published Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

UTC's Pollard, Robinson get SoCon postgrad grants — and more Chattanooga region sports news

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football kicker Nick Pollard and Samford basketball player Christy Robinson from Northwest Whitfield High School were among the 10 Southern Conference athletes announced Tuesday as recipients of $2,000 postgraduate scholarships. Academic success counts 50 percent, athletic achievement 30 percent and community service 20 percent in the selections. Pollard, a rising senior criminal justice major from Smyrna, Tenn., is a three-year starting place-kicker and two-year punter for the Mocs, and he has a 3.704 grade point average. Robinson, one of three Samford athletes earning postgrad prizes, led her team in scoring and assists as a 2013-14 senior and made the Capital One Academic all-district team.

Softball

• Kentucky sophomore Kelsey Nunley from Soddy-Daisy earned three softball pitching wins last week -- Monday against Wright State and Friday and Sunday against Mississippi. That raised her season record to 17-4 with one save and a 1.93 earned run average for the 36-8 Wildcats, and her 44 victories in less than two seasons are the third most in program history. She's the fourth UK softball pitcher to surpass 300 strikeouts. The Wildcats host Arkansas in three SEC games this weekend.

• Chattanooga State transfer Haley Fagan of Trevecca Nazarene was the Tennessee Sports Writers Association's college softball pitcher of the week for her 2-1 record in which the loss was 1-0 and she allowed only two hits and the run was unearned. She struck out 15 batters and allowed only two earned runs in 21 innings and is 10-5 with three saves and a 1.73 ERA this season.

• The Times Free Press reported in Monday's paper that Rhea County High School's softball team would be hosting Stone Memorial in a fundraising game to benefit the Alzheimer's Association on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Because of bad weather, the game was moved to today.

Baseball

• David Bourbonnais was 5-for-6 and matched Mason Tritt with four RBIs as 11th-ranked Birmingham-Southern (28-9) beat Covenant 16-10 in NCAA Division III baseball Tuesday on Lookout Mountain. Like Tritt, Covenant's Chris Rollins hit a grand slam. Also for the Scots (21-11), Forrest Hunter homered and scored twice, K.C. Simons had two hits and an RBI and Scott Gillespie batted in two runs. Covenant's scheduled softball doubleheader against Sewanee was called off for weather reasons.

• Former Boyd-Buchanan and Chattanooga State player Tyler Garner was 5-for-9 with two walks, three runs scored and an RBI as Southern Polytechnic swept 11th-ranked Belhaven in a three-game NAIA baseball series last weekend. That was after Alex Ridge from Ridgeland and Chattanooga State pitched a seven-inning, three-hit shutout with only 76 pitches for the Hornets (32-14) against Reinhardt, giving him a 2-0 record and 0.90 earned run average. Colton Kinnamon (4-2) from Dalton and Chatt State was the starting pitcher in the first win against Reinhardt. Garner is batting .345 and has scored 31 runs.

Running

• Rhea County High School's Josh Parson signed recently to continue his track and field career across the Tennessee River at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens. He has been excelling this season in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, the 110 hurdles, the 4x100 and 4x400 relays and the long jump and triple jump. Parson shifted his spring contributions from baseball to track after injuring his arm and thanked coach Steffan Holder for giving him a chance and providing technical instruction as well as encouragement. "He told me I'd be a good runner and a good team leader, so I decided to step out there and start running for him," Parson told the Rhea Herald-News. "He helped me a lot these past two years with my technique and form." Said Holder: "Josh is a hard worker and has been determined to fulfill his dream, which was to get a track scholarship, since he started talking to me about it his sophomore year. ... You can show technique and drills all you want to, but if a kid doesn't go through with it, it doesn't matter."

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