after starting the season 0-7-1, finished third in the MIAA and placed second in the MIAA Post-Season Tournament. Tebbs was named to the second team All-MIAA while Stueve and senior midfielder Michelle Dimza earned honorable mention honors. Kuhn and Stueve led the way in scoring for the Lions with seven goals each, Kuhn added three assists and Stueve had two. Tebbs led the way in assists with nine, and finished third on the team in points with those nine. Kuhn finished first in points with 17 and Stueve second with 16.

The Missouri Southern men's basketball team once again showed they are one of the best programs in Division II as the Lions made their second-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Southern started the season ranked No. 4 in Division II and after a 9-0 start, the Lions climbed to the No. 1 spot in the NABC Division II poll after that week. It was the first time in school history that the men's basketball team was ranked No. 1. The Lions would be ranked each week of the year, finishing the season ranked No. 23.

Senior center Keane Thomann made it two years in a row for the Lions to have the MIAA and Regional Player of the Year. The big man was a first-team All-MIAA pick and was eventually named to three different All-American teams. He was an All-Region selection and was picked to play in the Division II All-Star game. He finished his career at Southern as one of the best big man to ever wear a Lions' jersey. He holds school records for best single season and career field goal percentage, as well as being No. 6 on the all-time scoring list with 1,523 points.

Jason Adams joined Thomann on the All-MIAA and All-Region teams and made his name known amongst the best ever to play at Southern. He finished his career with the second-most points in school history (1,981) as well as the second-most three pointers in a career with 213. He has the fourth-most points in MIAA history and scored the most points of any player in the MIAA over the last 27 years.

Sophomore's Marquis Addison and Jordan Talbert were also named All-MIAA by the coaches of the league.

The Lions Women's Basketball team had to overcome a major off season injury when senior Michelle Hedgecock tore her ACL in summer workouts. She sat out a good part of the season, making her first appearance on December 30 at Pittsburg State.

Junior Erin Rice led the Lions in most categories scoring 388 points on the season and grabbing 139 rebounds, all while shooting a team second best 42.9 percent (138-of-322) from the field and a team best 31.4 percent (27-of-86) from beyond the arch. Rice was also the lone Southern representative on the All-MIAA team, earning third team honors.

Senior guard Larrita Gipson was the assist leader dishing out 69 dimes on the season while freshman guard Haley Weathers led the way at the charity stripe for the Green & Gold going 34-of-40 and 21-of-29, respectively. The Lions got off to a 3-1 start in non-conference play falling to Harding Lady Bisons in the season opener and then winning the next three against future MIAA member Nebraska-Kearney, Evangel, and Avila.

Conference play for the Lions was highlighted by a sweep of Missouri Western for only the second time in the history of the series between the sister schools. The previous sweep was in 2010-11, and the Lions have won five of the last six from the Griffons. The season ended on a positive note for the Lions as they knocked Northwest Missouri State out of the MIAA Post-Season tournament with a 61-49 victory in Maryville.

The 2012 Missouri Southern Baseball team saw another successful season under head coach Bryce Darnell as the Lions had the second 30-plus win under the MSSU Alum.

Southern finished the season 32-19 and were 23-17 in the MIAA, good enough for a third place finish in the league. Although the season ended with a defeat in the first round of the MIAA Tournament, the year was full of plenty of highs.
 

The Lions started the year 11-0 and jumped into the National Poll at No. 24. After moving their record to 15-1, the Lions moved all the way up to No. 11 in Division II. The Lions finished the year batting .310 as a team and had a 3.74 team ERA. Southern also broke a school record for fielding percentage finishing the year with a .962 average.

 Senior pitcher Cody Griebling was named a first-team All-MIAA selection and a second team All-Region pick after going 9-4 with 74 strikeouts and a 3.19 ERA. Luke Acosta was a second-team All-MIAA pick, while Jesse Kinzey, Cullen Baxter, Michael McCoy, Sam Ryan and David Reese were all named honorable mention All-MIAA.
Griebling kept his high going as he signed a professional contract to play baseball with the Schaumburg Boomers of the independent Frontier League.
 

The 2012 Missouri Southern Softball team suffered some early season injuries and dealt with the loss of a few key players and finished 16-35 overall and 5-15 in the MIAA.

The Lions had four players earn All-MIAA honors after the season. Senior Breanna Volkmann earned second team honors as she led the Lions in batting average, .353, and on base percentage, .400.  Volkmann also had team highs with 54 hits and two triples.
Three other Lions earned honorable mention honors as seniors Lydia Niemegeers and Brianna Fulkerson joined sophomore Shelby Romines. Niemegeers finished with a .286 batting average and collecting 36 hits and 17 RBIs, while starting at catcher in 46 of the teams 51 games this season. Fulkerson started and played in 47 games at second base for Southern and finished with a .290 batting average with 16 RBIs and 45 hits, eight of which went for doubles. Romines stepped into a starting role this year at first base and finished second on the team in batting average with a .296 average while playing in all 51 games.  She recorded 23 RBIs, four doubles, one triple, and two home runs on her way to 42 hits on the season.
 

The Missouri Southern men’s outdoor track and field team had another stellar year as the Lions qualified six individuals for the NCAA Division II Championships.

Freshman Jeff Fraley qualified in both the 100m and 200m races, while fellow freshman Darion Boure qualified in the triple jump. Sophomore Clark Tanksley qualified in the high jump, while junior Dustin Green and freshman Nicklas Polizzi both qualified in the discus. Junior Michael Juergens qualified in the pole vault after missing all of the indoor season with an injury.

Four of those six qualifiers earned All-American status for the Lions at nationals. Green finished fourth in the discus, while Tanksley was 7th in the high jump. Fraley picked up his second All-American honor in the 200m after earning one in the indoor season, while Boure finished 8th in the triple jump.

In all, the Lions set two new school records in the outdoor season. Actually, they set them multiple times as both Fraley and Boure set the marks in the 100m and the triple jump more than once. Add that to the three school records the Lions set in the indoor season and it was an awesome year for the men.
The Lions weren’t just doing it all on the track, but in the classroom, as well. Jake Benton was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, while both Fraley and Polizzi were named Scholar Athletes by the Track and Field Coaches Association.
 

