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Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, is in seventh place — 5 1/2 pounds out of first — as 20 finalists wrap up the opening Bassmaster Elite Series of the year entering Monday on the St. Johns River at Palatka, Florida. The series comes this week (Feb. 14-17) to Dayton, Tennessee, and Chickamauga Lake, where Gross finished third in last year's Bassmaster Eastern Open. He was 12th Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces, and added 15-14 Sunday for a 31-3 total. Paul Mueller of Connecticut took the lead at 36-10 — 1 pound more than first-day leader Kelley Jaye of Dadeville, Alabama. The winner gets $100,000.

* Andy Morgan of Dayton zoomed from 18th to third Sunday in Group A's second round of Major League Fishing's Bass Pro Tour Stage One on Lake Eufaula in Alabama. That put him comfortably in Tuesday's knockout round, where Jacob Wheeler of Harrison and Wesley Strader of Spring City seem certain to join him and Dayton's Michael Neal has a good chance as well. Their Group B second round is Monday, and Wheeler and Strader were first and second and Neal was ninth in their first round Saturday. The top 20 in each group advance, and Wheeler's 42-5 for 15 fish is the best round of the tournament. Strader's total for nine bass was 32-6, and Neal's five weighed 18-0. Morgan had only three for 10-11 Friday but caught 30-15 Sunday for 41-10. Bryan Thrift from North Carolina led Group A at 54-1.

 

Tennis

* The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's team defeated UNC Asheville 6-1 on Sunday at McCallie School, avenging a 5-2 loss last year and stretching to eight matches the program's longest winning streak since 2007. The Mocs (8-1) got singles and doubles wins from Niklas Gerdes, Tomas Rodriguez and Simon Bustamante and other singles victories from Jeffrey Dewald and Jacob Marshall.

* Lee University beat Lees-McRae 7-0 in women's tennis and 5-2 in the men's match Sunday in Cleveland. The closest women's match was 6-3, 6-4 for Matina Ujdur at No. 3 singles, and she, Lisa Kirr, Carley Sickinger, Sierra Donaldson and Lauren Trammell won in doubles and singles. Dana Moreno won at No. 6 for the Lady Flames (2-0). Jesus Garcia and Christian Pons won together and separately for the Lee men (1-1), and Bruno Medeiros prevailed in singles and in doubles with Antonio Pons, whose singles loss went to a 7-5 third set. Denis Muratovic won at No. 6.

 

Baseball

* Lee topped visiting Saint Leo 2-1 and 5-1 Sunday with double-digit pitching strikeouts in each game and with Ryan Beamish going 5-for-7 with a home run and a double. Logan Workman struck out nine while allowing only one hit in seven innings in the opener, but reliever Randall Coxwell (1 K) got the win on Parker Stahlman's bases-loaded infield single in the bottom of the ninth — after Dylan Standifer was hit by a pitch, Joshua Perez reached on the pitcher's throwing error and Keyshaun Smith walked. Landon Silver was 2-for-4 with an RBI double. Alex Harper-Cook punched out eight in allowing four hits in seven innings in game two, and Michael Hendricks fanned four in two innings. Smith homered along with Beamish in the seventh, and Alan Smith was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI single.

 

Softball

* Lee senior Abby McKinney homered among six hits and knocked in seven runs, five in the second game, as the Lady Flames defeated visiting Ohio Dominican 11-9 and 7-2 Sunday. Classmate Brooklynn Frazier had four RBIs in game one — three on a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning — and Kayla Louie was 3-for-3, scored four runs and stole two bases to become the first in program history with 100 in a career. McKinney's first-inning three-run blast gave Lee (4-2) quick control of the second game, and Lily Hatcher was 3-for-3 with a triple while Louie stole two more bases. Shonna Penney (2-0) pitched a five-hitter with eight strikeouts.

 

Lacrosse

* Lee began its women's season Sunday with a 20-10 win over Mars Hill at Cleveland High School's Benny Monroe Stadium. Shayna Ryan and Brittney White each had four goals and an assist and Dariana Blanton also netted four goals for the Lady Flames, who are scheduled to host Lincoln Memorial at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Jolee Davis had three goals and three assists, and Giselle Gonzalez had three goals and one assist. White totaled 23 draw controls.

Compiled by Ron Bush. Contact him at rbush@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6291.

 

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