Athletic success now nearly routine at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri baseball team is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh straight year.

The Tigers (34-25) face Western Kentucky (39-18) Friday at a regional site in Oxford, Miss. Seven other Big 12 Conference teams will join Missouri in the postseason tournament.

Such athletic success is becoming routine at a school that until recently was known more for its high-profile heartbreaks than signature wins. Missouri is the first team in Big 12 history to send teams to the championship game in football, baseball and men's basketball in the same academic year.

And the Missouri softball team (50-10) returns to the Women's College World Series for the first time in 15 years after winning 2 of 3 games against 11-time champion UCLA in southern California.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.