Bears fall in district semifinals

JUNCTION CITY — The Woodlawn baseball team fell to tournament hosts Junction City in the semifinals of the 7-2A East district tourney on Saturday.

Bears relief pitcher Taylor Stitt walked in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as the Dragons advanced to the title game with a 5-4 win.

With the game tied 4-4, Junction City’s leadoff batter reached to open the seventh. The next batter doubled, and Stitt followed that up with an intentional walk to load the bases before forcing in the winning run.

Stitt, on in relief of J.P. Aiken, gave up the one unearned run on one hit with a walk and two strikeouts in one-plus innings. Aiken allowed four runs on four hits with three walks and four stikeouts in five frames.

Caleb Holleman led Woodlawn going 3 for 3 with two RBIs. Stitt and Jayden Fultz each had RBI singles.

The Bears will face Rison at 4 p.m. Monday for the No. 3 seed in regionals. The Wildcats lost to Parker’s Chapel, 16-4, in the other semifinal.

Woodlawn advances to district title

JUNCTION CITY — Lily Henderson struck out 13 batters as Woodlawn defeated 7-2A East district tournament host Junction City, 7-0, Saturday night in the semifinals.

Henderson allowed just one hit and one walk in the win.

Woodlawn (19-6) scored two runs in the first, three in the third, and two in the sixth.

Megan Howard led the offense with three hits and three RBIs while Addison Adair was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.

Woodlawn will face Bearden in the district title game on Monday beginning at 6 p.m.

Hunter homers in Tigers’ rout

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pine Bluff native Torii Hunter put the emphatic exclamation point on the Detroit Tigers’ rout on Saturday night.

Hunter’s three-run homer punctuated the Tigers’ six-run ninth inning that helped them to a 9-2 win over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Drew Smyly (2-1) issued just two walks and fanned six in his second start of the season.

Nick Castellanos drove in three and Danny Worth, Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera added one RBI apiece for the Tigers, winners in four straight and six of their last seven tilts overall.

Danny Duffy (1-2) made his first start of the season for Kansas City and gave up one run on two hits and four walks over four innings to absorb the loss.


Estes-Taylor named SEC coach of the year

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ Shauna Estes-Taylor was named the Southeastern Conference’s women’s golf coach of the year Friday.

Estes-Taylor, who is in her seventh season as head coach, earned her first conference coach of the year honor. She was recognized by the conference after Arkansas tied a program record with three tournament titles this season.

The Razorbacks also have logged seven top-five finishes in nine events, including a third-place performance at the SEC Championships. Arkansas is ranked fourth in the Golfstat.com poll and earned a No. 2 seed for next week’s NCAA Central Regional.

Estes-Taylor is the first Arkansas women’s golf coach to earn conference coach of the year honors. Men’s coach Brad McMakin was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2009, while Steve Loy was the Southwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1984.

The Razorbacks have reached an NCAA regional 12 straight seasons with Estes-Taylor on staff as head coach or assistant. She was named the national assistant coach of the year in 2007 before taking over the program.

In addition to Estes-Taylor, three Razorbacks received All-SEC honors Friday.

Three UA golfers earn All-SEC honor

FAYETTEVILLE — Emily Tubert and Gabriela Lopez were named first-team, All-SEC honors, while Regina Plasencia was a second-team selection.

Tubert earned her fourth straight first-team honor. The Burbank, Calif., native joins Stacy Lewis as the only Razorback to earn all-SEC honors four straight seasons.

Lopez, who was named a second-team All-SEC selection last season, has won two individual titles. Plasencia was a member of the SEC All-Freshman team last season.

Arkansas will be one of 24 teams competing in the NCAA Central Regional in Stillwater, Okla., from May 8-10. The top eight finishers will advance to play in the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Okla., later this month.


Scott wins knockout qualifying at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Brian Scott claimed his first career pole in the Sprint Cup Series with a surprise victory in Saturday’s knockout qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway.

During the third and final round of qualifying, which was five minutes in length, Tony Stewart held the provisional pole after the field of 12 cars had completed two laps around this 2.66-mile superspeedway. Scott, who is a regular in the Nationwide Series, topped Stewart for the pole after he was clocked at 198.290 mph on the third and last lap. Scott was running at the tail end of a six-car pack when he crossed the line.

Scott is driving the No. 33 Chevrolet for Circle Racing/Richard Childress Racing in this race. His maiden pole came in just his fifth Sprint Cup start. Scott’s previous best start in the series was 12th, which came in this year’s Daytona 500.

Scott became the ninth different pole winner in 10 Sprint Cup races this season. Qualifying for last weekend’s event at Richmond was rained out, with rookie Kyle Larson awarded the pole since he was fastest in practice.