Overturned call helps softball Cats beat Vols in extra innings
Sophomore Kara Dill's walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning gave the Kentucky softball team a 5-4 victory over Tennessee at the UK Softball Compex on Sunday.
With the bases loaded, Dill hit a chopper through the right side that nicked UK's Megan Yocke on her way to second. The umpires initially ruled runner's interference, but after deliberating with both coaches, it was determined Tennessee's second baseman had a chance to make a play on the ball before it struck the base runner. The ruling enabled pinch runner Ellen Weaver to score the winning run and give Kentucky (16-4, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) its first series victory over Tennessee (20-4, 1-2) since 2000.
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UK junior Chanda Bell struck out 10 and allowed two hits in six innings of relief. Yocke's three-run homer in the seventh inning sent the game to extra innings.
Baseball: Sophomore Jordan Cooper allowed one run over 62⁄3 innings, and host Kentucky (9-7) rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat Niagara 2-1. Freshman Lucas Witt, a Lexington Christian graduate, blooped a one-out single down the left-field line to tie it at 2 in the seventh. Two batters later, Taylor Black grounded out with the bases loaded to score Brian Adams with the go-ahead run. Senior reliever Mike Kaczmarek recorded a six-out save for the Cats.
Men's tennis: No. 11 Kentucky stormed to a 3-1 lead but couldn't hold on in a 4-3 loss to No. 9 Georgia at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. UK earned the doubles point with a pair of upsets, then got singles wins from junior Alex Musialek and sophomore Anthony Rossi. But Georgia (12-3, 4-0 SEC) won on all three singles courts to stay undefeated in the SEC. Perhaps the biggest upset of the day for UK (13-5, 2-2) was the win by senior Brad Cox and junior Eric Quigley that clinched the doubles point. The tandem knocked off No. 6 Javier Garripiz and Hernus Pieters 9-8 (3) in a tiebreaker.
Ex-Sabre Martin dies in car accident
Rick Martin, a member of the Buffalo Sabres' famed French Connection line in the 1970s, died after being involved in a one-car accident on Sunday. He was 59. The team announced Martin's death in a statement before Sunday's game against the Ottawa Senators. New York State Police said Martin died in a one-car crash earlier in the day in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence. Police said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
"Rick was not only one of the greatest players in franchise history, he was a great friend to the Sabres organization and entire community," read a statement released by the Sabres.
British hoops teams get automatic bids
The international basketball federation cleared Britain's men's and women's teams to compete in the 2012 London Olympics without qualifying. The world governing body FIBA gave the teams a special exemption at a central board meeting Sunday after receiving guarantees that the host will improve its long-term basketball program after the games. The British men's team could feature Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, Ben Gordon of the Detroit Pistons and former NBA player Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who now plays for Lyon-Villeurbane of the French league.
Kurt Busch ousted in drag-racing debut
Former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch was eliminated in the first round of the NHRA Gatornationals in his professional drag-racing debut Sunday. Erica Enders, the only woman in the 16-driver field, edged Busch by half a car length on the quarter-mile drag strip in Gainesville, Fla. Enders, the No. 5 seed, covered the distance in 6.538 seconds. The 12th-seeded Busch crossed the finish line in 6.541 seconds.
The 2004 Sprint Cup champion felt great about his first race, though, especially since he rebounded from two error-filled qualifying runs Friday and enjoyed a solid weekend. "We just came up short," Busch said. "It's three-hundredths of a second, and in this game of drag racing, that's enough to put you back on the trailer. I feel we can hang our heads high about this. It was a fantastic enjoyment all weekend."
Nebraska-Omaha drops football program
The University of Nebraska at Omaha announced Sunday that it plans to switch to the Summit League for Division I play and eliminate its football and wrestling programs. The school said it received an offer Friday to join the conference, which does not compete in those sports, starting in 2012. UNO currently competes in Division II, except for men's ice hockey, which is Division I. The school relies on hockey to generate revenue for the athletic department's 14 other sports, and the football and wrestling programs lose money. But the wrestling team won its third straight NCAA D-II championship on Saturday.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Texas player collapses on court, dies
A South Texas high school basketball player died after collapsing during a timeout at a tournament in Austin, coaches said. Roma High School junior Robert Garza, 16, was playing in the AAU tournament on Saturday with the Hoopsters, a South Texas club team, when he collapsed without any warning. "It's unexplainable. He got a glass of water. He 'high-fived' Pablo Adame (a Hoopster teammate) and then it just happened. He collapsed," Hoopster coach Arnold Martinez told The Monitor of McAllen. The cause of death was not yet known, Martinez said. "During pregame warm-ups, he was dunking the ball and laughing with his teammates. Everything looked good," he told the newspaper.
Germany won't go to Japan for worlds
While international skating officials consider whether to cancel next week's world figure skating championships in Tokyo, Germany announced Sunday it won't send its team. Germany has told citizens not travel to Japan, crippled by an earthquake and tsunami, and the German Ice Skating Union said in a statement it will follow that recommendation. The worlds are scheduled to begin March 21.
Cotto stops Mayorga in 12th round
Miguel Cotto fought with discipline for 11 rounds before unleashing a vicious left hook in the 12th round Saturday night that put an exclamation point on his successful defense of his 154-pound title against wild-swinging Ricardo Mayorga. The hook dropped Mayorga and he quit a few seconds later, ending an entertaining bout in Las Vegas between two boxers trying to resurrect their careers. "It was a really good fight with an amazing finish," said Cotto (36-2), who was ahead by five points on all three ringside scorecards entering the final round. Mayorga (29-8-1) said it wasn't the effects of the left hook that made him quit, but an injury to his thumb during the exchange.
The last word
ESPN analyst and former coach Jeff Van Gundy, on the network's new documentary about Michigan's "Fab Five."
"How can you call that the greatest class in history when Kentucky had five first-rounders last year?