The Missouri Southern women’s outdoor track and field team continued its success by qualifying four different individuals in six events for the NCAA Division II National Championships.

Senior Lisa Vengels qualified in both the high jump and the heptathlon, while senior Nicole Green qualified once again in the shot put. Sophomore Jasmin Hughes qualified for both the 100m and 200m races. Freshman Melanie Bower, the 2012 MIAA Indoor Pole Vault Champion, qualified in that event for the first time.
Green picked up her fifth overall All-American honor with a fourth-place showing in the shot put. She was also doing it in the classroom as the senior was named a third-team Academic All-American. The Lions had nine different individuals that were named Scholar Athletes by the Track and Field Coaches Association.
Southern finished third in both the indoor and outdoor MIAA Championships and the 4x100m relay team at the outdoor meet provided the winning point in the Sonic Trophy Series for Missouri Southern, the third-straight trophy the Lions have won in the series. 

In what would be a re-building year for a young Lions’ golf team, the group was very competitive in the 2011-12 season.

 The Lions would play in five events in the fall and six in the spring. Starting with the Missouri Intercollegiate held at the Lake of the Ozarks, the Lions would go on to finish tenth at the PSU Invite, and ninth at the SBU Invitational. The Lions would open up the spring season with an eighth place finish at Arkansas Tech, where the team would have its second-lowest round of the year, a 303, and junior Ben Knight would finish tied for 17th overall in the final standings.
 
The team followed that up with an eighth place finish at Washburn and its best round of the year, as the Lions shot a 300 and were tied for second place after the first day. Sophomore Ryan Russell finished tied for 17th in the event. The Lions’ final event of the year proved to be one of their better events as Southern finished sixth in the MIAA Championships held at Paradise Point in Smithville, Mo. Russell finished tied for eighth place overall in the individual standings and the Lions finished in sixth place in the final MIAA team standings.
2012-13

The team saw a winning season for the first time since 2007 under the direction of first-year head coach Daryl Daye. The Lions went 6-5 and finished 5-5 in MIAA play.

The triple option made its debut as the Lions went on the road and defeated Central Oklahoma to start the season. Southern then won its home opener against Northeastern State and won again at Lincoln, before dropping a pair of games to Southwest Baptist and Central Missouri. The Lions rebounded, however, and picked up a win over South Dakota Mines on homecoming and a huge upset of then fourth-ranked and eventual MIAA Champion Missouri Western in St. Joseph. Southern was the only team to defeat the Griffons until Western lost out in the regional final to Minnesota State.

Senior defensive end Brandon Williams finished as the all-time sack king at MSSU, with 27 sacks in his four-year career. He was named the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year, as well as the Regional and National Defensive Player of the Year by multiple organizations. He was named an All-America selection by six different groups and was invited to play in the Senior Bowl, one of just two Division II players. Williams competed at the NFL Combine on February 23-26 and was drafted in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens.

After a tough season, head coach Trish Knight is ready to concentrate on next fall.

Southern went 0-30, but a group of young players showed promise of what could be in 2013. Junior outside hitter Katie Politte was named an honorable mention All-MIAA selection after she led the team in kills with 145 and a 2.70 per set average this season. She was also fourth on the team in blocks with a 0.44 per set average and ranked second on the team with 2.43 digs per game. She ranked 13th in the MIAA this season in kills per set.

A pair of freshmen emerged as a force on the court as Payton Graves and Callie Whetstone combined to give the Lions a solid presence in the middle. Graves finished second on the team in blocks per set with 0.60, while Whetstone was third at 0.49. 

With the emergence of senior forward Megan Stueve as a top offensive weapon, the team finished the fall with another successful campaign.

Coming into her senior season with 10 goals and 23 points in her first three seasons as a Lion, Stueve surpassed both of those totals last fall, finishing with a MIAA-leading 13 goals and 27 points. Stueve’s breakout season helped propel the Lions to  seventh place in the 13-team MIAA Conference.

After their first win over eventual MIAA tournament champion Fort Hays State at home on September 21, the Lions went on to defeat Nebraska-Kearney, Lindenwood, Washburn and Northwest Missouri State in conference play.

In addition to Stueve’s standout season, other Lions finished strong. Seniors Candis Clark and Courtney Sanders and junior Tiffany Laughlin all finished the year as honorable mention All-MIAA selections. The trio combined to finish the year with four goals and 10 assists, including seven assists from Laughlin. Junior midfielder Dana Wilhelm also had a nice season as she finished with two goals and two assists, good for six points, which was third on the team behind Stueve and Laughlin.

Qualifying for the MIAA tournament, the Lions season ended with a 4-0 loss to eventual NCAA tournament qualifier and new MIAA conference member Central Oklahoma in the first round on October 30 in Edmond, Oklahoma. 

The team wrapped up another successful fall campaign, taking eighth in the NCAA Championships, while taking third at the MIAA Championships.

In Tom Rutledge’s final season as head coach, the Lions had their highest finish at the NCAA’s since 2002. Sophomores Eric Schott, Andrew Webster and Adrian Todd paced the Lions at Nationals, finishing 44th, 47th and 49th respectively. Junior Jake Benton took 105th; freshman Ryan Jackson took 121st. In addition to a successful run at the NCAA’s, the Lions also had a nice showing at the MIAA Championships, at Northwest Missouri on October 20. The Lions had three runners in the top 10 with Schott, third; Todd, seventh; and Benton, ninth. 

Qualifying for the NCAA’s by taking second at the NCAA Central Regional Championships, hosted by Southern on November 3, the Lions had three runners in the top 20: Schott, fifth; Benton, 13th; and Todd, 19th.

The Lions captured the Jackling Jocks Invite, hosted by Missouri S&T, on October 6, as the Lions finished with five runners in the top 10 led by Todd, second; Schott, third; Webster, fourth; Benton, seventh; and freshman Colton Wooldridge, 10th.  

The women wrapped up another successful fall campaign this season, winning the MIAA Championship and taking 20th at the NCAA Division II Championships.

