Other Sports

Sports briefs: Feb. 27

Colleges

Softball's Matousek throws UK's second no-hitter

The University of Kentucky softball team won a pair of games Friday in the Frost Classic at Chattanooga.

In the opener, senior Amber Matousek tossed a no-hitter as Kentucky beat Evansville 8-0. Later, UK erupted for 12 hits in a 7-2 victory over Kansas.

The Cats (10-2) play two more games Saturday at the Frost Classic — versus Lipscomb at 12:30 p.m. and against host Chattanooga at 3 p.m.

Matousek's no-hitter in Friday morning's game was just the second in UK history. She faced 21 batters in the five-inning game, striking out eight and walking seven to beat Evansville in its season opener. UK supported Matousek (2-1) with eight runs on 11 hits. Megan Yocke, Meagan Aull, Natalie Smith and Kara Dill each had two hits. Aull and Yocke each had two RBI.

In the victory over Kansas (5-6), Yocke and Molly Johnson struck for home runs and finished with two RBI each. The win was Kentucky's seventh in a row. Kentucky sophomore Chanda Bell (5-1) allowed two runs on three hits, struck out 14 and walked one.

■ Western Carolina's baseball team scored eight runs in the third inning en route to an 11-4 victory against Eastern Kentucky in the Colonels' season opener at Cullowhee, N.C. EKU senior Anthony Ottrando had two solo home runs, and junior Jayson Langfels added a two-run shot.

Baseball

Reds' Burke nursing broken finger

Chris Burke jokingly blames his father for his broken finger. The Cincinnati Reds' utilityman broke his right ring finger during a drill Thursday in Goodyear, Ariz. He kidded that if his dad hadn't taught him the proper way to catch a popup, he wouldn't be sidelined now.

"I told my dad, thanks a lot for teaching me to catch it two-handed. If I'd hot-dogged it, I'd never have broken my finger," Burke said Friday. The Reds said Burke's finger will be in a splint for two weeks and he is expected to be able to resume baseball activity in about three weeks.

Burke finished the 2009 season in the Braves' system after parts of six seasons with the Astros, Diamondbacks and Padres. He signed a minor-league deal with Cincinnati in December.

"For me, it's always been a dream to play for the Reds because of where I grew up, in Louisville, Ky., in the shadows of Cincinnati," said Burke, who graduated from St. Xavier. "When they had an interest, my interest had always been there, so I jumped at the opportunity."

Burke was a first-round pick by Houston in 2001 out of Tennessee. As a rookie in 2005, his solo home run ended the 18-inning NL playoff game against the Braves, leading Houston to the World Series.

"He killed us when he was in Houston, he was a pretty good player," Reds Manager Dusty Baker said. "At the University of Tennessee, he was one of the most highly touted guys around. At 29, he's certainly not old, he's interesting to me. I was asking him what happened, because I know he can hit. He said he was hurt. Most of the time if a guy can hit and he doesn't hit, there's something wrong psychologically or he's hurt."

Now, though, his hopes of making the Reds are in trouble because of a simple popup drill on Thursday. Burke said he was drifting back on the ball and put his top hand up a split-second too soon, it landed on the tip of his finger. X-rays on Thursday indicated there was a fracture in the base of the finger.

For Burke, it's especially disappointing not to be on the field, considering he's new to the organization and trying to make the team and a good impression.

"The timing couldn't be worse, but it's my reality and I'm going to have to deal with it," Burke said. "I'm just going to have to stay in shape and get back as soon as I can."

■ Court records show Barry Bonds' wife of 12 years has filed for divorce in Los Angeles. Liz Watson filed to end the couple's marriage on Thursday. She cited irreconcilable differences, and documents state the couple have already reached a settlement agreement.

NASCAR

Kurt Busch wins pole at home track

Kurt Busch visited Victory Lane last year at his home track.

He was there to congratulate his little brother, Kyle, who became the first Busch brother to win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

He wants his own party this year.

Kurt Busch shattered his brother's track record Friday with a pole-winning role at Las Vegas.

"I'm pretty stoked," Kurt Busch said. "It's something you can't count your chickens before they've hatched, but this would be a special win. It's hard to play what-if."

Busch turned a lap of 188.719 mph to claim the top starting spot for Sunday's race. Jeff Gordon was second with a lap at 188.646. Ryan Newman qualified third and was followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch.

Kurt Busch, who is winless in nine previous starts at Las Vegas, credited new crew chief Steve Addington for his strong qualifying run. Addington was Kyle Busch's crew chief for Kyle's win here last year. He was fired in October from Joe Gibbs Racing, and Kurt Busch hired him in December for his team.

"Steve Addington definitely has his game on for this place," Kurt Busch said.

Golf

Wilson, Villegas tied for Phoenix lead

Mark Wilson shared the lead with Camilo Villegas halfway through the Phoenix Open after birdies on the final four holes of the second round at Scottsdale, Ariz. Villegas slipped into a tie at 11-under 131 after 36 holes when he missed a 14-foot putt for par on the 18th Friday. The 28-year-old Colombian tied the tournament first-round record with a 9-under 62 on Thursday.

Angela Stanford shot a 1-under 71 on Friday for a share of the lead with Song-Hee Kim after the second round of the HSBC Champions at Singapore.

■ Add Gatorade to the list of endorsement deals that Tiger Woods has lost. A spokesperson for the drink, sold by PepsiCo Inc., confirmed late Friday that it had ended its relationship with the golfer. "We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship," she said. "We wish him all the best."

Etc.

One Chinese gymnast underage in 2000

China should be stripped of its bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics because one member of the squad has been found to be underage, international gymnastics officials said Friday. Dong Fangxiao was 14 during the Sydney Games, according to the International Gymnastics Federation. Gymnasts must be 16 during the Olympic year to compete. The FIG has "cancelled" all of Dong's results from Sydney, and forwarded the results of its investigation to the International Olympic Committee. Because the case involves the Olympics, it is up to the IOC to decide if China should lose any medals. The United States was fourth at the Sydney Games.

■ Defending champion Novak Djokovic edged unseeded Marcos Baghdatis 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4 Friday to reach the finals of the Dubai Championships. Djokovic will play Mikhail Youzhny, who defeated Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 7-6 (4).

The last word

For NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, one of the hardest parts of racing at Las Vegas this weekend was having to leave his day-old baby. Anne Edwards was born to Carl and wife Kate on Wednesday. Said Edwards on Friday:

"When I left, I kind of looked back. I was driving my truck and I thought, 'Wow, I have a family.' That's pretty interesting. So it's definitely a different emotion than I've ever had."

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