Fifth-seeded Bryan College earned one of the Appalachian Athletic Conference's two automatic berths into the NAIA baseball tournament with its second win over top-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan in three days Thursday, 3-2, and then edged the other qualifier, sixth seed Point, 5-4 for the AAC tournament title. L.J. Rowden from Soddy-Daisy was the starting and winning pitcher against TWC (33-22-1) with a save from Kenny Knudsen, and Cody Rhinehart from Ooltewah was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Kevin Roberts had the other RBI for the Lions (33-26) in that game. Logan Dalton was 3-for-5 and James Boddicker was 2-for-5 with both RBIs for the Bulldogs; Wes Minton was 2-for-3, and only one of the three runs off starting pitcher Taylor Saucedo was earned. In Wednesday's late matchup, TWC jumped to a 7-0 lead and held on for an 11-7 win over Bryan as Dalton homered and had two RBIs and David Donald and Tim Kiene each batted in three runs. In the AAC final against Point, Grant Zawadzki was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Rhinehart drove in two runs for Bryan, while Roberts and Tyler Latham each was 2-for-3 and Joey Underwood was 2-for-4 and scored the winning run on a bases-loaded single by Zawadzki in the bottom of the ninth. Knudsen started and was brilliant into the ninth, when Point scored three runs to tie. John Cain got the last out after allowing two hits and was the winner when the Lions answered in their at-bat. He also scored two runs as a runner for Latham. Roberts was voted the tournament most valuable player, and Knudsen, Rhinehart, Rowden and Crandon Wallace also made the all-tournament team. Donald was Wesleyan's all-tournament pick.
• Host Lee University won the NCCAA Mid-East Region baseball championship with a 4-3 victory Thursday against Hiwassee, which had beat Union University 5-3 in the losers-bracket final. Chris Large (9-3) pitched a six-hitter and drove in two runs for Hiwassee (23-24-1) against Union (13-35), and Dalton Harrrelson was 2-for-3, scored two runs and batted in one. Josh Cassidy also scored twice, and Ryan Coley, Bryan Woodlief and Cameron Smith were other Tigers with two hits. Wacey Russell had a three-run double in the third inning for Union. In the championship game, Cameron Brewster plated all four runs for Lee (33-17) with a home run and a sacrifice fly, and Zacary Hawkins was 1-for-2 and scored twice. Cody Armstrong and Garrison Sisson each was 2-for-4 with an RBI for Hiwassee. The Flames' Dustin Lawson improved his pitching record to 6-3, and Derrick Pitts got his sixth save.
• Lee University fought back from an opening loss Wednesday to Union University in the NCCAA Mid-East Regional softball tournament by beating Hiwassee 8-0 and downing host Mississippi College 11-4 on Thursday. The Lady Flames then lost 5-4 to Union. Hailey Clark pitched a five-inning two-hitter and Lexie Dean drove in two runs and scored one in one official at-bat against Hiwassee (5-23), when Amanda Lynn and Jesse Giles each was 1-for-2 with two runs and Amber Broome was 2-for-3 with a double. Against Mississippi College, Lynn was 4-for-4 and scored twice, Ana Coscorrosa was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs, Broome was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Lizzie Stevens also had two RBIs, Dean and Meg Macias each had two hits and two scores and Dominique Hannah had an RBI triple and another hit for the Lady Flames (25-24). Laurel Allen was 2-for-3 and scored a run for Lee against Union, while Dean and Lynn each was 2-for-4 and scored a run, Dean with an RBI. Reagan Schrader from Grace Academy batted leadoff for Union (28-25) and was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI after scoring twice against the Lady Flames on Wednesday.
• Sophomore catcher Abby Daniels from Ooltewah was one of two Berry College players making the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 5 softball team for the Division III school's classification. The other was Southern Athletic Association player of the year Shelby Smith, a sophomore first baseman with a 3.59 grade point average. Daniels also was an All-SAA first-team selection and has a 3.5 GPA as an exercise science major. She batted .433 with four home runs, three triples, 15 doubles, 45 RBIs and a .992 fielding percentage for the 31-11 SAA champions this season.
• Former Chattanooga State pitcher Haley Fagan of Trevecca Nazarene was the NCCAA national softball pitcher of the week for her 3-0 record, 21 strikeouts and one earned run in 20 innings in the G-MAC tournament last week.
• The Chattanooga RailRunners professional basketball team plays the last regular-season game of its debut year at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Rossville Athletic Center, and the night includes a special salute to "mothers who survived cancer." According to team owner Paul "Showtime" Gaffney in a team release, "Any mother who has battled cancer and raised children, while holding down a job, these are true heroes. We want our RailRunner Nation survivors to post their names and how many years they have been winning their fight on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and at the game we will have them walk out and be honored during our eight media timeouts." Gaffney said part of the night's proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. The RailRunners lead the Central Basketball Association with a 7-2 record and have clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, which start May 17.
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