UK upsets No. 2 Michigan to reach regional finals
Kentucky's softball team knocked off No. 2 Michigan 7-6 on Saturday to advance to the regional finals in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The 21st-ranked Wildcats are one win away from advancing to their first NCAA Super Regional. Michigan followed the loss with a 9-8 win against Notre Dame and will play the Wildcats in the finals at 1 p.m. Sunday. The game will air live on ESPN.
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Kentucky (38-14) was led by senior Samantha DeMartine, who was 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI. The win followed Friday's opening victory against Notre Dame.
"That's very important (winning the first two games), especially if our offense continues to do what it's been doing; and with our deep pitching staff, we don't have to worry about them (the opponent) tiring one of our pitchers out," UK Coach Rachel Lawson said. "We have a lot of options, so this is a good situation for us to be in."
Junior Brittany Cervantes was 1-for-1 Saturday and drew a pair of walks. She scored three runs to break the UK single-season record for runs scored with 54. Sophomore Alice O'Brien and freshman Emily Jolly both had two-run singles.
Junior Chanda Bell earned her second win of the post-season. She had five strikeouts and is the first player in school history with 700 for her career. Rachel Riley entered in the seventh with UK clinging to a one-run lead and got three quick outs for the save.
U of L to get George Mason transfer
Sophomore forward Luke Hancock is transferring from George Mason, and the school said he plans to enroll at Louisville.
Hancock averaged 10.9 points last season. He scored 18 and hit a key three-pointer late in George Mason's victory over Villanova in its NCAA Tournament opener. New George Mason Coach Paul Hewitt, hired when Jim Larranaga left for Miami, said Saturday the Patriots "are sad to have him leave" but "respect Luke's decision."
■ Already looking for a replacement for another assistant, Memphis Coach Josh Pastner now needs to find two. Glynn Cyprien, the Tigers' lead assistant the past two seasons, is joining Texas A&M under Coach Billy Kennedy. Another assistant, Willis Wilson, was named the head coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Cyprien was an assistant at Kentucky under Billy Gillispie.
Ready's Rocket sets record at Churchill
Ready's Rocket became the first horse to win nine races at Churchill Downs. Trained by Tim Glyshaw and ridden by Calvin Borel, Ready's Rocket took the second race by a neck over Red Rally. The 8-year-old gelding has all nine of his Churchill Downs victories on the main track. Six other horses had won eight races at Churchill Downs since 1991, which is the first year detailed information was gathered by Equibase.
■ Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Headache swept past early leader Da Da Da Dum midway on the far turn and cruised to a 71/2-length victory over Northern Giant to win the 17th Annual AFA Classic at Churchill Downs. Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Miguel Mena, Headache covered the 11⁄16 miles on a fast main track in 1:42.61. Stay Put was third.
Awesome Maria wins Belmont's Shuvee
Awesome Maria won a third straight stakes, beating Absinthe Minded by a head Saturday in the $150,000 Shuvee Handicap for filles and mares at Belmont Park. Javier Castellano was aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher as the 4-year-old improved to 6-for-11. Spa City Princess finished third.
■ Apprentice jockey Ryan Curatolo rode four winners, including a 53-1 shot, Saturday at Belmont Park. Curatolo, from France, got off to a fast start, winning the first race aboard Hot Money, the fourth on Seattle Louie and the sixth on Street Game. The 19-year-old's fourth win came aboard extreme long shot Can't Refuse in the eighth race. Curatolo is sixth in the Belmont standings with 14 wins.
■ Successful Mission drew off in the stretch to win the $75,000 Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth Park, beating Hockley by 7¼ lengths.
DQ hands Milady victory to Ultra Blend
Heavy favorite St Trinians was disqualified after crossing the wire first in the $150,000 Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park, giving 5-year-old mare Ultra Blend her third straight victory and her first graded stakes title. St Trinians and jockey Joe Talamo rallied from the back of the pack of seven fillies and mares as expected in the Grade II Milady, but the Hollywood Park stewards judged that she drifted in during the stretch run and demoted her to fourth place, leaving Ultra Blend and rider David Flores the winners. It was the first disqualification in a graded stakes at Hollywood Park in nearly 10 years. "She came over a little bit, but right when I felt her leaning in I grabbed her right away," Talamo said. "I don't think she deserved to be disqualified. ... What can you do?"
Lightning rally, even series with Bruins
Mike Smith was perfect in relief of goalie Dwayne Roloson, and Simon Gagne snapped a tie in the third period for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who erased an early three-goal deficit and evened the Eastern Conference finals with a 5-3 win in Game 4 over the Boston Bruins on Saturday in Tampa, Fla.
Roloson was pulled in the first period after he allowed three goals on nine shots. Smith came on and made 21 saves as the Lightning avoided dropping into a big hole against the surging Bruins. Boston will host Game 5 on Monday.
Teddy Purcell scored twice in the second period when the Lightning tied it at 3. Tampa Bay also got a goal from Sean Bergenheim, who leads the NHL with nine playoff goals after scoring 14 times during the regular season. Martin St. Louis sealed the win in the final minute with an empty-net goal.
The last word
Ken Killebrew caught father Harmon's 498th career home run, but that's not the best part. How Ken, then 13, happened to be in the left field stands at Metropolitan Stadium in 1971 was more revealing. He told the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
"He wanted to know what I was doing out there. We weren't allowed to have cake and candy and ice cream and sugar and pop and stuff. Mom and Dad were real strict about our diet. It was all health food — whole-wheat this, whole-wheat that, organic everything. We had a garden. So I was out there (in the left-field stands) pigging out on Frosty Malts and hot dogs, so nobody could tell on me."