The fall semester was fun, wasn’t it?
We had our volleyball team advance to the NCAA tournament, we had an improvement in our football team and new stars have broken out for our basketball team.
How do we top that?
Here are some sports to look forward to for the spring semester.
Missouri State is a baseball school. Some will try to stay that it’s a basketball school, but I’m still not sold on that.
There is nothing like the atmosphere at Hammons Field when the Bears are hot and a team like Arkansas or Mizzou comes to town.
Junior third baseman Jake Burger will lead the Bears this season as one of the best baseball players in the country. MLB.com recently ranked Burger as the No. 30 prospect in the country, as well as the No. 1 third baseman.
Missouri State’s season ended too early last season after one of the best starts in school history. While they made a run to the conference championship game, poor regular season conference play led to them not being able to lock up an at-large bid.
The sophomore duo of outfielder Hunter Steinmetz and shortstop Jeremy Eierman are coming off solid freshman seasons and should be able to make the next step after the departure of Spencer Johnson, who is now playing in the Houston Astros minor league system.
With better pitching in 2017, there’s no reason that the Bears shouldn’t be able to make a run on the road to Omaha.
The softball team is coming off a disappointing 22-30 season that ended in the quarterfinals of the MVC Tournament.
The Bears will be without star pitcher Erin Struemph, who quit the team. Struemph had 474 strikeouts over her three years as MSU’s pitcher.
While Missouri State will be looking to replace Struemph, the Bears will be leaning on seniors Olivia Roark and Mary Stephens.
The men’s golf team won two of their last three tournaments of the fall season to give themselves momentum going into the spring season.
With wins at the Derek Dolenc Invitational and the APSU/F&M Bank Intercollegiate tournament, men’s golf has been on its way up since a slow start to the season.
The sophomore duo of Kory Franks and Jack Knoesel has proved to be a bright spot in the future of the program as the pair has finished near the top of the leaderboard in MSU’s two tournament wins.
The men’s golf team will host a tournament at Springfield’s Twin Oaks Country Club starting on March 20.
The women’s golf team ended its 2016 season with on a positive note by finishing in the top half of a tournament for the second time all season.
Chicago State sophomore transfer Rachel Johnson has finished at the top of the board for Missouri State in three of the MSU’s five tournaments.
Missouri State finished 10th out of 14 teams at the Missouri Valley Conference Preview Tournament on Oct. 3.
Women’s Swimming and Diving
The women’s swimming and diving team came up a half-point shy of winning their ninth-straight MVC Championship, and there’s no doubt that the motivation will be there to get back on top.
The women’s swimming team was able to get a taste of avenging their 2016 MVC Championship that they missed out on by a half-point by defeating the team that took the crown from them in a 155-143 win over Southern Illinois on Dec. 3.
Sophomore Josie Pearson, freshman Sarah Allegri and senior diver Alexis Skiniotes led the way for the Bears in an important morale-boost as they approach Missouri Valley Conference Championship on Feb. 15.
Men’s Swimming and Diving
Quietly, the men’s swimming and diving team has been one of the more dominant athletic teams at Missouri State.
Behind sophomore Artur Osvath, the men’s swimming and diving team has come out on top of every swim meet in all but two of their eight meets.
The men’s swimming team looks to be in good position going into the Mid-American Conference Championships on March 1.
The women’s tennis team put together a strong fall season and hopes to make a splash during the spring.
The team was able to combine for more than 40 match victories across singles and doubles in their four fall tournaments and two fall duals.
Sophomore Phoebe Boeschen continues to impress following her strong freshman campaign as she advanced to the championship match at the MSU Fall Invitational.
The Bears will get things rolling when they start conference play against Wichita State later in the month. The MVC Conference Tournament starts on April 28 in Normal, Illinois.
Women’s Track and Field
Missouri State will host the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships starting May 11, and the Bears should have a few runners looking to make another run through the Valley Championships and into the NCAA Championships.
Led by Canadian Olympian Marissa Kurtimah, Missouri State made some noise at their first indoor meet in September.
Kurtimah was joined by current roster teammates sophomore sprinter Asha Cave and redshirt senior sprinter Holly Pattie-Belleli at the NCAA Championships last season. The trio along with the now-graduated Shavonne Husbands finished 21st in the 4x100-meter relay at last season’s NCAA Women’s Track and Field Championships.