Digest for 04-24-14


CORRECTION

Woodlawn baseball player Taylor Stitt was misidentified in a story and photo cutline that appeared in Sunday’s issue.

LOCAL

Lady Lions fall to Lady Mulriders

The Arkansas-Pine Bluff softball team coudn’t overcome a slow start in falling to Division II Southern Arkansas on Wednesday at the Torii Hunter Softball Complex.

SAU scored the first seven runs of the game en route to a 9-4 victory.

After SAU’s initial surge, UAPB (7-31) scored four straight runs to cut the deficit to three before the Lady Muleriders (29-22) put the game away with two runs in the top of the seventh.

Kelsey Ridgeway and Paige Garcia led the UAPB offense. Ridgeway was the only Lady Lion to get mulitple hits and she also scored a run. Garcia had a two-run homer in the sixth inning.

Weevils fourth in initial regional rankings

INDIANAPOLIS — Heading into the final weekend of the 2014 regular season, the Arkansas-Monticello baseball team has been ranked No. 4 in the initial NCAA Division II Regional Rankings for the Central region.

UAM is one of three teams representing the Great American Conference in the first published rankings of the year. Arkansas Tech is ranked No. 1, followed by Southern Arkansas at No. 2. The Central region consists of all teams from the GAC, Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

Minnesota State-Mankato ranks No. 3 this week, followed by UAM at No. 4, St. Cloud State at No. 5, Augustana at No. 6, Emporia State at No. 7 and Central Missouri at No. 8. The top six teams from each region are placed into the regional tournament following the conclusion of all conference championship events.

Burke helps Sheridan edge El Dorado

EL DORADO — Sheridan pitcher Morgan Burke came through with a big hit to help earn herself the win on Wednesday afternoon.

With the game scoreless, Burke hit a two-run single in the top of the seventh as Sheridan topped El Dorado for a 2-1 win.

On the mound, Burke had 12 strikeouts to just three hits and one walk as she went the distance.

Madison Crosby and Olivia Reed scored on Burke’s single as Sheridan improved to 19-1 overall and 7-0 in the 7A/6A-South Conference.

Woodlawn scores two late to defeat Strong

STRONG — Jordan Wylie broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh — scoring on a double that got by the centerfielder — and Laney Nelson added an insurance run with a home run as Woodlawn defeated Strong 5-3 Wednesday night.

Wylie finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Nelson finished 2 for 3 with the home run and a double. Madisyn Stewart was 2 for 4.

Lily Henderson picked up the win after pitching a complete game, allowing four hits and striking out six.

The Lady Bears (15-3, 6-1 in 7-2A East) scored two in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh. Strong scored two in the first and one in the fifth.

Woodlawn will host Bearden today for the conference championship beginning at 4:30 p.m.

REGIONAL

Mavericks even series with Spurs

SAN ANTONIO — Monta Ellis provided 21 points and Shawn Marion scored 20, and Dallas took advantage of sloppy play by the Spurs to rout San Antonio, 113-92, in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

The Mavericks could have easily been up 2-0 in the series against the West’s top seed, but lost the opener, 90-85, Sunday despite leading by double digits in the fourth quarter.

The Mavs turned it around on Wednesday by forcing 24 Spurs turnovers, which led to 33 points. Dallas snapped a 10-game skid against the Spurs.

NATIONAL

Heat grab 2-0 lead on Bobcats

MIAMI — LeBron James had the best highlight. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade hit the biggest shots.

James scored 32 points and the Miami Heat pulled away again to beat the feisty Charlotte Bobcats, 101-97, in Game 2 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

The Heat took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into Saturday’s Game 3 in Charlotte, but not without a little more resistance than they might have expected from the only current NBA franchise without a postseason win.

Bosh added 20 points and Wade scored 15 in the win. The three stars combined to score 19 of Miami’s 22 points in the fourth quarter.

Yankees’ Pineda ejected for pine tar use

BOSTON — This time, Michael Pineda couldn’t get away with using a foreign substance.

The New York Yankees pitcher was ejected in the bottom of the second inning of Wednesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox after being found to have pine tar on the side of his neck.

With two out and Grady Sizemore batting in the bottom of the second, home plate umpire Gerry Davis was requested by Red Sox manager John Farrell to check the right-hander for illegal materials on his body.

Davis touched a brownish substance that appeared to be pine tar on the right side of the pitcher’s neck and immediately tossed him from the game, which Boston eventually won by a 5-1 score.

Phoenix’s Dragic named Most Improved Player

NEW YORK — Phoenix’s Goran Dragic was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for the 2013-14 season on Wednesday.

Dragic received 65 first-place votes and 408 points from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.

Indiana’s Lance Stephenson finished second with 158 points, while New Orleans’ Anthony Davis was third with 155 points.

Dragic, a five-year veteran, averaged a career-best 20.3 points, 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game this season to help the Suns to a 48-34 record — a 23-win improvement from the season prior. The 6-foot-4 guard came into the season with a scoring average of 9.5 points per game over his career.