Now in her 20th season as head coach Patty Vavra and the Lions captured their fifth MIAA title in the past seven years. Vavra was named the MIAA Coach of the Year last fall. Their sixth conference title overall, juniors Kaitlyn Belisle and Rachel Schrader finished fifth and sixth respectively, earning All-MIAA status, while senior Marlee Tegenkamp placed 15th and Lauren Baehr placed 17th.

The Lions also had a nice showing at the NCAA Championships, hosted by Missouri Southern on November 17, as they took 20th overall. Schrader took 66th overall, Tegenkamp took 91st, while Belisle took 126th. 

Qualifying for the NCAA’s by taking fourth at the NCAA Central Regional Championships, hosted by Southern on November 3, the Lions had three runners take home All-Region honors: Schrader, 11th; Tegenkamp, 18th; and Belisle, 21st.

Losing four seniors off an NCAA Tournament qualifying team in 2012, including MIAA Player of the Year Keane Thomann, the Missouri Southern men’s basketball team experienced a season of many highs and lows as they welcomed seven new players to the fold in 2013.

With no seniors on the roster, juniors Marquis Addison and Jordan Talbert stepped up as leaders for the Lions as they learned night in and night out just how tough of a conference the MIAA truly is. Opening the year with exhibition games at Division I Oral Roberts and new SEC conference member Missouri, the Lions would hang with both the Golden Eagles and Tigers for a half, but would use those experiences to help them as the year went on.

            Going 5-3 in non-conference action, including a 58-50 win at 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifier Arkansas Tech, the Lions would get off to a great start to conference play starting 4-2 with wins over Truman, Missouri Western, Lincoln and Pittsburg State. Addison would score a career-high 34 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field in the Lions’ seven-point win over the Gorillas.

            With such a young lineup, the Lions would get a lot of on-the-job training over the next month and half as they would go 3-9 in their final 12 games. Tough to stomach, the Lions would use those setbacks as teaching tools as they proved to pay off by qualifying for the MIAA Tournament where they would get the ninth-seed and travel to eighth-seeded Emporia State to take on the Hornets in the first round.

            A hotly contested game, the Lions were able to overcome a ten-point halftime deficit to escape Emporia with a two-point win behind two clutch free throws from Addison and earn a berth in the MIAA quarterfinals where they would face top-seeded Fort Hays State. Getting to experience the game day atmosphere of Kansas City’s historic Municipal Auditorium, the Lions would hang valiantly with the Tigers, but Fort Hay’s hot shooting from behind the three-point line would seal the win for the Tigers, ending the Lions season.

With the entire lineup back next season, including two-time All-MIAA selections Addison and Talbert, the Lions look to use their experience gained this year to help them next season and beyond.

 

            With only two returning players from the previous season, the Missouri Southern women’s basketball team experienced a season of many highs and lows as they welcomed 11 new players to the fold in 2013. Trying to mesh many new faces from many different playing styles proved to take time as the Lions fell in their opening two exhibition games to Livin’ The Dream and Division I University of San Francisco. Those early season missteps proved to be valuable learning experiences for the Lions as Southern started the year winning six of their first seven games of the year, including home non-conference wins over 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifier Newman and nearby Drury.

            Falling in their final two games before winter break, the Lions would get off to a fast start to the MIAA conference season winning their first four games after the break including an exciting 78-76 win at home over Missouri Western thanks to a career-high 17 points freshman guard Sharese Jones. Already surpassing their win total from a year ago and sitting with a 10-3 record going into the Sonic Trophy Series with rival Pittsburg State at Leggett & Platt, the sky looked like the limit for the Lions. Averaging nearly 70 points per game, outrebounding their opponents by more than seven boards a game and shooting better than 46% from the field, the Lions looked to continue to their hot start into the heart of their conference season.

            Losing a nail-bitter to the Gorillas 66-63, the Lions would learn some tough-luck lessons over the next month as they would go 1-9 in their next ten games, playing eight games against either nationally ranked teams or teams that were receiving votes in the national poll at the time.  Although tough to take, the Lions would use those setbacks as teaching tools as they proved to pay off winning their final three conference games in a six-day stretch defeating Central Oklahoma twice and at Pittsburg State to earn a home conference tournament game in the process.

One Lion who was especially hot down the stretch for Southern was senior forward Erin Rice. The lone senior on the team, Rice averaged 19.0 ppg. in her final five games as a Lion becoming the ninth all-time leading scorer in Missouri Southern women’s basketball history finishing her career with 1,220 points.

Earning the eighth seed in the MIAA Tournament, the Lions would host the ninth-seeded Northwest Missouri State Bearcats at home. Falling behind by 18 points at one point in the second half, the Lions would use a 26-6 run in an nine-minute stretch to take a 59-57 lead, but the Lions would be unable to hang on falling victim to Bearcat free throws to end their season.

                  The Missouri Southern Lions golf team finished another successful season this spring as the team would play in five tournaments in the fall and five more in the spring. Led by sophomore Ryan Buerk and junior Ryan Russell, the Lions would average a team score of 308.2 on the year with seven players carding average scores under 79 per round.   

            The fall season would see the Lions have their two lowest rounds and three of their top ten lowest rounds of the year at the Missouri Western Central Region Invitational hosted at the St. Joseph Country Club carding rounds of 292, 298 and 306, including Buerk carding a single-round season-low for a Lion shooting a 67 in the second round, which would propel them to a fifth place finish in the twenty-team tournament. The Lions would also have a strong finish at the Missouri Intercollegiate hosted at The Club Porto Cima in Sunrise Beach, Mo., where they would have their highest finish of the year as a team finishing third in the 16-team tournament carding a three-round score of 962. The Lions would also play tournaments at Pittsburg State and MIAA newcomers Lindenwood and Northeastern State in the fall.

                 The spring season would see the Lions kick off action at the Dave Falconer Memorial Invitational hosted by Arkansas Tech at Chamberlyne Country Club where they would finish fourth as a team in the 13-team tournament thanks to all five Lions placing in top 31, including a tie for seventh from Buerk who would card a two-round score of 150 (+6). The Lions would also have a strong showing at the First Federal Invite hosted by Henderson State at Branson Creek GC carding a season-low for two rounds at 605. With all five Lions again placing in the top 31, Russell would have his best showing of the year finishing in a tie for seventh overall carding a two-round season-low of 147.

