published Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Chattanooga State ranked No. 2 in NCJAA Division I poll — and more local sports news

The Chattanooga State softball team was unranked in the preseason but zoomed to No. 2 in the NCJAA Division I poll last week. McLennan from Texas was No. 1. Second-year coach Blythe Golden's Lady Tigers (27-5, 13-4) at that time had endured a TCCAA split with Walters State, which is ranked No. 10. Chattanooga State's Baylee Williams was the national player of the week for games of March 3-9 after going 12-for-22 (.545) against Georgia Perimeter and Jackson State, with eight extra-base hits, 10 RBIs and nine runs. The Lady Tigers had another league split this past weekend at Volunteer State, winning in five innings in the first game both Friday and Saturday but losing in each game two. "We shouldn't drop too far, but we should've won those games," Golden said Monday. "But I am extremely proud of this group and their accomplishments. We had a really good first two months of the season. Now we've got to get better, but I think we have the talent to return to the national tournament and do well."

• The Bryan College softball doubleheader planned for Monday at St. Andrews University was rained out.

Baseball

• Covenant College junior second baseman Will Cleland was the USA South baseball player of the week for his .474 batting (9-for-19) and three RBIs in a 3-1 week ending Saturday for the Scots. Cleland was 8-for-14 in the weekend sweep of Piedmont, with a school- and league-record three triples in going 4-for-5 in Saturday's first game and two doubles in the series finale.

• Chattanooga State had the NJCAA Division I baseball pitcher of the week along with the softball player of the week for games of March 3-9. Brennan Swindoll, a freshman left-hander, was honored for pitching a seven-inning one-hitter with six strikeouts in a 4-0 TCCAA baseball win over Motlow College. The Tigers again will be playing the Chattanooga Lookouts in an exhibition game just before the local professional team begins its home schedule. The annual matchup is set for April 1 but an hour earlier than usual at 6:15 p.m., and tickets will cost $5. They may be bought at AT&T Field or ahead of time through Chattanooga State coach Greg Dennis (697-2418).

• The Sewanee baseball team began its annual spring-break trip to Florida with a 12-2 loss to Fontbonne on Sunday at Auburndale and an 11-4 win Monday morning against Maine-Farmington at Winter Haven. Jack Whaley had two hits and an RBI against Fontbonne for the Tigers (6-11) and had two hits again Monday, when Ryan Poole was 5-for-5 with five RBIs, Michael Walker was 4-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs and Zack Sutton and Ben Clune each went 2-for-4, Sutton with two doubles. He and Jack Rogers scored two runs each, and Marshall Ussery got the pitching win for 3 2/3 innings of relief with three hits and no runs allowed.

Auto Racing

• Tony Helms from Fort Oglethorpe won the $1,500 top prize in the Super Pro class Saturday night at the Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip. He won with a 4.80-second burst on a 4.79 dial on the one-eigthth-mile strip in a Chevrolet dragster with a modified 555-cubic-inch engine. Dallas Kilgore of Crossville was second in his 1968 Camaro. Marty Goldsmith of Ringgold won the Foot Brake class by inches with an 8.47 run on an 8.46 dial in his 1974 Dodge, with strip Hall of Famer L.C. Bigham of Tunnel Hill second at 8.28 on an 8.28 dial in a 1978 Dodge Dart. Jake Clayton of Ooltewah was the Junior Dragster victor with an 8.00 run on a 7.99 dial in his 1-cylinder Briggs & Stratton powered dragster; Chloe Kepner of Dunlap was second. Steven Farrow of Chattanooga had the low elapsed time and top speed (150.25 mph) of the meet.

Lacrosse

• Sewanee's Michael Morris was the Southern Athletic Association men's lacrosse player of the week after his seven goals and six assists in two matches last week. He had three goals and one assist in a close loss to Wooster and four goals and five assists in a win at Centre. It is his second time to get the award this season.

Swimming

• Bill Caulkins, who had announced his retirement in August after more than 40 years as the Chattanooga Area Swim League's top official, was honored at a reception this past Friday night at the Fairyland Club. The league announced that its year-end championship meet will be named in his honor starting this summer: the Bill Caulkins City Meet.

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