Lady Lions win in walkoff style

Paige Garcia was the hero as the Arkansas-Pine Bluff softball earned a walkoff win over SWAC-foe Prairie View A&M on Friday afternoon.

UAPB trailed 1-0 entering the bottom of the seventh but Garcia’s walkoff single plated two runs to give the Lady Lions a 2-1 win.

Lacie Sutterfield reached on an error to start the inning and Emilee Gwyn followed with a walk. Sutterfield was thrown out at home after the Lady Panthers’ right fielder dropped a fly ball off the bat of Kendra Linn. Rolanda Murry struck out for the second out, but Garcia followed with the game-winning hit.

Sutterfield earned the complete-game victory for UAPB (8-36, 4-11 in SWAC) as she allowed just one unearned run off five hits.

Cally Falls took the tough-luck loss for Prairie View A&M (10-26, 6-9). She gave up two unearned runs on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

UAPB needs to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader between the two squads to earn a spot in the SWAC tournament.

UAPB men, women lose in SWAC tennis

The Arkansas-Pine Bluff men’s and women’s tennis teams lost in the opening round of the SWAC Tennis Tournament at the City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center in New Orleans.

The UAPB men lost 4-0 to Jackson State in the first round.

Carlos Martinez and Jose Luque defeated Andra Bates and Payton Parker in the only completed doubles match.

Martinez defeated Parker (6-0, 6-0) in singles competition. Four total games did not finish — including three singles matches.

Monica Arcos and Elizabeth Perez-Rodriguez defeated Alcorn State’s Chansonique Rutherford and Aakanksha Punj for the Lady Lions’ only win as Alcorn State won 5-1 Friday morning.

UAM softball suffers doubleheader sweep

MONTICELLO — The Arkansas-Monticello softball team was held to one run in each of its losses to Northwestern Oklahoma State on Friday at home.

The Rangers took Game 1, 3-1, and swept the doubleheader with an 11-1 six-inning win in the nightcap.

UAM (26-26, 16-21 Great American Conference) outhit the Rangers (37-15, 25-11 GAC) 6-5 in the first game, but was only able to create one run on an RBI single from junior Lacy Blanchard in the bottom of the second inning.

In the second game, UAM’s lone run came on a solo homerun by junior Sydney Tipton in the bottom of the fourth. Tipton finished the game 2 for 3 at theplate, accounting for nearly half of UAM’s five total hits in the loss.

The two squads are set to conclude the series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. at Blossoms Field.


Northwestern players vote on union

EVANSTON, Ill. — It’s a historic vote that may take years to learn the actual tally.

Northwestern football players cast secret ballots on whether to form the first union for college athletes in Evanston on Friday.

With the university challenging the unionization efforts, it’s virtually impossible to know when the results of the ballot will be made public.

In March a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the players are university employees and thus can unionize. The full NLRB has agreed to hear the appeal. Ballots cast Friday will remain sealed at least until that process is finished and could remained sealed until the completion of any subsequent court fight that might follow.

Daniels leaving, Boatright staying at UConn

STORRS, Conn. — UConn junior forward DeAndre Daniels announced on Friday his decision to enter the NBA Draft, bypassing his final season of collegiate eligibility.

The 6-foot-9, 195-pounder from Los Angeles finished the 2013-14 season ranking second on the team by averaging 13.1 points per game, adding 6.0 rebounds per contest over 38 appearances for the 2014 national champions. He also shot a career-best 46.9 percent from the field, including 41.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Junior guard Ryan Boatright, on the other hand, has elected to stay for his senior campaign. The 21-year-old native of Illinois teamed with senior Shabazz Napier this season to form one of the toughest backcourts in the country. The 6-foot guard averaged 12.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.

Former Colts, Dolphins QB Morrall dies

MIAMI — Former NFL quarterback Earl Morrall passed away Friday morning. He was 79.

Morrall started the final nine games of the regular season during the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season in 1972. He came off the bench to replace an injured Bob Griese, who returned in the AFC title game and led the Dolphins to a Super Bowl victory.

Morrall finished the 1972 season with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions, winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. He remained with the Dolphins the next four seasons before announcing his retirement on May 2, 1977.

Morrall also played for the 49ers, Steelers, Lions, Giants and Colts during a 21-year NFL career that began in 1956 as a first-round selection of the 49ers. He won three Super Bowl rings, including Super Bowl V, where he subbed for an injured Johnny Unitas. Two years earlier, Morrall led Baltimore to a 13-1 record and NFL title, but wound up on the losing end of Super Bowl III against the New York Jets.

Morrall played 255 NFL games, completing 1,379 passes for 20,809 yards and 161 touchdowns with 148 interceptions.

Panthers exercise Newton’s fifth-year option

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on quarterback Cam Newton’s rookie contract.

Newton is now under contract through the 2015 season.

The 24-year-old Newton, who had ankle surgery last month, threw for 3,379 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 16 games last season. He also carried the ball 111 times for 585 yards and six scores for the NFC South-champion Panthers.

Selected with the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft, Newton has started all 48 games played in his three NFL seasons. He has completed 882 of 1,475 passes (59.8 percent) for 11,299 yards and 64 touchdowns with 42 interceptions. He has rushed for 2,032 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Harrison twins returning to Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Aaron and Andrew Harrison have decided against entering the 2014 NBA Draft and will return to Kentucky for their sophomore seasons.

The twins join Willie Cauley-Stein, Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson, all of whom bypassed the NBA Draft to return for the 2014-15 campaign.

The Wildcats did lose Julius Randle and James Young as early-entry candidates for the NBA Draft.

Aaron Harrison started all 40 games for the Wildcats this past season and averaged 13.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. He made his mark in the NCAA Tournament by knocking down three of the school’s all-time most memorable shots in three consecutive games in helping Kentucky past Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin. The Wildcats lost to Connecticut in the national championship game.

Andrew Harrison started 39 games and averaged 10.9 points and 4.0 assists per game.