Blossoms off to 2-0 GAC start

MONTICELLO — Arknasas-Monticello swept a Friday doubleheader to begin Great American Conference softball play, beating Southwestern Oklahoma State 10-7 and 8-6 in 10 innings.

In the first game, UAM (9-4, 2-0 GAC) scored four runs in the fourth inning to erase a 5-1 deficit. UAM then scored three runs in the sixth and added two in the seventh on a Taylor Norris home run.

Hannah Pendley batted 4 for 5 and Kali Piha was 3 for 4 with two doubles and three runs batted in for the Cotton Blossoms. Courtney Wilson (4-2) allowed seven runs on 11 hits, but got the win, while Katie Slaughter pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the save.

Blossom Brittany Eitel smacked a two-run home run in a three-run seventh inning that sent the game to extra innings. Briana Daugherty launched a two-run shot earlier in the game for UAM.

Piha broke a 6-all tie in the 10th with a two-run long ball. Slaughter pitched all 10 innings to boost her record to 5-2.

At the Central Arkansas Invitational in Conway, South Dakota State beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 9-3. No further statistics were available.


Arkansas pitches near-shutout of EIU

FAYETTEVILLE — Jalen Beeks and Landon Simpson combined to toss eight shutout innings in Arkansas’ 6-2 baseball win over Eastern Illinois on Friday.

Beeks (2-0) threw 5 2/3 innings, recording five strikeouts while walking two and allowing three hits. Andrew Benintendi lined the first two hits of his career for the Razorbacks (4-0).

Eastern Illinois fell to 1-4.


LeBron has broken nose

MIAMI — The Miami Heat announced that LeBron James suffered a broken nose during Thursday’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and will be a game-time decision for the team’s next contest.

James sustained the injury while throwing down an emphatic dunk midway through the fourth quarter of the Heat’s 103-81 blowout victory over the Thunder. The four-time league MVP took a hard shot to the face from Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka on the play and was down on the floor for several minutes before walking off to the locker room while covering his bloody nose with a towel.

Prior to exiting, James had racked up 33 points on 15-of-22 shooting in just 33 minutes.

The Heat have listed James as questionable for Sunday’s home game against Chicago.


Canada tops U.S. in men’s hockey semis

SOCHI, Russia — Jamie Benn supplied the lone goal of the contest at 1:41 of the second period, and Canada earned the right to defend its gold medal thanks to a 1-0 decision over Team USA in Friday’s semifinal of the Sochi Olympics.

Carey Price turned aside all 31 shots he faced for the Canadians, who will take on Sweden in Sunday’s title contest. The Swedes advanced earlier Friday with a 2-1 victory over Finland.

Canada, which topped the U.S. in a memorable overtime contest four years ago in Vancouver to claim gold, reached the Olympic final for the fifth time since 1992.

Jonathan Quick made 36 saves for the Americans, who must regroup quickly for a matchup with the Finns in Saturday’s bronze medal tilt.

American Shiffrin wins women’s slalom gold

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the women’s slalom on Friday, becoming the youngest woman to accomplish the feat in the history of the Winter Games at just 18 years old.

Shiffrin posted the top first run time of 52.62 seconds at Rosa Khutor to take a .49-second lead over defending gold medalist Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany heading into the second run.

Shiffrin, the last of the top 30 skiers to take their final run, nearly lost control midway through her second run, but maintained her balance before flying down the remainder of the course to edge Austria’s Marlies Schild by .53 seconds for gold.

A native of Vail, Colo., Shiffrin recorded a total time of 1 minute, 44.54 seconds to become the first American woman to find the podium in Olympic slalom since Barbara Cochran won gold at the 1972 Sapporo Games.