Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Sports digest


U.S. Little League semifinalists are determined

Enquirer staff and wire reports

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Sidearm curveballs, regular fastballs and even some knuckleballs. No matter the direction or the spin, Jordan Brower was nearly unhittable.

Brower struck out eight and drove in the winning run to lead Thousand Oaks, Calif., into the United States semifinals with a 3-1 win over Lincoln, R.I., at the Little League World Series.

"We're the best team in our bracket," said first baseman Danny Leon. "I think we're the team to beat."

In other games Tuesday: Curacao beat Saipan 3-0; Canada beat Poland 5-1; Richmond, Texas, beat Preston, Md., 13-1; Panama beat Taiwan 6-2; and Owensboro, Ky., defeated Redmond, Wash., 3-2.

Panama, Taiwan, Mexico and Curacao have clinched spots in the semifinals.

Richmond, Texas, plays Morganton, N.C., in one United States semifinal today, and Thousand Oaks, Calif., plays Preston, Md., Thursday.

Brower settled down after a shaky first inning, retiring 10 straight and looking dominant against a Rhode Island team playing about 12 hours after a 5-4 loss to Morganton, N.C.

Serena is seeded No. 3 for U.S. Open

Serena Williams was seeded third behind Justine Henin-Hardenne and Amelie Mauresmo for next week's U.S. Open - eight spots above her No. 11 ranking.

That's thanks to the "protected ranking" the WTA Tour gave both Williams sisters in January, taking into account their performances before long injury absences.

Sister Venus was seeded 11th. Ranked 12th, she jumped one slot because 2003 runner-up Kim Clijsters is out after wrist surgery.

Each Williams has won the Open twice.

Otherwise, the men's and women's seedings match the rankings, with No. 1s Henin-Hardenne and Roger Federer leading the way.

The draw is today.

Defending men's champ Andy Roddick was seeded No. 2, then Carlos Moya, 2001 champ Lleyton Hewitt, Tim Henman and two-time winner Andre Agassi.

PILOT PEN: Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova was upset in three sets by wild card Mashona Washington at New Haven, Conn.

Sharapova, ranked seventh in the world, had 12 double-faults in the match. Three of them occurred in two games in the deciding set of Washington's 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 win.

Third-seeded Jennifer Capriati, the defending champion, outserved and outlasted Tatiana Golovin 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals.

NBA

DAMPIER TO MAVS: The Dallas Mavericks received Erick Dampier from Golden State to complete an eight-player deal. Dallas sent Christian Laettner, Eduardo Najera, two future first-round draft picks and the draft rights to guards Luis Flores and Mladen Sekularac to the Warriors for Dampier, Dan Dickau, Evan Eschmeyer and the draft rights to Cincinnati Bearcats product Steve Logan.

The 6-foot-11 Dampier averaged career highs of 12.3 points and 12 rebounds in 74 games last season for the Warriors.

BRYANT CASE: The judge in the Kobe Bryant rape case sharply restricted how the news media may cover the trial using television and still cameras, saying he was worried too much exposure could threaten the fairness of the proceedings.

District Judge Terry Ruckriegle said no cameras will be allowed during witness testimony or jury selection. Still photography will be allowed during opening statements and closing arguments. Video and audio coverage will be allowed only during closing arguments.

Golf

USGA MID-AMATEUR: Medalist Jeffrey Scohy (68) of Dayton, Greg Earnhardt (70) of Greensboro, N.C., Dan Gage (71) of Hamilton and Cincinnatian Robert Gerwin II (72) were the sectional qualifiers Tuesday at the Heritage for the U.S. Mid-Am Championship Oct. 2-7 at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simon's, Ga.

Auto racing

NASCAR: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway's half-century of tradition changed in a flash Tuesday with the debut of its multimillion-dollar lighting system. Just before twilight, officials threw the seven switches that lit up exterior lights at NASCAR's oldest superspeedway.

Six-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon headlined an exhibition program that also featured truck series points leader Bobby Hamilton and racing greats David Pearson and Cale Yarborough.

The additions might save Darlington's spot on the Nextel Cup schedule.

The track has hosted two races a year since 1960.

Beginning next year, the track will have just one race on the schedule - Mother's Day weekend.




REDS / BASEBALL
Reds work for win
Larkin's future remains unsettled
Reds Hall of Fame adds 3 inductees
Kearns back, feels good at plate
Tavarez benched for 10 games
NL: Seven-run first propels Marlins
AL: Red Sox keep grip on wild-card lead
AAA: Columbus 9, Louisville 2

XAVIER BASKETBALL
Odia is cleared to join Muskies

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals work to improve tackling
Bengals to keep training at G'town
Bengals e-mail Q&A
Meet the Bengals: Tory James
QB Palmer to get a little more PT
Dumped by Cowboys, Carter lands with Jets

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
For Indiana St., playing Miami makes cents
Third year crucial for Notre Dame
Ex-aide only one indicted in Colorado recruiting case

THIS WEEK'S SPORTS POLL
Which college football team will have the best record this season?

OLYMPICS
Daugherty: It's hardly easy being in synch like Jasontek
Daugherty: It's all Greek if you're visiting
Greece's fans, not its team, Americans' biggest concern
This year's Olympics: Chauvinist's nightmare
Gardner two victories from winning repeat gold

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
High school sports schedules, results
Sports digest
Sports today on TV, radio