Chattanooga State's 2012 national championship softball team is being honored as the state amateur team of the year at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame awards banquet May 4 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. It starts at 6:30 p.m. CDT. This year's inductees are former NBA star Penny Hardaway, former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck, former Tennessee football standouts Larry Seivers and Trey Teague, former Middle Tennessee State and NFL quarterback Kelly Holcomb, Belmont basketball coach Rick Byrd, Florida State basketball coach Leonard Hamilton and former Carson-Newman basketball star and coach Chris Jones, and music superstar and philanthropist Vince Gill is the 2012 Lifetime Achievement recipient. "Obviously we're excited and ecstatic," Chattanooga State athletic director Kim Smith said, "not only for our women's softball team but the Chattanooga State community as a whole. A lot of people have put a lot of effort in supporting all our teams. And the young ladies who made that national championship happen, we're very appreciative of all their hard work and effort." The head coach of the NJCAA Division I champs, Beth Keylon-Randolph, now is the head coach at East Carolina University, but a handful of the players remain. This year's Lady Tigers (25-9, 16-4) extended their winning streak to 11 by winning 8-4 and 4-1 over Southwest Tennessee in TCCAA play Saturday. Marina Wilkerson was 3-for-4 with two two-run homers in the first game, when Lacye Walker was 2-for-3 with a homer and Courtney Clark and Elyse Ferguson each was 2-for-3. Shelby Willard pitched a five-hitter in game two, when Emily Dagnan homered and Khadija Neely was 2-for-2 with a triple and a walk.
• Cleveland State downed visiting Jackson State 4-3 and 9-8 in TCCAA softball Saturday after losing 6-1 and winning 8-0 on a Kelsey Capella one-hitter Friday. Maura Ditto and Amber Covington homered for the host Lady Cougars (11-18, 8-15) and Amber Swaney punched a two-out tiebreaking bunt past the pitcher in the sixth inning of Saturday's first game, Ida Watson going all seven innings for the pitching win. Swaney scored the winning run in game two, after singling in the seventh inning. Ditto had a two-run double and a two-run single in that game.
• Lee University beat Brenau 9-1 and 8-1 in Southern States Athletic Conference softball Saturday in Cleveland, as Angie Hughes (14-1) pitched a six-hitting two-hitter and Caroline MacAusland (6-2) struck out eight batters while scattering 12 hits. Laurel Allen was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Jenevieve Cena hit a two-run homer and Lizzie Stevens, Lexie Dean, Charlie Wooden and Amanda Lynn had two hits each in game one for the Lady Flames (32-5, 17-2). Stevens had a three-run homer in the eight-run second inning in game two, when Allen was 2-for-3 and Wooden had two RBIs.
• Salem College came to Lookout Mountain and defeated Covenant 8-3 and 11-4 in Great South softball Saturday. Courtney Wagoner was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Chandler Shepherd was 3-for-4 and matched Jenni Jobe with two runs scored in game two for Covenant (2-22, 1-7).
• Stanford sophomore Ryan Schumacher from McCallie School finished 14th out of 169 competitors to help the Cardinal men's triathlon team win its first Western Collegiate Triathlon Conference team championship recently at San Luis Obispo, Calif. Schumacher qualified for the collegiate nationals this coming weekend in Tempe, Ariz., with his 2:07.35 finish for the 1500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10k run.
• Fort Payne High School's Luke Jennings was among four Cumberland University football signees announced Friday by coach Donnie Suber. The versatile Jennings was the Region 7 MVP last fall and more recently was the Area 10 basketball tournament MVP. He had more than 3,000 all-purpose yards in his Wildcats football career, with 1,109 rushing and 1,001 receiving, and totaled 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also has lettered two years in track and field and one in soccer.
• University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's tennis coach Jeff Clark will be the guest speaker, accompanied by assistants Grace Robinette and Reaves Robinette, for the Chattanooga Quarterback Club's noon luncheon meeting Monday at Finley Stadium. The public is invited. Attendance costs $10 with a meal, $4 without. The Lady Mocs took a 15-3 record into their match Saturday at Georgia Southern. Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin is booked for the April 29 meeting.
• UTC had 14 of its winter-sports athletes on the Winter Academic All-Southern Conference team announced this past week, including indoor track runners Rebecca Greenwall and Patrick O'Brien and wrestler John Lampe with 4.0 grade point averages. They were among 11 conference wide with perfect GPAs. The other Mocs and Lady Mocs on the academic team, which requires minimum GPAs of 3.3, were Kayla Freeman, Taylor Hall and Kayla Christopher from women's basketball; SoCon individual champions Nick Soto and Dean Pavlou from wrestling; and Morgan Buchanan, John Gilpin, Nathan Wanuch, Ambria Reese, Keeley Stewart and Blake Olson from track and field.
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