The Lions would also host the Missouri Southern Invitational at Twin Hills Golf Course in Joplin where Southern would finish seventh as a team as Buerk would have the Lions highest individual finish of the year taking third overall finishing just one over par over the two days. Capping the year at the MIAA Championships hosted at Paradise Point Outlaw Course in Smithville, Mo., the Lions would finish eighth overall as Buerk would be the Lions top finisher once again finishing tied for 17th overall finishing five over par over the two-rounds.  

Despite battling tough spring conditions all season, the Missouri Southern Lions softball team wrapped up their second winning season in the past three years finishing 26-24 overall while going 13-15 in the MIAA conference in 2013. Under the guidance of fifth-year head coach Bill Gray, the Lions would get off to their best start to a season since 2001 starting the year 11-4; including winning five of their six games at the Seven State Classic in Bentonville, Arkansas.

            Behind a strong duo of freshman pitchers and a solid middle part of the order, the Lions were in almost every game during the season narrowly missing out on the MIAA Post-Season Tournament. The Lions were led offensively by second-team All-MIAA selection Shelby Romines, who would lead the Lions with a .364 batting average while collecting a team-high 56 hits and totaling a club-high 92 total bases on the year. Three other Lions would hit over .300 on the year, including freshman centerfielder Alana Hester, an All-MIAA honorable mention selection, and junior third baseman Brooklyn Farrell. The Lions would have great offensive balance to their lineup as six position players would collect over 35 hits on the year.

            In addition to the Lions strong overall lineup, Southern would lean on two freshman pitchers to lead their pitching staff as right-handers Haley Kinnison and Sarah Williams would each post winning records while combining to throw 13 complete games. Pitching a team-high 99.1 innings, Kinnison would lead the club with 95 strikeouts, while tying a single-game school record for strikeouts fanning 14 batters in the Lions’ 7-2 win at home over Northeastern State on March 16. In addition, Williams was also very strong on the mound for the Lions as she held a team-low 2.55 ERA while making a team-high 26 appearances.

            With only two graduating seniors, the Lions will return their entire lineup in 2014 along with their top three pitchers as they look to make a run at the MIAA Championship.

            Keeping the strong tradition of Missouri Southern men’s track and field going, the Lions sent longtime head coach Tom Rutledge into retirement with a solid showing to the outdoor season qualifying six individuals for the NCAA Championships while placing second at the MIAA conference meet.

            Hosted by Colorado State- Pueblo at the end of May, senior thrower Dustin Green picked up the Lions’ lone All-American selection of the national championships in the discus finishing fifth launching a throw of 180-11, a mark that was just over a foot behind his school record he set at the 2012 national championships.  Green also qualified in both the hammer throw and shot put while five other Lions were in action as sophomore Jeff Fraley qualified in both the 100 meter and 200 meter, narrowingly missing the finals of each event. Senior Seth Hackney qualified in the shot put, while senior Michael Juergens qualified in the pole vault. Finally, sophomores Darion Boure and Jayce Thomas also qualified for the triple jump as Boure finished 10th, while Thomas finished 18th overall.

            With eight individuals earning All-MIAA honors in seven different events, including two champions, along with two all-conference relay teams, the Lions finished second at the conference meet hosted by Fort Hays State. Fraley would take home the championship in the 200 meters, while Boure would improve his school record in the triple jump by over two feet to take home the crown in the triple jump.   The 4x100 meter and 4x400 meter relay teams of Fraley, Erron Holley, Anthony Price and Clark Tanksley would place second in each event. Green and Juergens would also earn All-MIAA honors as each would finish runner-ups in their events with Green finishing second in the hammer throw and Juergens finishing runner-up in the pole vault.

            With only eight departing seniors and with returners such as Fraley, Boure and Thomas coming back for another season, the future looks bright for the men’s track and field program.     

Much like the men, the women also had a strong showing in the outdoor season as they picked up four All-American honors in three different events at the NCAA Championships while the team collectively had a solid showing at the MIAA Championships taking third as a team.

            The Lions were led at the NCAA Championships by a strong showing from a pair of freshman as Brittani Reagan and Kaylee Morgan each earned All-American honors in the long jump with Morgan taking home fifth place and Reagan finishing eighth. Reagan would earn her second All-American selection in the triple jump finishing seventh.  Junior Whitney Hardy would give the Lions their fourth All-American selection finishing eighth in the high jump. Junior thrower Kylie Cornman also qualified in the shot put finishing 11th overall to round out the field for the Lions.

            The Lions would also have a strong showing at the MIAA Championships held at Fort Hays finishing third as a team while picking up seven All-MIAA selections in the process. Sophomore pole vaulter Ashleigh McFarland headlined the group for Southern taking home the conference title in the pole vault while Sydney Haase would place second in the event earning All-MIAA honors. Reagan would take runner-up honors in the triple jump while Morgan took third in the long jump. Cornman would finish runner-up in the shot put while Hardy and junior sprinter Jasmin Hughes would each finish third in the high jump and 200 meter, respectively.

            Competing in seven meets throughout the spring, many Lions hit top personal marks in their respective events and with only four graduating seniors, the Lions look to contend for more hardware and honors next spring.

The 2013 Missouri Southern baseball team proved to be one of the best group of players so far for head coach Bryce Darnell as this past year’s Lions won the 2013 MIAA Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001.

The team won its first MIAA title since the 1992 season and moved on to play in the Central Region Tournament in Mankato, Minnesota. Southern would open the tournament as the sixth seed and face off with host and No. 1 seed Minnesota State University. 

But what came before that tournament could be described by some as storybook or even hard to envision, but the 2013 Lions played one of the best final months of a season in recent memory. 

The Lions took two out of three at Southwest Baptist on April 19-20, and split a double-header at Pittsburg State on April 24. Next, the Lions would face the number one team in the MIAA and the No. 5 nationally ranked Missouri Western Griffons for the final regular-season series.  

What should have been a three-game series, was shortened to just a single, double-header due to weather. Needing to win one game to secure a first-round MIAA Tournament home series, the Lions did just that and more when a Zack Steadman single to center field in the bottom of the ninth, scored Dane Kolkmeyer and lifted the Lions over the Griffons, 8-7 in game one. Western won game two of the double-header, but the Lions secured the No. 3 seed in the MIAA Tournament and hosted Northeastern State the following weekend at Joe Becker Stadium.

