Softball team, seeded 12th overall, to host NCAA regional
Kentucky's softball team earned the 12th overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host a regional for the first time in school history. The Cats (38-18) will open against Marshall (35-20) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at John Cropp Stadium.
The double-elimination regional's other opening pairing has Virginia Tech (35-19) playing Notre Dame (43-13) at 5 p.m. Friday. All Lexington regional games will be broadcast online at ESPN3.com.
The regional will continue Saturday with the championship game scheduled for Sunday.
"After the crowds we had this week for the SEC Tournament, I know the Big Blue Nation is going to come out in droves to provide us with a home-field advantage," Coach Rachel Lawson said. "Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Marshall are three very good teams that present a lot of challenges. We are going to work hard this week in practice to get ready to go Friday night."
All-session passes will be available to purchase at 9 a.m. Monday. Reserved seats (age 2 and up) are $30. General admission (age 2 and up) are $20. The passes will be available for purchase online at UKathletics.com, in person at the Joe Craft Center ticket office or by phone at 1-800-928-2287.
■ Louisville earned the 15th overall seed and will host IPFW on Friday. UAB will face UCLA in the other matchup in that regional.
■ Western Kentucky, in the tournament for the first time in school history, will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to play South Carolina Upstate in its NCAA opener on Friday. Host Alabama, the 10th overall seed, will play Jacksonville State.
■ Oklahoma (47-4) earned the top overall seed.
■ Eleven Southeastern Conference schools made it into the field. Besides Kentucky and Alabama, there was Florida (seeded second overall), Missouri (sixth), Tennessee (seventh), LSU (ninth), Texas A&M (16th), Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi State and South Carolina.
Oswald wins her 2nd SEC distance title
One day after winning the SEC women's 10,000-meter run, Kentucky's Chelsea Oswald returned to capture the women's 5,000-meter run in a time of 16:01.50, just off the meet record at the Southeastern Conference Championships at Columbia, Mo. She became the first Kentucky athlete to win the event since Valerie McGovern in 1990. Florida's Agata Strausa was second in 16:09.41, while Kentucky's Cally Macumber was third in 16:11.77.
Arkansas' Patrick Rono claimed the men's 1,500-meter title in a time of 3:50.22. UK's Matt Hillenbrand (3:50.78) and Keffri Neal (3:51.06) placed second and third, respectively.
LSU's Rodney Brown won the men's SEC discus title with a mark of 203 feet, 1 inch, breaking a five-year streak by Kentucky in the event. The Cats' Andrew Evans, the 2012 SEC champion, was second with a mark of 194 feet, 4 inches.
Arkansas' men and Texas A&M's women won the team titles.
Warford 'a lot better' after injury scare
Former Kentucky standout Larry Warford, an offensive lineman drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, participated on a limited basis in the team's rookie minicamp on Sunday, a day after injuring his neck during practice.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Warford suffered what appeared to be a stinger when he caught a teammate's elbow by accident. Sunday he went through some individual drills but was held out of team drills and contact work as a precaution.
"It gave everybody a little bit of a scare when anybody went down," Lions Coach Jim Schwartz told the newspaper. "But he bounced back quickly. But he came back out on the field yesterday, even though he didn't continue practice. He was feeling a lot better then.
"He could have gone through everything today. But we just limited him to just individual today. We didn't want him going through any of the half-line stuff or the team stuff or anything like that. So we made the decision on him just to err on the side of caution."
Otherwise, Schwartz told the Free Press that he was encouraged by Warford's start.
"He had a good weekend and it looks like we'll be able to put that behind us quickly hopefully," Schwartz said.
Warford grew more comfortable over three days, he said.
"Overall, the first practice it was kind of rough just getting into everything, trying to get used to playing with all the O-line and stuff and just learning everything," Warford told the newspaper. "But yesterday I felt like I did really well and improved on a lot of things eventually. I started learning the offense and started feeling more comfortable. So that helped me play a lot faster."
Baseball Louisville's McDonnell gets 300th win
The 10th-ranked Louisville baseball team earned its ninth series sweep of the season and gave Coach Dan McDonnell his 300th career win in the process. The Cardinals' 3-1 defeat of host Connecticut on Sunday was their 12th straight victory.
Junior right-hander Dace Kime struck out nine and allowed one run on four hits in 62⁄3 innings to win his third straight start.
West Virginia splits series with Legends
Tyler Glasnow struck out nine batters in five innings and Dilson Herrera hit a two-run home run as the West Virginia Power gained a split of a four-game series with a 6-2 victory over the Lexington Legends on Sunday afternoon at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Glasnow (3-0), who allowed two hits and one run, has a 1.80 ERA.
Rangers even series against Capitals
Henrik Lundqvist slammed his stick in disgust when an overtime loss in Washington put the New York Rangers on the brink of elimination. Two days later, the star goalie pumped his arm and let out an emphatic yell when his shutout kept the Rangers alive and set up a Game 7 in the nation's capital. Lundqvist was the difference Sunday in stopping 27 shots for his seventh NHL playoff shutout. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner was perfect in making Derick Brassard's second-period goal stand up in a 1-0 victory over the Capitals that forced a deciding game in the first-round Eastern Conference series.
Etc. Mathies makes WNBA pre-season debut
Former University of Kentucky star A'dia Mathies scored six points in her first WNBA pre-season game for the Los Angeles Sparks. L.A. lost 67-66 to the Seattle Storm. Mathies also had three rebounds and two assists in 16-plus minutes.
■ Brent Long, a former Western Kentucky standout who won the 2006 Sun Belt Conference individual championship, is part of the cast for the Golf Channel's Big Break Mexico. The newest season of the reality competition premieres at 8 p.m. Monday. The series includes 12 professionals (six men and six women) vying for an exemption for a PGA or LPGA event.
The last word
Golfer Jeff Maggert will remember one thing about this year's The Players Championship. Not his water ball on the famed island 17th hole that led to double-bogey Sunday. Not his birdie on 18, just the fifth of the day at the ultra-challenging closing hole. Not even his runner-up finish (by two shots), the 49-year-old Texan's best showing since winning the 2006 St. Jude Classic. Five three-putts stood out more than everything else at TPC Sawgrass:
"I gave away five shots. ... But it's a funny thing about this game. You put it behind you, you go to next week, you get up on the first tee on Thursday and you start all over. If you're worried about what happened four days prior, then you're not going to last very long out here."