Morning Sports for Saturday, April 26th:
MLB: Tigers Top Twins
The Tigers scored seven runs in the third inning, and cruised past the Twins 10-6 Friday night. It was a nickel-and-dime inning… five runs scored on five different singles… one on a ground out… and one on a bases-loaded walk. Rick Porcello pitched effectively for five innings… but ran into trouble in the sixth, when Minnesota scored four times off him and Justin Miller. Porcello earned the win, and Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save. The Tigers play at Minnesota again this afternoon. Anibal Sanchez will pitch against Phil Hughes. Full details from yesterday’s game are here.
Catcher Alex Avila left last night’s game with a bruised shin. He’s listed as day-to-day.
Matt Garza earned his first win of the season, turning in seven strong innings as the Brewers beat the Cubs 5-2. Milwaukee opened quickly, scoring twice in the first inning. Lyle Overbay hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. The Brewers continue that home series against the Cubs tonight. Marco Estrada will start against Travis Wood. Full details from yesterday’s game are here.
Finlandia Softball Opens GSAC Tourney
The Finlandia University softball team opened play at the Great South Athletic Conference tournament in Georgia with two wins on Friday. In the first game, the Lions blanked Trinity Washington University 8-0. Miranda Brewer pitched a two-hitter, and struck out nine. Amanda Youker had two hits, and drove in two runs for Finlandia. The second game was closer… as the Lions edged Salem College 10-9. Finlandia opened a big lead by scoring six runs in the top of the sixth inning… only to see the Spirits respond with six runs of their own in the bottom of the inning… and two more in the bottom of the seventh. The tying run was on second base when Alyson Herman got Kaitlin Horner to ground out to end the game.
Finlandia will face top-seeded Agnes Scott College this afternoon at 2:00. If they win, they advance to the championship series tomorrow. If they lose, they’ll play another game later this afternoon… and would still move into the championship series with a win.
Finlandia’s Alexis Lawley was named the 2014 GSAC Softball Player of the Year on Friday. Lawley led the league in hitting with a .603 batting average. That’s second-best in the nation. Her .987 slugging percentage is seventh-best in the nation. Lawley also led the league in runs, home runs, total bases, and on-base percentage.
Red Wings Face Elimination Today
Jonas Gustavsson will be in goal this afternoon, as the Red Wings fight for their playoff lives in Boston. Gustavsson will be filling in for Jimmy Howard… who is still suffering from the flu. The Wings have brought up goalie Jake Paterson from Grand Rapids as a backup. Daniel Alfredsson says he’ll be available, after missing the last two games with back pain. Detroit trails the best-of-seven opening round series three games to one. Faceoff is at 3:00 on AM 1400, WCCY.
Former Lions Quarterback Morrall Dies
Legendary quarterback Earl Morrall passed away Friday. He was 79, and had been ill with Parkinson’s Disease for some time. Morrall led Muskegon High School to a state title in 1951… then quarterbacked Michigan State to a Big 10 title and a Rose Bowl win. He was drafted by the ‘49ers… dealt to the Steelers… then sent to the Lions in the infamous Bobby Layne trade. Morrall spent six seasons in Detroit… then moved on to the Giants… and the Colts. In the 1968 season, he took over for injured Baltimore quarterback Johnny Unitas, and led the Colts to a 13-1 record, and a berth in Super Bowl III. He was named the League’s Most Valuable Player. Two years later, Morrall again replaced an injured Unitas, as the Colts won Super Bowl V. In 1972, Morrall came off the bench for the Dolphins… replacing the injured Bob Griese to start 11 of the 17 games in Miami’s undefeated season. In the 1980s, he served as quarterbacks coach for the University of Miami… where he helped develop future NFL stars Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Vinny Testaverde.
MTU Tennis Opens Conference Tourney Play
The Michigan Tech men’s tennis team begins play at the GLIAC Tournament in Midland today. They’ll face top-seeded Northwood in their opening match.
NMU to Induct Four into Hall of Fame
Northern Michigan University will welcome four new members into its Athletic Hall of fame today. Trout Creek native Shana Decremer Ojala led the Wildcats women’s basketball team to the Elite Eight in the 1995-1996 season, after transferring from Michigan Tech. She’s a member of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame, as is her grandfather, Ben Manning. Hockey goalie Tuomas Tarkki, cross country and Nordic skiing standout Lindsey Weier Dehlin, and longtime team physician Dr. John Lehtinen round out this year’s class.
LSSU to Name New Hockey Coach
Lake Superior State University will introduce its new hockey coach at a press conference at noon today. Watch it live here.
Sisu Shuffle Today
The annual Sisu Shuffle will be held this morning at the Portage Health main campus in Hancock. The Shuffle is a fun, non-competitive 5k run/walk. The shuffle is free, and several participants will win some nice prizes. Registration will open at 10:15, and you can begin shuffling at 11:00.
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