The Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Chickamauga Lake has been postponed for the second time in five weeks. The Dayton-based event for the top level of B.A.S.S. had been reset to March 19-22 because of extensive rain and high water in the area in mid-February, when it originally was scheduled. The new delay is because of concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, and no makeup dates were announced Friday. "Any time we are forced to postpone a tournament, it is disappointing to our anglers, fans, sponsors and staff," B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin said in a release. "The anglers want to fish this incredible lake, where we have enjoyed amazing fan support over the years. After careful discussions, though, it was apparent that the best decision was to postpone the tournament and festivities."
* Before having to shut down its 2020 season indefinitely, the Lee University softball program pulled off a big accomplishment for 2021 and beyond: the signing of pitcher Mallory Orchard from powerhouse Norco High School in California. Norco is ranked No. 1 in the United States. Orchard was its junior varsity most valuable player in 2017 and 2018 and academic all-league as a junior last year. "Mallory rounds out our 2020 grad incoming class. We are excited to welcome her to our program. She is an outstanding student and a top-level athlete," coach Emily Russell said in a Lee release. "She pitches for a top-level club team in Southern California and goes to Norco, which is the No. 1 softball program in the country. She is a winner, and we are excited to add such a tenacious competitor to our program." As to why she picked the Lady Flames, Orchard said, "Before meeting the coaches or seeing the field, I fell in love with the school's campus, atmosphere and academic opportunities provided. Then, of course, I loved the coaches and the team."
* Bryan College's Madison Owens was the Appalachian Athletic Conference softball pitcher of the week for her shutout wins in two AAC doubleheader sweeps — allowing three hits and no walks in four innings in each, with six strikeouts in the first — and she gave up three hits again, in six innings this time, in Wednesday's 2-0 victory at Milligan after a 15-1 Bryan romp behind Lindsey Dunn. The Lions (12-7, 6-0) scored eight and six runs in the first two innings, when Maryah Sober hit a two-run single and a three-run home run. Brooke Belflower was 2-for-2 with a triple and three runs scored, Addy Keylon was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs and Hannah O'Shields and Stephanie Blevins each had two hits and two runs. Keylon was 2-for-4 in the 2-0 win.
* Benjamin Shea and Foster Wood from the two-time state-champion Signal Mountain golf team signed letters of intent Thursday to continue in the sport at NCAA schools, Lee University for Shea and Rhodes College for Wood. Both are left-handers who helped the Eagles win the 2019 TSSAA Small Class tournament by a record 67 strokes. Signal Mountain tennis star Gabe Williams and swimmer Megan Hanson also made their commitments to Rhodes official. Williams was a singles state champion in 2018 and a doubles runner-up last year, and Hanson helped set school records in the 200-yard freestyle and medley relays.
* Cleveland State sophomore runner David Tullock recently signed a letter of intent to enroll at Missouri Valley College and participate in cross country and track and field. The Cleveland High School graduate set personal records last fall for 5000, 7000 and 8000 meters and competed in the NJCAA Division I national meet in New Mexico. "I am so incredibly proud of David," Cougars interim coach Lindsey Beck said in a Cleveland State release. "He works so unbelievably hard on and off of the course and is a great teammate and person as well." Tullock follows the Lady Cougars' Sadie Lane from Ringgold in signing with the NAIA school in Marshall, Missouri.