Chattanooga State will not be repeating as NJCAA national softball champion, but Lady Tigers sophomore Lacye Walker from Grace Academy was the 2013 TCCAA most valuable player after the team's third-place league finish. She was joined on the all-conference first team by teammates Khadija Neely, Marina Wilkerson and Courtney Clark, and pitcher Haley Fagan was a second-team selection. Aaron Wright, Jordan McDonald and Casey Mannion were all-conference first-teamers from the Chattanooga State baseball team, which had pitcher Tyler McClure on the second team. Two of regular-season champion Walter State's three first-team baseball honorees were Tennessee transfer Jared Allen from Polk County and former Chatt State pitcher Taylor Patterson from Murray County. The Senators (35-16) will hostthe four-team NJCAA East Central district tournament starting May 16.
• Kentucky pitcher Kelsey Nunley from Soddy-Daisy made the Southeastern Conference all-freshman softball team when league honors were announced Tuesday. Tennessee senior Lauren Gibson was the player of the year and joined on the All-SEC first team by Lady Vols teammates Raven Chavanne, Madison Shipman and Kat Dotson.
• The NAIA Opening Series baseball tournament hosted by Lee University will include 18th-ranked Madonna, No. 24 LSU Shreveport, Avila and Grand View in addition to the nationally third-ranked Flames. Lee plays its first game Thursday at 7 p.m. against the winner of the day's opener between Avila (from Missouri) and Grand View (from Iowa). In Kingsport, Tenn., eighth-ranked and defending national champion Tennessee Wesleyan will host 19th-ranked Point Park, No. 20 Missouri Baptist, Taylor and Benedictine-Springfield.
• Baylor setter Megan Kaylor confirmed her commitment Tuesday to continue her volleyball career at NCAA Division III member Maryville College. Kaylor made her first visit to the campus during her junior year and said she's been several times since to watch the team play. She began playing volleyball at Ocoee Middle in seventh grade and was primarily a hitter the first three years. After her freshman season, which was her first at Baylor and on the junior varsity, she approached Lady Red Raiders coach Sarah Lail and asked what she needed to do to be promoted to varsity. Lail suggested trying setter and began working with her toward making that move. "I was really nervous at first," Kaylor said. "It was kind of frustrating because things were so different. As a hitter you've got to be greedy and want the ball. As a setter you've got to run the game, run the plays. It's your responsibility to put the hitters in the best possible positions. You're getting a touch on the ball every single play. Once I got the hang of it, I've loved every minute of it." Kaylor had 910 assists last season and 1,509 for her career. She also had 255 of her 447 career digs last year along with 87 of her 193 aces and 88 of her 129 kills. "It's really a testament to the hard work she's put in over a three-year period," Lail said. "We appreciate her hard work and dedication to the program. We're just real excited for her opportunity. We're grateful for what she did for us and wish her the best of luck."
• Drew Lyness has been hired as girls' basketball coach at Soddy-Daisy High School. He succeeds David Casteel, who resigned after last season. Lyness has taught at Soddy-Daisy the last two years and was Casteel's assistant both years. Lyness met with principal John Maynard, who promoted him earlier this week. "We've got such a great group of girls," Lyness said. "We've got a great group of parents. I just love being part of the Soddy-Daisy community." The Lady Trojans were 10-16 last season but did not win a game in rugged District 5-AAA, finishing seventh among seven teams for the second consecutive year. Only post player Sydney Orr graduated off last year's team. "The girls have been devoted in the offseason," Lyness said. "Our goal is to improve. At halftime we don't want to be out of games. We've got to be a more complete team." Lyness will continue to be an assistant football coach and is the only holdover from the previous staff.
• Five Baylor football players will have Division III commitment ceremonies this evening at the school. The five are cornerback Mike Davis (Williams College), safety Russell Burton (Millsaps), wide receiver Joey Rogers (Rhodes), two-way tackle Derek Green (Sewanee) and linebacker Jaylen Simmons (Emory & Henry). Four Red Raiders who signed or committed previously are linebacker Colton Jumper (Navy), cornerback Landry Taylor (Davidson), receiver Jeff Bowens (Mercer) and safety Bryce Reynolds (Maryville).
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