Chattanooga State sophomore first baseman Lacye Walker from Grace Academy is an NJCAA Division I softball first-team All-American after batting .521 with 15 home runs, 17 doubles, 16 walks, 65 RBIs and 47 runs scored in 45 games this season. She was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American last year, when she also was a national academic honoree and made the all-tournament team as the Lady Tigers won the national championship. "This is obviously well deserved," first-year Lady Tigers coach Blythe Golden said Thursday. "Lacye spent two years at Chatt State and had a phenomenal career. She set a lot of offensive records that will set the bar very high for future players in our program." Walker also pitched some this season and went 6-1 with a 1.34 earned run average and 48 strikeouts in 42 innings. The TCCAA player of the year, she has signed to continue her career at Armstrong Atlantic State. Kortney Koroll, a Canadian who played for Chattanooga State last year, returned to the national tournament with Weatherford College of Texas and was a 2013 second-team All-American. Walters State's Kelsey Weddle and Volunter State's Paige Cassidy were third-teamers.
• Loudon resident Garrett Willis completed his second run to a SunTrust State Open golf championship with a 72 on Thursday at Gaylord Springs Golf Links in Nashville. Two birdies on his last three holes gave him a 207 and a one-stroke win over Murfreesboro's Jason Millard, with Grant Leaver another stroke back after a 68. Former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golfers Derek Rende and Bryce Ledford, Signal Mountain's Caleb Roberson, Tullahoma's Jared Melson, McMinnville's Brett Patterson and Lee University golfer Peyton Sliger were in the group of 10 tying for 11th at 215.
• Lee University jumped from a tie for 14th into a tie for ninth with a 311 Thursday in the third round of the NAIA women's golf tournament at Lincoln, Neb. The Lady Flames are at 953 in the 27-team field, 33 shots behind leader Oklahoma City University. Bernadette Little continues to lead Lee with a 234, tied for 21st individually, and Courtney Shelton moved up to share 28th at 236, both with 77s. Sloane Skinner is at 238 after a 78.
• McCallie School graduate Chase Brookshire pitched Belmont University to a 6-3 losers-bracket win over Jacksonville State in the Ohio Valley Conference baseball tournament Thursday at Jackson, Tenn. Now 5-2 for the season, the second-team All-OVC selction went all nine innings and allowed only five hits while striking out 14 batters. Soddy-Daisy's Zach Stephens went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run as top-seeded Tennessee Tech topped Southeast Missouri 5-1 in a winners-bracket game.
• McMinn County offensive lineman Patrick Priest and Arts & Sciences student and Tyner running back and linebacker Courtney Heard were among the 16 additional football signees announced this week for Carson-Newman University's 2013 recruiting class. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Priest was a 2012 Best of Preps second-team selection and was credited with 40 pancake blocks, according to the Carson-Newman announcement. Heard, a CSAS wrestler and track athlete in addition to his Tyner participation in a sport the Patriots don't offer, led the Rams in tackles (108), tackles for loss and sacks. He's listed at 5-10, 205.
• Former Dalton High School runner Christian Pineda is returning to a hometown team at the age of 21. He signed this week to join the new cross country program at Dalton State College; he has run two years for Bryan College, another NAIA program. "Chris is the signee we actually needed most," coach Andy Meyer said in a DSC release. "He will provide the leadership needed to mentor all our young talent. He has been part of a very good college program and now brings his fabulous talent and work ethic to our program." The Dalton High record-holder at 800 meters, Pineda was part of a All-American distance medley relay at Bryan, where he was a President's Scholar.
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