Other Sports

Sports briefs: March 21


Edwards, Keselowski smiling after NASCAR meeting

It took roughly 40 minutes with NASCAR for Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski to put their long-simmering feud to rest. At least that's how it appeared as the two drivers exited their highly anticipated Saturday meeting at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.

"We laughed. We cried. In the end, I think it's going to be good," said Edwards, who playfully slapped at Keselowski's shoulder as the drivers hustled to their cars after the meeting.

NASCAR President Mike Helton summoned Edwards, Keselowski and their car owners into his at-track office to discuss a long-running feud between the drivers that exploded when Edwards intentionally wrecked Keselowski two weeks ago in Atlanta. The accident caused Keselowski's car to sail into the air before bouncing on its hood.

Both drivers vowed to move on in their relationship.

"Hopefully it will be productive to where we can move forward and continue to race each other hard and not have any more incidents like we did at Atlanta," Keselowski said. "You have to understand that Carl and I have a mutual respect. In a sense, we're almost the same people. We come from similar backgrounds and drive the same way. ... I had a lot of respect for him before and after the accident, so hopefully that will stay the same."

Justin Allgaier held off Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski to grab his first career NASCAR victory. Allgaier passed Keselowski on a restart with 27 laps remaining in the Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday. Keselowski led 73 laps but finished second. Kyle Busch was third and was followed by Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick.

Major league baseball

Wellemeyer pitches Giants past Reds

Todd Wellemeyer pitched five innings and Aubrey Huff hit a two-run home run on Saturday to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 6-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Wellemeyer, an Eastern graduate, gave up four hits, walked two and struck out three in five innings. It was the longest a Giants starter has pitched this spring.

Huff's home run, off left-hander Travis Wood in the first inning, was his third of the spring. Edgar Renteria also homered off Wood.

Hunter Pence continues to pick up the slack for an injured Lance Berkman this spring in the Houston Astros' lineup. Pence, a former Lexington Legend, smacked two doubles, scored two runs and drove in three more in an 8-6 win over the New York Yankees. Pence is hitting .467 and leads the team with 14 RBI. Astros starting shortstop Tommy Manzella, who also played for the Legends, strained his right quadriceps while trying to beat out a throw in the third and Manager Brad Mills said it could be at least a week until he's back on the field.

Stephen Strasburg was sent to the minor leagues on Saturday by the Washington Nationals, who told baseball's top pitching prospect he needed to slow down his delivery from the stretch in order to speed up his arrival in the majors. The Nationals optioned the 21-year-old Strasburg, the top overall pick in June's draft, to Double-A Harrisburg. Displaying a fastball that reached 98 mph and a slider-curve hybrid that hitters had trouble reading out of his hand, Strasburg went 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA, allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out 12 in nine innings this spring.

Kerry Wood went one full season in Cleveland without making a trip to the disabled list. He won't make it two. The Indians' closer, with a long history of injuries and surgeries, could miss two months with a strained muscle in his upper back, an injury that was not initially believed to be serious. Trainer Lonnie Soloff said Wood will be out a minimum of six weeks.


Breeden defends NCAA title in 200 fly

Elaine Breeden, a Trinity Christian Academy graduate swimming for Stanford, defended her 200-yard butterfly title, winning the event for the third time in four years at the NCAA championships in West Lafayette, Ind. Breeden clocked a 1:52.39, crushing the pool record of 1:54.19 owned by Mary DeScenza since 2005. Breeden owns the NCAA, U.S. Open and American records with a 1:49.92 from last year's Pac-10 Championships. Breeden also became the only three-time winner of the event behind DeScenza and fellow Kentuckian Mary T. Meagher, who won four times.

■ Kentucky's softball team improved to 19-9 overall and 4-3 in the Southeastern Conference with a pair of victories against visiting Arkansas on Saturday. Destinee Mordecai and Brittany Cervantes both had solo home runs and Rachel Riley earned the win in the Cats' 5-0 victory in the opener. Chanda Bell earned her 11th victory of the season in a 4-2 win in the second game.

■ Former Ryle High School standout Kyle Ruschell finished fourth at 149 pounds in the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Omaha, Neb. Ruschell, who wrestles for Wisconsin, lost in the second round, but won four matches in the consolation bracket to get back to the third-place match. He lost 5-4 to Oklahoma's Kyle Terry. Ruschell was third last year at the NCAAs. ... Richard Starks, a senior from Woodford County, wrestled for Army and won one match and lost two at 197 pounds. ... Iowa had already clinched its third straight national title before Saturday's matches began.


Furyk on verge of ending 58-tourney skid

Jim Furyk was one round away from ending the longest drought of his career since he was a rookie. Furyk made consecutive birdies on the back Saturday at Palm Harbor, Fla., to pull away from the pack and finished off a bogey-free round of 4-under 67 to build a three-shot lead in the Transition Championship. He has not won since the Canadian Open in 2007, a span of 58 tournaments.

■ Germany's Anja Monke won her third Ladies European Tour title at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco on Saturday, closing with a 3-under-69 for a one stroke victory over Carin Koch of Sweden. Former University of Kentucky standout Mallory Blackwelder, a tour rookie making her season debut, shot 1-under in the final round to finish eight shots backs at even-par 216.

Derrick Rose scored 23 points in his return from a sprained left wrist, and the Chicago Bulls snapped their losing streak at 10 games with a 98-84 victory over the host Philadelphia 76ers.

Wladimir Klitschko knocked out Eddie Chambers in the 12th and final round to retain his WBO and IBF heavyweight belts Saturday at Duesseldorf, Germany.

The last word

NASCAR legend Richard Petty has a solution for feuding drivers that doesn't include on-track retaliation. Petty, the seven-time Cup champion, raised his fist to show how drivers resolved arguments during his racing years:

"If that would have been in our day, the two parties would have penalized each other before it was all over with."