In one Lee University's last sports events before leaving the NAIA, the Lady Flames' Ashley Matthews and Cayce Bryan became the Cleveland school's first NAIA outdoor track and field All-Americans with top-eight finishes in the national meet Saturday at Marion, Ind. Matthews was seventh in her first marathon in 3:01:17, and Bryan was fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:10:48. Lee's Mike Walker was 12th in the men's 3000 steeplechase. Matthews also was an NAIA Scholar-Athlete for track, as were teammates Emily Arneson and Emily Carden and Zack Orrison from the Lee men; Jill Johnson, Ramon Rivera and Zachary Sherrill from Tennessee Wesleyan; and Jason McLeod, Alex Stephens and Drew Thompson from Bryan College.
• No. 3 seed Lee University lost its first two games in the NAIA softball national championship tournament in Columbus, Ga. After falling 3-1 Friday night to sixth-seeded Williams Baptist, the Lady Flames were eliminated Saturday with a 4-2 loss to Auburn-Montgomery. In each case Lee (47-11) gave up a three-run inning. Against AUM (45-11) it was the sixth, when Jysicca Pepper led off with a single off Jessa Watts, Katie Spain got a bunt hit, Leslie Kelly doubled in Pepper and Spain came in also on a wild throw and Kayla Hale added a one-out RBI single. Spain, Kelly and Laci Driggers each had two of AUM's eight hits. Lee had 11 and led 2-0 when Spain hit her 15th home run of the season in the fourth. Jennifer Ringle was 3-for-3 with a double for the Lady Flames, while Lexi Dean was 2-for-3, Dominique Hannah was 2-for-4 and Laurel Allen was 1-for-2 with an RBI double. They stranded 12 baserunners, including eight in the last three innings. Lee loaded the bases in the fifth and seventh without scoring and had an apparent run in the sixth wiped out on a leaving-early call on a sacrifice fly. "We had a tremendous season. This team has nothing to hang their heads about at all," coach Emily Russell said in a school release. "We just didn't get the timely hits [the last two days]."
• Top-seeded Tennessee Tech lost 6-2 to second-seeded Austin Peay on Friday night and fell 6-4 to Eastern Kentucky in the Ohio Valley Conference baseball tournament. Zach Zarzour from Ooltewah and Chattanooga State had one of Tech's RBIs against Austin Peay, and Zach Stephens from Soddy-Daisy had an RBI double against EKU. Each had one hit in each game.
• Three Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School baseball players signed scholarship papers this past week. Catcher Trey Silmon will continue his career at one of the most prominent junior college programs in the country after signing with Walters State. Silmon, the area leader in home runs as a junior, played this year with a slight biceps tear but still hit .342 with three homers and nine doubles. "It says a lot that he played this year with the injury, and he was pitched around a bit because we didn't have a lot of pop in our lineup," LFO coach Johnny Burch said. "Walters State doesn't sign guys who can't play, so they know they're getting a good one." Pitcher Cole Ellis, who had a 1.29 earned run average and 66 strikeouts in 54 innings, and shortstop Bradley Travis (team-leading .421 average) signed with Tennessee Temple University. "I'm very excited for those guys," Burch said, "because they're going to Temple at a good time. That program is headed in the right direction, and they'll do well there."
• Sisters Jenny and Lindsey Liles of Sewanee earned Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-America honors by winning their first match at the NCAA Division III tennis individual championships this past week at Kalamazoo, Mich. They beat a Carleton duo 6-1, 6-2 before losing 6-1, 6-0 to Amherst's Jordan Brewer and Gabby Devlin in the quarterfinals. Jenny Liles also became an ITA All-American in singles with a round-of-32 victory over UC Santa Cruz's Ariana Mokhtari before falling 6-2, 6-3 to Kalamazoo College's Sarah Woods. Sewanee's Bronte Goodhue from Chattanooga lost 6-1, 6-1 to the tournament's No. 2 seed from Middlebury.
• Oklahoma City University had the top two individuals, Jessica Schiele with a 295 and Elia Folch with a 300, and won the 2013 NAIA women's golf tournament Friday at Lincoln, Neb., by 12 strokes over 2012 champion British Columbia University. Lee University wound up 12th out of 27 teams with Bernadette Little tying for 20th place at 312, Sloane Skinner and Courtney Shelton tying for 38th at 317 and Madison Alexander sharing 63rd at 328.
• Dalton High School point guard Brooke Thomas is headed to NCAA Division III member Birmingham-Southern on an academic scholarship but with plans to play basketball after averaging 14 points a game last season. The Miss DHS honoree said she had recruiting interest from Division I and II programs Tennessee State, Winthrop, Wingate and Newberry but decided Birmingham-Southern was better for her in the long run. "If you put basketball aside and look to your future, academics is the main thing," she said, "and I know they will push me and drive me not only to be the best student but the best person I can be." Said Dalton coach Jeff McKinney: "Brooke's strength is attacking the goal, and she's very good at it. She also has a very good 12-foot jump shot and handles the ball extremely well."
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