published Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Chattanooga set to host ASA 16s in 2015 and other sports news

Chattanooga was chosen over Des Moines, Iowa; Montgomery, Ala.; Normal, Ill.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Spartanburg, S.C.; and Tupelo, Miss. to host the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball 16-under girls' fastpitch national tournament in 2015. That long has been recognized as the top ASA tournament for college recruiters. Chattanooga's bid presentation on Nov. 14 in Oklahoma City came from a team comprised of local ASA officials, the Chattanooga Sports Committee, the city's Youth & Family Development Department and the Chattanooga Choo Choo. "Chattanooga is lucky to have a team that works well together and cares about bringing softball events to the city. Our community can make it happen from winning the bid to hosting the event," Chattanooga ASA executive director Kim Swafford said in the announcement release. Added Sports Committee president Tim Morgan: "This championship is projected to bring close to 145 travel teams to Chattanooga for a week, producing an estimated economic impact to exceed $2 million."

Baseball

• Ridgeland High School senior Josh Turner signed a national letter of intent this week to play baseball at Shorter University. Turner, who has a 3.8 grade point average, caught the eye of Shorter coach Matt Larry when he batted over .400 with four homers and 15 stolen bases in the 2013 summer-ball season. "Josh has put in the work in the offseason this summer and committed himself to getting stronger and faster," Ridgeland coach Scott Harden said. "He was able to impress the Shorter coach with his speed and arm strength." Said Turner, the 51st Ridgeland athlete to sign a baseball scholarship: "I am excited about the opportunity that Coach Matt Larry has given me at Shorter, and I thank God that I am able to follow my dreams to play baseball."

• Lee University from Shorter's conference signed pitcher Winston Whitener from McCallie School and corner infielder Ben Holland from Murfreesboro and Motlow College to baseball letters of intent during the early signing period. Whitener, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-hander, played club ball for the Chattanooga Cyclones. "I've seen Winston play since he was 9," McCallie coach Greg Payne said, "and he's always stood out because of his size and ability. He can absolutely dominate a game when he's on." Whitener said he chose Lee "because of its outstanding baseball program and its great Christian values. They have done exceptionally well at sending players to professional baseball." Holland, from Siegel High School, batted .336 with 31 RBIs and 15 extra-base hits as a Motlow junior last year, and Lee coach Mark Brew said he "gives us a much-needed middle-of-the-lineup bat heading into 2015. He has versatility to play either of the corner positions, and we are excited about him as a potential leader in our program."

Soccer

• The National Christian College Athletic Association's top-ranked women's soccer team, Lee University, beat Union University 4-0 in the Mid-East Region semifinals Friday at Lee and will play Campbellsville today at 4 p.m. for a berth in the NCCAA national tournament in Kissimmee, Fla. The Kentucky team tied Mississippi College 2-2 through two overtimes and advanced with a 5-4 edge in penalty kicks. Lee (13-3-1) outshot Union (7-7-3) 21-3 but did not score until 17:41 into the second half. Ode Fulutudilu had the Lady Flames' first goal and assisted on the next two, by Kaela Leskovar and Summer Lanter, and Debbie Rogers drilled a 20-yarder for their fourth goal in just over 15 minutes. Kinsey Cichowitz assisted on Fulutudilu's goal.

Volleyball

• Top-seeded host Lee beat Union University and Mid-Continent both 3-0 in the NCCAA Mid-East Region volleyball round robin Friday. The Lady Flames (18-8) face Victory and No. 2 seed Campbellsville today. Paula Martins had 12 kills and four aces, Lauren Williams had 10 kills and Erin Hill and Latrice Johnson added eight apiece in the 25-12, 25-9, 25-19 defeat of Union, when Camil Martinez had 34 assists and Johnson and Sarah Davis made 18 and 11 digs. Martins had 17 kills and three aces in the 25-11, 25-15, 25-9 breeze past MCC (19-11), while Hill had eight kills and Martinez set 26 assists.

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