Opponents on the 2013-14 schedule have given the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga one of its most challenging wrestling seasons, and it gets even tougher today. Nationally second-ranked North Dakota State will be the 19th-ranked Mocs' sixth ranked opponent of the season when they meet at 1 p.m. in the NWCA national duals in Columbus, Ohio, with a date vs. No. 1 Minnesota awaiting the winner. UTC (15-5) has clinched at least a tie for the Southern Conference championship while North Dakota State (9-4) is undefeated in three Western Wrestling Conference meets. At least three matches figure to be hotly contested. At 165 pounds, the Mocs' ninth-ranked Corey Mock (24-2) will challenge No. 3 Steve Monk (26-1). At 174, Levi Clemons will test No. 12 Hayden Zilmer, and at 184 UTC's John Lampe challenges No. 17 Kurtis Julson. Clemons, who has won seven of his last nine matches, is 32rd in the latest NCAA RPI rankings. Lampe is No. 28 in those same rankings. A win would put the Mocs against Minnesota at 7 tonight; a loss would put them in a consolation bout at 5.
• The UTC softball team split two games Saturday in the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas, rallying to beat Nevada 10-6 before losing 6-4 to Oregon. In the win, Alyssa Taylor and Jesslyn Stockard hit three-run home runs in an eight-run sixth inning to lift UTC (2-6) from a 5-2 deficit. Sam Taylor was 3-for-4 against Nevada with two RBIs and two runs, and senior Kaiti Dutton was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of runs. Junior pitcher Taylor Deason picked up her first win of the season with 2 1/3 innings in relief of starter Rachel Albritton. Against Oregon, the Ducks scored all their runs in a six-run second inning off Katie Henderson. Sam Taylor, Anyssa Robles and Sarah Beth Roberts each had two hits for the Lady Mocs.
• Chattanooga State improved its 2014 softball record to 10-0 with two wins Saturday at Marianna, Fla. Shelby Willard pitched a three-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 4-2 defeat of Georgia Perimeter, when Courtney Crawford was 2-for-4 and Kelsey Thomas was 1-for-1 with a walk and an RBI. Crawford and Katy Richardson each was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in a 7-3 win over Georgia Military, when Hanna Manley threw a four-hitter and Elyse Ferguson was 2-for-2 and got hit by a pitch.
• Angie Hughes pitched a no-hitter although allowing 10 walks as Lee University began Gulf South Conference softball play Saturday evening with a 3-1 win at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Ana Coscorrosa was 2-for-3 with two doubles and drove in all three runs for the Lady Flames (4-3), while Amanda Lynn was 2-for-2 and scored twice and Meg Macias was 2-for-3. The teams play a doubleheader today.
• Covenant College began its 2014 softball season Saturday by losing 17-1 and 4-1 at Berry College. Madison Quirk was 3-for-3 and Jordan Brett was 2-for-3 for Covenant in the first game; Meagan Hess had the RBI in game two.
• Sloan Strickland was 3-for-3 and drove in two runs and Phillip Bates had two hits and three RBIs as Georgia Gwinnett beat visiting Bryan College 10-2 in the first game of their baseball doubleheader Saturday. Cody Rhinehart had an RBI double for Bryan, which won 8-6 in the finale of the three-game series as Tyler Latham went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Rhinehart, Grant Zawadzki and Preston King each had two hits and an RBI. Crandon Wallace was 2-for-3.
• Lee University split a pair of 4-1 Gulf South Conference baseball games Saturday at Union University. They had 10 hits apiece in the first game, but Union (3-2, 1-1) won it with a four-run fourth inning. Lee (7-2, 1-1) won with a three-run ninth in game two. Andres Nelo had the tying groundout in the fifth inning and a two-run single in the ninth, and Seth Gower was 2-for-4 and scored twice in the game.
• Ish Sanders from Cleveland scored 22 points, nine more than anyone else in the game, in leading Carson-Newman to a 67-60 South Atlantic Conference men's basketball win Saturday against visiting Wingate. CNU is 15-6, 12-5 in the SAC.
• Area director Jay Fowler and staff members Chris Walker and Julie Watson will talk about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and its work at UTC and elsewhere in the area at the Chattanooga Quarterback Club's noon luncheon meeting Monday at Finley Stadium, and the public is invited. Attendance costs $10 with a meal, $4 without. Auburn football chaplain Chette Williams, a former Tigers player, will be the guest speaker for the FCA's "Road to Victory" banquet March 4 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Anyone interested can call Fowler at 877-3561 or 309-4255.