Southern took three out of four in the season series from Northeastern State, but the RiverHawks took game one of the three-game series, winning 4-2. Facing elimination, the Lions hung on to win game two, 6-5 and won the deciding game, 5-3 to move on to Kansas City and Community America Ballpark. 

There, the Lions won their first two games, downing Pittsburg State, 9-0 by way of the run rule, and then taking out Missouri Western 4-3 to advance to the Championship game. Southern got complete-game wins from both Brett Abell and Ryan Bates in the first two games of the tournament. Western would fight back through the loser’s bracket to match up with the Lions in the championship game, needing to defeat Southern twice take the title. 

The Griffons took game one of the championship, 12-2 as they scored early and often and won by way of the run rule. However, the Lions weren’t out and played a game for the ages against Western in the winner-take-all final.

The Griffons went ahead, 2-0 after they batted in the top of the seventh, but the Lions scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning to go up 3-2 after seven. Michael McCoy, Dallas Burke and Sam Ryan had RBIs in the inning. 

After Western tied the game at three in the top of the ninth, the same trio of McCoy, Burke and Ryan went to work. With two outs, McCoy and Burke both singled, putting runners at first and second. That brought Ryan to the plate. The senior catcher worked the count full and then calmly hit a ball to right field that cleared the fence for a walk-off home run, giving the Lions the 2013 MIAA Championship and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Not to be missed in Ryan’s heroics was the complete-game win by Drew Noble as Southern had complete-game wins in all three of its wins in the tournament. 

At the Regional, the Lions faced off with Minnesota State in the opening game. Abell and the Maverick’s starter Jason Hoppe battled toe-to-toe as the two held the opposing offense scoreless into the eleventh inning. Hoppe exited after throwing ten and two thirds of an inning, while Abell went the full 11, both leaving with no score. Someone had to win, however, and despite the Lions’ bullpen holding the Mavericks scoreless for two more innings, Minnesota State executed a safety squeeze to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning. 

Southern would go on to fall to MIAA rival Central Missouri in its next game, ending its season with a 34-22 overall record and giving Missouri Southern baseball fans one of the most fun and entertaining runs in recent memory.

2013-14

The 2013 version of the MSSU football team proved to be one of the best in recent memory. The Lions finished the season 7-3 overall and were 5-3 in the MIAA. Southern started the season 3-0 with wins against Central Oklahoma, Northeastern State and Lincoln and the Lions were 5-1 when they hit a tough stretch against fourth ranked Missouri Western and No. 2 Northwest Missouri. The Lions would drop both games, but Southern didn’t lose from then on out, including breaking a 20-year drought with a 35-21 win at No. 9 Pittsburg State in the season-finale. Southern won for the first time in Pittsburg since 1983 and for the first time against the Gorillas since 1993. 

Nine Lions were named All-MIAA, and 11 players were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. The Lions’ Chris Barnwell and Gatlin Ridgway were named All-Region with Barnwell earning All-American honors. Giresse Forchu was an Academic All-District selection and the Lions ended the 2013 campaign as Division II’s leader in time of possession, holding onto the ball for an average of 35:14 each game. Southern also ranked second nationally in both rushing yardage and fewest passes intercepted. In all, the Lions ranked in the top ten nationally in nine different categories, while ranking 14th in turnovers lost.

The 2013 Missouri Southern volleyball team looked to rebound from a disappointing winless 2012 campaign. With interim coach Rachel Kirkman at the helm, the Lions won three of their first six matches, but a tough MIAA road would look them in the eye and the Lions would finish the season just 4-26 overall. 

Junior outside hitter Katie Politte was named an All-MIAA selection after leading the Lions with the Lions with 3.34 kills per set this year as she amassed 304 kills in 24 matches played. The Lions had six players named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll and Southern announced the hiring of former Boston College assistant coach John Napier to be the new head coach of the program. Napier has Division I experience at Northern Arizona, Akron and the United States Air Force where he recently retired as a Major after 22.5 years of service.  

 

Under first-year head coach Bryan Schiding, the men’s cross-country team completed another successful fall campaign as they finished 19th in the country at the NCAA Championships held in Spokane, Wash. Junior Eric Schott was Southern’s top finisher finishing 69th running the 10k course in a time of 31:45.3. Senior Jake Benton, juniors Adrian Todd and Colton Wooldridge and sophomore Ryan Jackson rounded out the top five finishers for MSSU.

In addition to their performance at Nationals, the Lions also had a strong performance at the MIAA Championships where they narrowly missed winning their first title since 2009 as they were edged by Central Missouri by a single point. Schott, Benton and junior Andrew Webster each earned All-MIAA honors for finishing in the top ten as they finished fifth, seventh and ninth, respectively. Southern also had a solid outing at the Central Regional Championships held in Sioux Falls, S.D. as they finished third as a team as Benton, Todd and Schott each earned All-Region honors for finishing in the top 25.

The Lions also won meets at the Jackling Jocks Invite hosted by Missouri S&T University and the Southern Stampede held at the MSSU Cross-Country Course and finished third at the Chili Pepper Festival hosted by the University of Arkansas.

 

After winning the MIAA Championships in 2012, the women’s cross-country team overcame the loss of their top five point scorers to finish fourth at MIAA Championships hosted by Pittsburg State as junior Dora Eastin lead the charge finishing ninth individually traversing the 6k course in a time of 22:11.89 to earn All-MIAA honors. Sophomore Addie Mengwasser finished 21st, sophomore Emily Harris took 32nd while freshman Kayla Bartelsmeyer and Sierra Gray were 41st and 52nd, respectively.

The Lions finished 12th at the Central Regional Championships held in Sioux Falls, S.D. as Eastin earned All-Region honors finishing fifth as she took on the 6k course in a time of 21:23.71 qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Spokane, Wash. as an individual where she would go on to finish 102nd overall in a time of 22:36.5.

The Lions also finished third at the Jackling Jocks Invite hosted by Missouri S&T University and the Southern Stampede held at the MSSU Cross-Country Course and eighth at the Chili Pepper Festival hosted by the University of Arkansas.  

