published Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Lee first, UTC 21st in nation in women's golf GPAs and other sports news

For the second consecutive year, Lee University in Cleveland received the National Golf Coaches Association's All-Scholar Team GPA Award for having the highest women's aggregate academic average in the nation. All levels of women's college play were included, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was 21st on the list with a team grade point average of 3.621, led by perfect 4.0s for NGCA All-American Scholars Maria Juliana Loza and Mette Kryger. Lee's six players — Madison Alexander, Geandra Almeida, Kristin Bourg, Chelsea Rakestraw, Courtney Shelton and Sloane Skinner — had an average GPA of 3.965, and they won eight of 10 tournaments in 2011-12, including the Southern States Athletic Conference championship. They were ranked as high as No. 2 in the NAIA coaches' poll and were eighth in the postseason rankings. "This team takes their academics very seriously, so this award means a lot to us" Lee coach John Maupin said. "To win it two years in a row is an amazing accomplishment."

• LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Chattanooga's Keith Mitchell is tied for first place after shooting a 4-under-par 68 Wednesday in the first round of the 106th Southern Amateur golf tournament at Chenal Country Club. He was 3 under after nine holes. Former Baylor teammate Ryan Thornton shot a 78 and UTC golfers Davis Bunn and Steven Fox shot 79 and 80.

• DALY CITY, Calif. — Baylor golfer Lauren Johnson from Chattanooga lost 9 and 8 to Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y., as match play began Wednesday in the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club. Johnson had tied for 41st place in qualifying to secure one of the 64 match-play spots from the field of 155; Morales tied for 11th in qualifying.

Baseball

• Will Cooper, who just finished his freshman year at Vanderbilt, has been selected to the New England College Baseball League all-star game. The game, which includes only two freshmen, will be played Sunday in Montpelier, Vt. In 20 games for the Sanford Mainers, the former Baylor School standout is hitting .323 with four RBIs and three stolen bases. A member of the Times Free Press 2011 Best of Preps team, Cooper got into 17 games this past spring for Vandy as an outfielder. As a senior for Baylor, he hit .505 with seven home runs, 54 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.

Basketball

• Point guard Chris Moses from Clarksville, Tenn., and Kenwood High School has transferred from Hiwassee College to Tennessee Temple to continue his basketball career with three years of eligibility left. After a redshirt year at Volunteer State Community College, the 5-foot-5 Moses moved from "modest" minutes as a backup at Hiwassee to playing a lot by season's end, with a high game of 17 points. He counters his lack of size with shooting skill, scrappy defense, effort and court leadership, according to Temple assistant coach Ezell Dodd, who saw him in two games against the Crusaders last year -- Moses had 13 points and double-figure assists in one of those — and in pickup play involving NCAA Division I players. "From what I hear, he's tough, he's quick and he can shoot," new Crusaders coach Brac Brady said. Moses said he left the Madisonville program "on good terms" and picked Temple over Kentucky Wesleyan.

Softball

• Despite losing their opening game, the Chattanooga-based Mustangs 94 girls fastpitch softball team won the ASA 18-under state championship last weekend at Warner Park. That required eight victories in a row, including six on Sunday. University of Kentucky freshman Kelsey Nunley from TSSAA state champion Soddy-Daisy pitched the eight-inning 1-0 championship win against another local team, the Fury, and Chattanooga State newcomer Meredith Mitchell from Sequatchie County batted in the winning run. Other Mustangs players include Maddie Bray from NAIA champion Shorter University (previously of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe), Abbie Daniels (Ooltewah/Berry), Shelby Willard (Central/Chattanooga State), Emily Dagnan (Sequatchie/Chattanooga State), Erika Burkhart (Ringgold/Augusta State), Morgan Lane (GPS/Covenant), Brandy Goldsmith (Heritage/Lee) and two-time Gordon Lee state champions Sam Taylor (UTC), Kendall Johnson (Shorter) and Courtney Towns (Shorter).

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