After 0-17 start, Asbury earns berth in NAIA Tournament
Asbury University secured its first-ever trip to the NAIA national baseball tournament late Friday night with a 7-3 victory over 10th-ranked Point Park of Pittsburgh at Kinston, N.C. Asbury (18-37) will learn its first-round opponent and destination for the 46-team tournament on Sunday. Asbury earned its berth by winning the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, then beating Point Park (48-9) for the championship of an NAIA qualifying tournament in which it was seeded sixth among six teams. Point Park forced Friday night's game with a 15-7 victory over Asbury earlier in the day. Asbury is 7-1 in the post-season after finishing the regular season 11-36. Asbury junior Isaiah Bell held Point Park to one run and six hits over seven innings to win the clincher. During their eight post-season games the Eagles are hitting .346, averaging seven runs a game and have at least 10 hits in seven of those games. The pitching staff has a 3.55 ERA.
Cats claim first series ever from LSU
Seniors Brittany Cervantes, Rachel Riley and Chanda Bell helped clinch a 2-1 victory over No. 22 LSU (34-20, 15-12) to claim a series from the Tigers for the first time in school history Saturday. Cervantes hit her team-leading 12th home run of the season in the first and sophomore Ginny Carroll hit her seventh homer in the fifth inning to provide the game-winning run for the host Cats (28-27, 14-13). Riley (8-7) got the win, allowing one run in 61⁄3 innings. Bell got the last two outs for her third save. The season concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. Senior day ceremonies honoring Bell, Cervantes, Riley, Macy Allen, Ashleigh Gustafson and Erika Silence will begin around 12:30 p.m.
Simpson keeps home crowd happy
Webb Simpson, who lives about a mile from the Quail Hollow course in Charlotte, N.C., emerged from a crowded leader board with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole Saturday. He finished with a 3-under 69 for a one-shot lead in the Wells Fargo Championship.
"It seems like when guys on this level do get nervous, it seems like every time they focus a little better, they just tighten up their thoughts a lot better," Simpson said. "Seems like when I'm more nervous, for the most part, I play better. It's not a good thing when we get comfortable out there because you start getting lazy and losing focus on your target."
Simpson was among seven players who had a share of the lead at some point in the third round. One of them was Rory McIlroy, who can return to No. 1 in the world this week. McIlroy was slowed by a three-putt, but had a 66 and was among those two shots behind.
■ Fred Funk shot a 3-under 69 in sweltering heat for a share of the second-round lead with Tom Lehman in the Champions Tour's Insperity Championship in The Woodlands, Texas. Lehman followed his opening 65 with a 70 to match Funk at 9-under 135 on The Tournament Course.
But the main attraction Saturday was the grouping of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player in an exhibition scramble. Palmer curled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole, prompting a roar from the big gallery that followed the greats all day. The team of Nicklaus, Palmer and Player won the three-team event at 11 under.
■ Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum and France's Karine Icher each shot 7-under 66 to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour's 36-hole Brazil Cup exhibition event in Rio de Janeiro.
American Katie Futcher was a shot behind at Itanhanga Golf Club, and Norway's Suzann Pettersen matched Brittany Lang and Candie Kung at 68. Paula Creamer and Christina Kim shot 69.
■ England's Simon Dyson closed with a double bogey for a 1-under 71, leaving him with a one-stroke lead after the third round of the 100th Spanish Open in Seville, Spain.
Gordon takes pole at Talladega
Jeff Gordon won the pole for Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway. Gordon ran a lap at 191.623 mph in Saturday's qualifying session. It was good enough to bump AJ Allmendinger, who was on top of the board for most of the session with a lap of 191.111. Marcos Ambrose qualified third.
Gordon went out with only four cars left in the session. This is the 71st pole of Gordon's career, third on the career list. It's also his first since this race last year. Gordon has been stuck in a slump through the first nine races of this season, and has just two top-10 finishes so far. He is 17th in points.
■ Joey Logano nipped Kyle Busch at the finish line to win the Nationwide Series race at Talladega. The race was marred by a late accident that sent Eric McClure to an Alabama hospital by helicopter. McClure was awake and speaking to emergency workers following the accident, NASCAR officials said.
After the finish, Danica Patrick intentionally wrecked Sam Hornish Jr. on the cool down lap. It was apparent retaliation for Hornish squeezing Patrick on the last lap; he said he had a flat tire, but she wasn't buying the excuse from her former IndyCar colleague. He finished 12th. She ended 13th. Neither was called before NASCAR following the post-race skirmish.
Power-play goal lifts Capitals
Defenseman Mike Green's power-play goal with 5:48 left in regulation Saturday lifted the host Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the top-seeded New York Rangers, tying their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece. The series moves to New York for Game 5 on Monday night.
Chelsea tops Liverpool for FA Cup
Chelsea won the FA Cup for the fourth time in six seasons, beating Liverpool 2-1 Saturday on a second-half goal by Didier Drogba. Ramires capitalized on blunders by Liverpool to put Chelsea in front after 11 minutes in the 131st final. In the 52nd, Drogba scored his eighth goal in eight games at Wembley. Chelsea now awaits the Champions League final in two weeks, maintaining its strong play since Roberto Di Matteo became interim manager two months ago.
■ New York Jets coach Rex Ryan "absolutely" would like his son to continue playing football despite his suffering a concussion last season in high school. Asked Saturday after the Jets' second rookie minicamp practice about how some NFL players have said they'd rather their children not play the game in light of Junior Seau's death, Ryan said he's "proud that my kid plays. ... Obviously, you have concerns when that happens, but it's just one of those things, an unfortunate part of the game."
■ Kenyan runner George Towett won the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis with an unofficial time of 1 hour, 5 minutes, 8 seconds. Many of the 35,000 runners in the Indianapolis race struggled with humid conditions. Some runners including women's champion Lillian Mariita of Hebron received medical assistance. Mariita finished in 1:15.22.
■ Arizona State's Trent Lockett, the basketball team's leading scorer last season, says he will transfer to Marquette for his senior season to be closer to his mother, who has been diagnosed with cancer.
The last word
Junior Seau committed suicide Wednesday at age 43, stunning the football world. In the following days, former San Diego Chargers coach Bobby Ross shared a favorite moment with the star linebacker. Ross was a rookie NFL coach in the spring of 1992 when Seau turned and watched a pass sail downfield during a minicamp passing drill.
"I said, 'Repeat the play; Seau loafed,'" Ross said. Ross took Seau into his office after practice and showed him film of the play. "He turned to me and said, 'That will never happen again.' It never did."