It was another successful fall for soccer coach Alese Woolard and her squad as the Lions went 4-8-4 overall, 3-5-3 in the MIAA. The highlight of the season came on October 10 when Southern traveled to #11 Central Missouri to face the Jennies in Warrensburg. Getting two goals from sophomore forward Karley Thomas, the Lions took a quick 2-0 lead, and despite a late rally from UCM, Southern held on for a 2-1 win that snapped the Jennies’ 48-match MIAA unbeaten streak. It was the Lions first win over a ranked opponent since 2007 and Central Missouri’s first loss in the MIAA since 2009.

In addition to beating the eventual MIAA champion, the Lions also had victories over East Central University and MIAA wins over Northeastern State and Missouri Western. Thomas led the team in points with nine notching two goals and a team-high five assists. Seniors Dana Wilhelm, Tiffany Laughlin and junior Katelyn Roberson each scored a team-high three goals. Senior Abby Risner and junior Beth Hammons split goalkeeper duties for the second year as they combined for a .797 save percentage and 106 saves on the year. For their strong performances throughout the year, Wilhelm earned third-team All-MIAA honors while Thomas and Laughlin earned honorable mention honors. In addition to their play on the field, the Lions have also excelled in the classroom as 14 players were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll for having at least a 3.0 GPA.

The 2013-14 Missouri Southern men’s basketball team had one of the most successful seasons in the program’s history. The Lions captured the 2014 MIAA Basketball Tournament Championship and finished one game out of first place in the final regular-season league standings.

The Lions also earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years as Southern picked up the MIAA’s automatic berth to the Central Region Tournament and was seeded third in the post-season event. The Lions faced off with Fort Hays State University and defeated the Tigers 80-69, before falling to No. 20 Central Missouri 94-84 in the round of 32.

The Lions finished the season ranked 19th in the Division II National Poll and senior guard Marquis Addison was a first-team All-MIAA selection, as well as a second-team All-Region selection. He was also chosen to participate in the Division II All-Star Game in Evansville, Indiana. 

Addison moved in front of Skyler Bowlin for fifth-place all-time on the MSSU scoring list this season. He finished his career with 1,667 points, 490 rebounds, 223 steals and 297 assists. His .836 career free-throw percentage is second-best all time and he ranks fourth in career steals with 223.

Jordan Talbert, a third-team All-MIAA selection, became one of only three players in MSSU history (John Thomas and Chris Tucker) with 1,000 points and 700 rebounds as he ends his Southern career with 1,057 points, 731 rebounds and 170 blocks. His 170 blocks ranks second-best all-time, while his rebound totals rank third-best and he has two of the top-five all-time single-season block totals.

Slim Magee, an honorable mention All-MIAA pick and the MIAA Tournament MVP, finished his career with the top single-season blocks mark at MSSU with 65, while his .670 field goal percentage this season ranks him top all-time on the single-season list. 

The Lions finished the season as one of the best-shooting teams in the history of the program. The team set the single-season mark for field goal percentage (.510), as well as three-point field goal percentage (.413), besting the marks of .506 from the field in 1980-81 and .391 from long-range in 1988-89.

Austin Wright finished the regular-season with the best-ever three-point shooting performance from an individual as the sophomore shot .493 from beyond the arc this season, besting the previous mark of .471 set by Caleb Engleken in 2002-03. 

Robert Corn ended his illustrious career on the sidelines at Missouri Southern with the most wins ever by a coach at the school (413). He has the fourth-most wins amongst coaches in MIAA history and led the Lions to 16-straight trips to the MIAA Tournament, 21 overall, and this season was named the MIAA Coach of the Year, his fourth overall, after picking up the ninth 20-win season in his career at Southern.

The Missouri Southern women’s basketball team wrapped up a very successful 2013-14 season with a trip to the MIAA Tournament in Kansas City as they reached the program’s highest single season win total in 18 years winning 19 games on the year. After 12-year head coach Maryann Mitts retired in July, longtime associate head coach Ronda Hubbard was elevated to the top spot helping lead Southern to a fourth place finish in the MIAA.

Southern was led by four seniors who showed great leadership throughout the year as senior forward Dominique Mosley earned first-team All-MIAA honors after finishing in the top ten in the conference in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. Senior guard Samantha Soyez finished fifth in the MIAA in assists while senior forward Shonte Clay earned All-MIAA honorable mention as she finished fifth in the conference in field goal percentage. Two other Lions also earned All-MIAA honorable mention honors as junior guard Alexis Fitzpatrick and sophomore guard Sharese Jones were honored as Fitzpatrick led the league in steals while Jones finished third in the league in free-throw percentage and 12th in scoring. Junior guard Nicole Hartzog also had a great year as she played in 24 games averaging 10.5 points and shot 43.4% from three-point range.

The 2014 Missouri Southern baseball season started hot for the Lions as Southern won its first 12 games, a school record to start the season, and the team was ranked as high as 14th nationally. 

Injuries, however, would slow the Lions’ pace and the team would finish the season 24-26. Southern had four players named to the All-MIAA squad as senior’s David Reese, Logan Moon, Stephen Vaughn were joined by sophomore Payton Walker on the list.

Reese was named a second-team pick after ranking 14th nationally in strikeout to walk ratio and leading the league in strikeouts looking. He finished second in the MIAA in ERA with a 2.55 mark and finished his career ranking second in single-season appearances. Moon was a third-team pick and ranked eighth in the MIAA in hitting, finishing the year with a .386 mark. 

Vaughn and Walker were honorable mention picks. Vaughn appeared in 30 games, setting a new MSSU single-season record and finishing the year with a 2.88 ERA. Walker led the team with five wins and finished the year ranked sixth in the MIAA in both ERA and strikeouts.

Moon concluded the season for the Lions by being selected in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Kansas City Royals. The pick is the highest-ever by a Lion and is the seventh highest ever by a player in the MIAA.  In his first season of pro baseball Moon was assigned to the Burlington Royals in the Appalachian League. AS of August 29, Moon had set a new Royals’ single-season record with 74 hits and was in contention for the League batting title with a .329 average. 

