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SATURDAY'S LOCAL COLLEGE/PREP ROUNDUP: Meridian blows past Darton golf in final round of Goose Pond Spring Fling; ASU softball finishes 3rd in conference Cross Over

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Darton played well Saturday, but Meridian played better — a lot better.

The Darton golf team led for the first two days in the Goose Pond Spring Fling, but No. 1-ranked Meridian (Miss.) Community College overtook the Cavs in Saturday’s final round to win the 20-team invitational.

The Cavs, who are ranked No. 4 by Golfstat and No. 8 in the NJCAA coaches’ poll, shot 1-over as a team in the final round to finish in second place as they couldn’t match Meridian’s 10-under final round, which gave the Eagles a nine-shot victory in the three-day tournament.

Friday’s second round was shortened due to rain, and all of Darton’s golfers had to finish their second rounds early Saturday before playing the final round.

“We didn’t fold or choke or really play bad,” Darton coach Bill Jones III said. “We were all around par, but when somebody throws out a 10-under at you, you have to match them or you end up losing by nine. Meridian went out and beat us.”

Meridian’s Dylan Brown and Jake Stirling, both from Australia, tied for the individual title at 10-under.

Darton’s Joe Sakulpolphaisan, the NJCAA’s No. 1-ranked golfer, had the lead after the second round, but he and teammate Shad Tuten finished the tournament at 5-under to tie for third place.

“Joe and Shad didn’t have their best (Saturday), but they played very well in the tournament overall,” Jones said. “Joe hadn’t made a bogey all tournament until (Saturday morning). He went 33 holes without a bogey until he bogeyed No. 16 in the second round.”

Also for Darton, Austin McNeill shot a final-round 71 to finish at 4-under, while freshmen Robert Robertson and Chase Jones finished the tournament at 3-over and 8-over, respectively.

Potential payback, however, is not fall off. Darton returns to the links March 26 for the Lou Hart Invitational, which will be hosted by none other than Meridian.


ASU SOFTBALL DISAPPOINTED WITH CONFERENCE CROSS OVER FINISH:

JASPER, Ala. — The Albany State softball team lost its first two conference games of the season and left the annual cross over tournament Saturday with their worst performance in the history of the event.

ASU (10-17, 8-2) beat Lane, Miles, Tuskegee and LeMoyne-Owen in the three-day tournament, but losses to co-champions Stillman and Kentucky State left the Lady Rams with a 4-2 tournament record.

“For us to lose one game in a cross over is disappointing,” said ASU coach Robert Skinner, whose Lady Rams were 5-1 in the tournament last year and 6-0 the first four years of the event. “For us to lose two games is leaving me in a bad way right now. We really need to pick it up.”

ASU’s two losses were a 5-2 setback to Stillman on Thursday and a 3-0 shutout by Kentucky State on Friday.

“We haven’t been able to generate any offense,” Skinner said. “We let one or two little mistakes hold us down and kill us. You can still make an errors and win if you hit the ball. But we are just not hitting the ball. None of the pitchers (ASU faced) were overpowering. But they kept us off balance and kept us off the bases. We just aren’t seeing the ball.”

One bright spot was pitcher Shaywona Marks, who went 3-0 with wins against LeMoyne-Owen, Lane and Miles.

“She dominated them,” Skinner said. “I think she was really focused when she came into the tournament, and she did a really good job.”

The Lady Rams play again Tuesday at Fort Valley State before hosting Paine and Claflin in a pair of weekend doubleheaders.


DARTON BASEBALL WINS EIGHTH STRAIGHT:

SWAINSBORO — The Darton College baseball team stretched its winning streak to eight games Saturday, beating East Georgia, 12-6, in Game 1, then 11-3 in Game 2. Darton is now 20-7 overall and 7-0 in Region XVII.

Tyler Oglesby (5 IP, 10H, 3Ks) earned the Game 1 win, while Tripp Calhoun finished 5-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Kevin Manos added a 2-for-5 day with two RBI.

In Game 2, Andrew Crumbley came in for Shawn Thomas, who didn’t return after one inning when the game was delayed by lightning. Crumbley went the final six, allowing just six hits, while striking out two.

Parker Nix was 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, while Calhoun was 2-for-3 with a run scored, two RBI and a stolen base and Evan Carr finished 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. The series concludes today with one nine-inning game.


HIGH SCHOOLS:

DWS girls soccer routs Calvary, 14-0; Knights baseball shuts out Stratford, 7-0

ALBANY — Birmingham Southern signee Katie Williams posted one heck of a shutout Saturday as the Deerfield girls soccer team rolled to a 14-0 victory to improve to 6-1-1 and 3-0 in Region 3-AAA.

Williams didn’t allow a goal, while her teammates did plenty of scoring. Candace Cosby, Mackenzie Davis and Casey Kincheloe all scored four times, while Haley Kincheloe and Maggie Veilands each found the back of the net once.

DWS returns to action Monday at Southland, while the boys play Tuesday at Brookwood.

DWS BASEBALL 7, STRATFORD 0: Weston King was the leader on the mound and at the plate Saturday as the Knights improved to 4-2.

King pitched five innings without allowing a hit while striking out five, then Johnny Croley and David Hines came on in relief and closed it out. King also finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Sam Shellhaas was the catalyst for the big DWS inning when he hit a two-RBI single.

DWS returns to action Tuesday at Tiftarea.