Area sports notes: Lee Lady Flames reach GSC basketball title game

Led by 21 second-half points and 23 for the game from Gulf South Conference freshman of the year Haley Schubert, third-seeded Lee University defeated West Georgia 66-57 in the GSC women's basketball tournament semifinals Saturday at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Lee's Lady Flames (24-6) will play for the championship at 1:30 p.m. EDT today against No. 5 seed Valdosta State, which beat No. 1 seed Union University 68-62. Union's other two losses this season came against Lee, which is in its first GSC basketball final. Abby Bertram scored 12 points and Lindsey Roddy and Becca Cheeks added 10 apiece Saturday against West Georgia (16-12), which shot only 38.5 percent from the field. Schubert scored 11 points in the third quarter, including five in its last three seconds for a 44-39 Lee lead. She helped create a turnover between hitting free throws and a basket. "Haley made a big play for us to help us get the momentum there," coach Marty Rowe said in a Lee release, "and then we did a great job of getting stops on the defensive end when they would try and get on a run."


» The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is 17-4 after losing 4-1 to the University of Central Florida and edging Holy Cross 1-0 on Saturday in the USF Under Armour Invitational tournament in Clearwater, Florida. Freshman Mariah Ramirez (7-0) pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts and Emma Sturdivant's sixth-inning home run was one of two hits for UTC against Holy Cross. Sturdivant was 1-for-1 with two walks in that game. Celie Hudson (6-4) was the losing pitcher against UCF despite allowing only five hits and striking out seven. A two-run triple in the seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie. Aly Walker was 2-for-3 and scored the Mocs' run on a bases-loaded walk for Morgan Kazerooni.

» Covenant College lost 4-0 at Judson but then won 6-5 with a five-run seventh inning capped by Cassee Wood's three-run home run. She scored twice and was 2-for-4 along with Faith Manning, Erika Mast and Cope Whitaker for the Lady Scots (3-6). Whitaker was 2-for-3 in the first game.


» Covenant salvaged one win in its weekend three-game USA South series at Averett with an 8-4 victory after an 11-10 loss Saturday. Hunter Christian was 2-for-3 with two walks, two RBIs and a run scored for the visiting Scots (8-6, 3-2), and Tommy Easley also went 2-for-3, with a run and an RBI. John Mitchell scored twice. Covenant's Brett Kernodle tripled, batted in three runs and scored three in Saturday's first game - twice he was hit by a pitch, and he walked once - while Tyler Moore had two RBIs and Brooks DuBose was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run.

» Sewanee lost 12-2 at Berry in the first game of their Southern Athletic Association series Saturday. Josh Roberts hit a two-run double for Sewanee (8-3, 0-1), which got only five hits off Berry's Ben Coker. Derrick Newman was 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs and Casey Whitaker was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and one of three triples for the Vikings (9-5, 2-2).


» East Tennessee State University announced this past week that former Buccaneers and Cleveland High School quarterback Austin Herink had signed a professional contract to play American football in Europe with the Dacia Vienna Vikings in Austria. He will report there Monday. "I am very excited to join one of the best football teams in all of Europe," Herink said in the ETSU release. "I plan on competing for a championship and enjoying the experience of playing professional football in Europe. I can't wait to get started." Herink finished his collegiate career with 6,994 passing yards, 33 passing touchdowns, 615 completions and 7,435 yards of total offense. "Austin was instrumental for us in winning the 2018 Southern Conference championship," ETSU coach Randy Sanders said. "Winning championships is in his DNA and something that he has become accustomed to. Austin has a tremendous work ethic." In addition to their record 14 Austrian Bowl national championships, the Dacia Vienna Vikings have five Eurobowl titles and five runner-up finishes. Their offensive coordinator, Max Koessler, said that "Austin's skill set - tall, mobile, with an outstanding arm and a high football IQ - along with his personality and work ethic convinced us to pick him. He is exactly what we were looking for in a quarterback and in a team leader."


» Sewanee's Aelin Hill took top honors in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association regional finals Friday at the Sewanee Equestrian Center, and teammate Christopher Chin joined her in qualifying for the regional zone championships March 30 at Auburn. Chin qualified in the walk/trot category and was reserve regional champion. Hill was the regional champion with her victory in open individual fences, and she was the high point rider for Zone 5 Region 1 and will compete in the Cacchione Cup. Also at the show, Elizabeth Oxley was fourth in walk/trot/canter. Sewanee finished the 2018-19 season in third place out of 11 teams in the region.