The 2014 Missouri Southern golf season concluded with an individual appearance in the NCAA regionals and saw the team finish in the top six of four separate events with a third place finish in the last event of the fall season.

 

Southern started the season in the fall at the Missouri Intercollegiate. Freshman Taylor Lansford led the Lions and finished tied for 18th overall. The team then went on to the first MIAA points event of the season and senior Andrew Maier led the squad this time, finishing tied for 27th. A long road trip up north saw the team finish 8th at the St. Cloud State Invite and Lansford finish tied for sixth, just three strokes off the lead. 

Junior Ryan Buerk would finish fourth in the team’s next event in Oklahoma, while Lansford was the leading scorer for the third time of the fall season at Central Missouri, finishing tied for 16th and carding the low-round of the year for the Lions with a 69 in the opening round. A third-place team finish in the final fall event of the year saw the best outing, standings wise, for the Lions as Southern was just four strokes from a team title. Sophomore Ethan Hutcheson finished tied for third in the event. 

The spring started off with an 8th place finish at Arkansas Tech and Buerk finished tied for tenth. Buerk again led the team with a 19th-place finish at North Alabama in week two, while again posting a 19th-place showing at Central Oklahoma, helping the Lions to a sixth-place team score there. 

The Lions placed sixth as a team at Henderson State and Buerk had his best showing of the year, with a two-over finish to place third overall. The Lions finished the regular season with a ninth-place showing at the MIAA Championships. Buerk finished tied for 15th in the event and the Lions finished the season in tenth in the MIAA standings.

Buerk would qualify for the NCAA Regional Tournament as an individual and played in the event that was held at Fox Run CC in suburban St. Louis. After two round, Buerk found himself tied for 12th looking to make a bid at a National Tournament berth. However, the final day was not his and he finished out of contention. 

            Despite some tough luck injuries and mother nature wrecking some early season havoc, the Missouri Southern Lions softball team completed the 2014 season with a 19-35 overall record finishing 11th in the MIAA. Although not always reaching their ideal outcome, the season did supply many strong performances highlighted by senior first baseman Dawn Grass becoming the all-time home run leader in Southern program history as she finished her illustrious career with 28 career home runs. In addition to Grass reaching that historic milestone, the Lions set team single-season school records for home runs with 30 shattering the previous high of 24 set in 2005 and doubles with 81 surpassing the previous high of 76 set in 1995.

            The Lions had eight players earn All-MIAA honors as senior right fielder Shelby Romines repeated as a second-team selection for a second straight year after hitting .315 from the plate scoring a team-high 30 runs and driving in 32 RBI’s. Freshman designated player Alexah Replogle earned second-team honors as well after finishing fourth on the team hitting .310 and was third on the club with 39 hits, including eight doubles. In addition to Romines and Replogle, six other Lions earned All-MIAA honorable mention honors as Grass, outfielder Chloe Brown, catcher Kathryn Goins, shortstop Michala Wood, utility Rachel Harding and outfielder Jessica Castoe all were honored for their great seasons.

            After combining to win a total of 15 games as freshman, sophomore pitchers Haley Kinnison and Sarah Williams totaled 18 wins between the two of them this spring starting 49 of the Lions 54 games. They combed to throw 26 complete games and five shutouts as Kinnison led the way with 12 wins pitching 15 complete games and a team-high 148.2 innings striking out 111 batters.

            In addition to topping the career home run chart, Grass also finishes her career ranking in the top five in six other categories, including second in at-bats (630), walks (87), third in games played (212) and putouts (1,258), fourth in runs batted in (122) and tied for fifth with 183 hits.

Despite Grass, Romines, Brown and fellow senior Brooklyn Farrell moving on, the future looks bright for this club next year as they return five All-MIAA players and all three pitchers as they look to make a run at postseason play in 2015.

The 2014 Missouri Southern men’s track and field season started strong with a second-place finish at the MIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, held in Joplin. Junior sprinter Jeff Fraley won both the 60m and the 200m, picking up NCAA Automatic Qualifying marks in each event. He would win the High Point Award, but the Lions finished just short of winning the event. 

Fraley would be one of six Lions to be named All-Region, joining Michael Juergens, Brady Melugin, Clark Tanksley, Darion Boure and Eric Schott. All but Tanskley qualified for the 2014 NCAA Division II Indoor Championships in Winston Salem, NC. Juergens, Melugin and Boure would come away with All-American performances, but the Lions lost Fraley to the outdoor season as the speedster injured himself in the sprints. 

The Lions finished sixth at the MIAA Outdoor Championships, and had four named All-Region. Schott, Boure and Tanksley were repeat selections from indoors, while Raymond Woldtvedt earned honors, as well. The Lions sent five to nationals with Schott, Tanskley, Boure, Woldtvedt and Melugin heading north to Allendale, Mich. Boure would break his own school record in the triple jump and pick up All-American status with a third-place finish in the event.

The team finished the year, ranking ninth nationally in the Coaches Association overall points standings. 

The 2014 Missouri Southern women’s track and field team were young, but that didn’t stop the Lions from performing at their normal high standard.  The team finished second at the MIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships as 11 different individuals earned 14 All-MIAA honors. 

The team had six named All-Region. Amber White, Brittani Reagan, Kaitlyn Belisle, Kylie Cornman, Kindra Emberton and Kaylee Morgan were all named All-Region. White, Cornman, Emberton, Morgan, Reagan and Whitney Hardy were all selected to compete in the Indoor National Championships in Winston Salem, NC. Morgan earned All-American honors in the long jump on day one,  while White picked up All-American honors in the 400m in day two. 

The team carried the success into the outdoor season where the Lions finished fourth at the Outdoor meet. Four Lions earned All-MIAA honors in six events with Reagan and Belisle earning multiple All-MIAA honors, while Hardy and Cornman picked up hardware, as well.  Six athletes were named All-Region as White, Reagan, Belile, Morgan and Cornman were all repeat winners from the indoor season. Hardy earned All-Region honors, as well. The Lions qualified seven for the NCAA Outdoor National Championships with Reagan, Morgan, Hardy, Cornman, Emberton, White, and Belisle all making the trip to Allendale, Mich. Cornman picked up All-American status in the shot put, placing third in the event. 

