SOFTBALL: Haylie McCleney homered in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie and Alabama beat Oregon 2-0 on Sunday in Oklahoma City, setting up an all-Southeastern Conference best-of-three championship series in the Women’s College World Series.
The Crimson Tide will play Florida for the championship, starting tonight. The Gators beat Baylor 6-3 earlier Sunday.
Alabama led 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh, giving the Ducks one last shot. Oregon’s Kailee Cuico’s single brought the tying run to the plate with no outs. Janelle Lindvall put one over the left-field fence, but it barely sailed foul, and she struck out looking on the next pitch.
Koral Costa singled with two outs to keep the Ducks alive, but Jaclyn Traina struck out the final batter to preserve her four-hitter.
Hardee prevails in decathlon at Hypo
TRACK AND FIELD: Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee won the decathlon at the IAAF Hypo Meeting in Goetzis, Austria, in the American’s first completed event since finishing runner-up at the 2012 London Games.
Hardee, who won the 100 meters and the 110 hurdles, set a year’s best mark of 8,518 points to beat European under-23 champion Kai Kazmirek of Germany by 47 points. Another German, Rico Freimuth, took third with 8,317.
“This victory is very sweet,” said Hardee, who didn’t finish his two decathlons last year at the U.S. and the world championships due to injuries. “It was a tough struggle with a young German having the event of his life.”
Hardee led the competition comfortably after the pole vault but saw Kazmirek closing in after the American only finished the javelin throw in 10th and the concluding 1,500 meters in 12th.
Earlier Sunday, Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the heptathlon for the fourth British victory in five years after Jessica Ennis-Hill dominated the event from 2010-12.
Ranked third before the final discipline, Johnson-Thompson came in second in the 800 meters to overtake leader Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium and last year’s winner, Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada.
Johnson-Thompson won the long jump with a 6.70-meter effort and finished the competition with a personal best of 6,682 points to beat runner-up Theisen-Eaton, who set a Canadian record with 6,641.
Chudinov defends middleweight belt
BOXING: Dmitry Chudinov of Russia maintained his unbeaten record by outpointing Denmark’s Patrick Nielsen to retain his interim WBA world middleweight title.
Chudinov won a unanimous decision over 12 rounds in the town of Mytishchi, Russia, just outside Moscow, ending Nielsen’s unbeaten record in the process.
Chudinov dominated the fight from start to finish but Nielsen managed to hang on until the end, with the Russian fighter winning 116-112, 117-111 and 115-113 on the scorecards.
The Siberia-born Chudinov, nicknamed “Night Wolf,” improved to a 13-0-2 record with eight knockouts, while Nielsen is now 22-1.
Colombian climber Quintana wins Giro
CYCLING: Nairo Quintana confirmed himself as cycling’s next star by winning the Giro d’Italia in Trieste, Italy, to follow his runner-up finish in last year’s Tour de France.
The 24-year-old climbing specialist with the Movistar team won two stages and finished with a 2 minute, 58 second advantage over fellow Colombian Rigoberto Uran for his first Grand Tour victory.
Quintana took the pink jersey by winning the grueling 16th stage over the Gavia and Stelvio climbs then also took the 19th leg, a mountain time trial.
Quintana finished second to Chris Froome in last year’s Tour. While he isn’t planning to enter the French race this year, Quintana has designs on winning it next year.
Marquez remains perfect in MotoGP
MOTOR RACING: Marc Marquez won the Italian Grand Prix in Scarperia, Italy, with a pass at the start of the final lap to extend his perfect start to the MotoGP season.
With his sixth consecutive victory, Marquez became the first rider since Valentino Rossi won seven straight in 2002 to take six or more successive races.
Marquez started on pole but trailed Jorge Lorenzo for much of the race before finally passing his fellow Spaniard on a straight with seven laps to go.
The pair then traded the lead several times before Marquez finally surged in front for good around the outside of the Mugello circuit’s first turn.
Marquez clocked 41 minutes, 38.254 seconds. Lorenzo finished 0.121 behind and seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi was third, 2.688 back.
Click here to comment on this story »