Colleges: Vanderbilt earns share of SEC baseball title, No. 4 seed at tournament

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 10:39pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt earned a share of the Southeastern Conference baseball championship when it took two out of three from Georgia capped by a 17-7 victory Saturday in the final contest of the regular season.

The Commodores finished in a three-way tie with Florida and South Carolina atop the conference standings but earned the fourth seed — and a rematch with Georgia — in the conference tournament. They were seeded behind No. 1 South Carolina and No. 3 Florida based on tiebreakers and No. 2 seed Arkansas, the winner of the Western Division.

Vanderbilt (44-9, 22-8 in the SEC) and Georgia (28-28, 16-14) will play the final game (approximately 7:30 p.m.) on the opening day.

The teams split the first two games of their weekend series, and the Bulldogs led after seven innings in the finale before Vanderbilt exploded for 11 runs — five in the eighth inning, six in the ninth, which included home runs from Aaron Westlake and Jason Esposito.

The Commodores’ last conference championship was in 2007.

Trevecca tumbles: Trevecca Nazarene’s bid for an NAIA national softball championship ended Saturday with an 8-0 loss to Oregon Tech in the final game of pool play.

The defeat kept the No. 2-ranked Trojans out of the elimination round. They won their first two tournament contests — 9-0 Midland (Neb.) University on Thursday and 4-0 over Northwood (Texas) on Friday.

Against No. 18 Oregon Tech, though, they managed just one hit — a Kelsey Lantrip single — in a game shortened to five innings by the eight-run rule.

Top 10 finish: Sophomore Anna Leigh Keith finished 15th individually and led the Vanderbilt women’s golf team to a 10th place tie at the NCAA Championship, which concluded Saturday at Bryan, Texas.

The Commodores were tied for fifth at the midway point of the event but shot their highest score of the tournament (304) in the third round and followed with a 301 in the final 18. They finished tied with Florida as the SEC had six of the top 13 teams.

Keith finished 5-over, and junior Marina Alex was two strokes back, tied for 24th.

Moving on: Middle Tennessee State University senior Jason Millard was the only NCAA Men’s Golf Championship individual qualifier out of the San Diego regional as he finished with a 1-over (211) in the 54-hole event.

Millard shot a final round 70 (2-under) and tied for fourth in the individual standings. MTSU was 10th in the team standings.

VU tennis eliminated: Jackie Wu and Chelsea Pregg won the first match, but Vanderbilt lost the doubles point and fell 4-0 to No. 4 North Carolina in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Sweet 16.

Pregg and Wu triumphed 8-4 as a team but Pregg lost at No. 3 singles and Wu trailed at No. 2 when the outcome was assured. Each of the Commodores’ top three players dropped their opening set in a tiebreaker.

Lauren Mira was the only VU player who won a set in singles. She took the first set at No. 4 singles 7-5.