2014-15

The 2014 MSSU football season was not what any of the coaches or players would call acceptable, but the Lions fought through injuries and had a pair of back-to-back wins to post a 4-7 season. 

The Lions had wins at Nebraska-Kearney and at home against Washburn, as well as at home against Northeastern State in a televised game, while winning on the road at Lindenwood the week later. 

Ten Lions earned All-MIAA honors led by Ty’Quan Hayes who was a second team selection. Hayes led the MIAA in combined kick returns and ranked second in the league in punt returns. He also ranked 21st nationally in punt returns, averaging 13.2 yards per return. 

Giresse Forchu was a third-team ALL-MIAA pick as he ranked 21st nationally with rushing touchdowns and the league with 15. Austin Wolfe was also a third team pick. 

Forchu went on to earn All-Region honors, as well as being named a first-team Academic All-American. The Lions had 11 players named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. 

The inaugural season of new head coach John Napier saw records fall and a national statistical leader. 

The Lions doubled their win total from a year prior, winning eight matches on the season. Senior Katie Politte finished her career with 1,160 kills which ranks 8th all-time in MSSU history. Her 4,013 total attacks ranks third best and she is just one of three MSSU players to ever record more than 4,000 attacks in a career. Her 1,317 attacks ranks third-best in a single season at MSSU.

Junior Callie Whetstone finished the season with 150 block assists, breaking the MSSU single season record that had stood at 115. Her 171 total blocks ranks third best and she led all of Division II in blocks per set, while ranking second in total blocks. Her 298 career total blocks rank 8th in MSSU history, while her 256 block assists rank third-best. 

The Lions' 451 block assists on the season also sets a new team single-season record, besting the previous mark of 357. 

Both Whetstone and Politte were named second-team All-MIAA picks, while the team had four individuals named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.

The 2014 Missouri Southern men’s and women’s cross country teams produced one of the most dominant performances ever seen out of the programs in MSSU history. 

Both teams started the year as the pre-season favorite to win the MIAA and both were nationally ranked.

The Southern women started the season finishing fourth overall at the Southern Stampede, but were the top Division II team in the field. The Lions then went on to win every other regular-season meet they would go to and capped the season with a first-place finish at the 2014 MIAA Championships.

Emily Harris, Kindra Emberton, Dora Eastin, Kaitlyn Belisle, Addie Mengwasser and Dana Roberson were all named All-MIAA after finishing in the top 20 at the league meet. 

The women went on to finish third at the NCAA Division II Central Region meet, qualifying for the National Championships, where the Lions finished 27th overall.  Both Eastin and Harris were named All-Region, while coach Patty Vavra earned MIAA Coach of the Year honors. 

The Southern men, like the women had a memorable season. The Lions finished third at the Stampede as Eric Schott started the season winning the individual title at the event.

That race started one of the most dominant single-season individual runs by any MSSU men’s cross country runner ever. Schott would go on to win four MIAA Cross Country Runner of the Week awards as he was never defeated by another Division II runner until the NCAA Regional meet.

Schott was the top D-2 runner at the Chili Pepper Festival at the University of Arkansas, before winning meets at Southwest Baptist and Missouri S&T. He capped the regular season by helping the men to the 2014 MIAA Championship and winning the individual MIAA Title.  Schott and fellow teammates Tyler Rush and Andrew Webster finished 1-2-3 at the meet, as Colton Wooldridge was seventh and Adrian Todd was ninth. All five runners earned All-MIAA honors.

The Lions won three meets during the regular season and placed third at the NCAA Division II Regional meet, qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Schott placed second at the regional meet as he, Webster and Todd all earned All-Region honors. The Lions went on to finish 17th at the National Championships.

Coach Bryan Schiding made it a Southern sweep of the MIAA Coach of the Year honors, winning his first such league honor. 

Missouri Southern soccer finished the season at 5-11-2 overall, 3-10-1 in the MIAA narrowly missing the MIAA Post-Season tournament. The Lions started their season 2-1-1 in non-conference action falling in the season opener to Drury 2-0 before rebounding and defeating former MIAA rival Missouri S&T 2-1 in Springfield.

The Lions then went to Claremore, Oklahoma and defeated Rogers State 5-0 and tied East Central in their home opener 3-3 in double overtime. The three conference wins consisted of a 2-0 win over Nebraska-Kearney at home and a pair of 1-0 wins on the road at Washburn in overtime and at Emporia State. Southern had the lead over then number 10 ranked Central Missouri in Warrensburg before the Jennies made a second half comeback winning the match 4-1.

Senior goalkeeper Beth Hammons finished her career in the Green & Gold with 2,688 minutes played in the net. Also, Hammons finished fifth in school history with 167 saves and tied for fourth all time in goals against average with a 1.67 gaa.

Fellow senior Casey Vitale led the Lions with five goals on the season while senior Kelsey Haist finished with three. Also scoring three times were freshman Hannah Bomar and junior Karley Thomas.  Bomar, sophomore Carly Cecil and junior Kimmy Hulse led the team in assists with three each.

The first year of Jeff Boschee at the helm of the Missouri Southern men’s basketball program proved to be a successful one as the Lions advanced to their second-straight MIAA Tournament final and finished with 20 wins for the fourth time in five seasons. 

Picked to finish fifth in the preseason MIAA coach’s poll, the Lions proved the coaches wrong and earned the third seed and a bye to the MIAA Tournament in Kansas City.

Southern started the season with an 8-4 record at the turn of the new year. The Lions finished the regular season 10-6, and won the first two games of the MIAA Tournament against Nebraska-Kearney (97-88) and No. 18 Central Missouri (81-74) before falling in the finals to Pittsburg State, to run their final overall record 20-11.

Southern had four players earn postseason honors led by junior Taevaunn Prince who was a second-team selection. Cameron Cornelius and Lane Barlow were both honorable mention selections, while Greg Renfroe was named to the All-Defensive team.

Junior guard Austin Wright had a memorable season shooting the long-ball. He set a single-game MSSU record with nine made three’s against Northeastern State, and finished the season with 79, also setting a new single-season record. He currently sits in fourth-place, one out of third, in the career three-pointers made category, needing just 47 in his senior campaign to break the school record.