Sports Briefs

Posted: Monday, June 26, 2000

Sports Briefs

Big League has successful road trip

The Soldotna Big League softball team, a group of 16- to 18-year-olds from Soldotna, Kenai and Homer, swept Wasilla Saturday, then tied Nunaka Valley Sunday. All games were on the road.

Big League topped Wasilla 23-7 in Saturday's first game, with Jessica Foster picking up the win and Morgan Mize providing relief. Mize also was 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs, while J.R. Zufelt had an infield home run and was 3-for-5.

Sarah Christianson provided the defensive play of the game with a tumbling catch in left field.

In the second game against Wasilla, Soldotna won 10-9. Mize was the winning pitcher in relief of Foster.

Mize was 3-for-4 in the game while second baseman Kari Dudley turned a triple play by catching a line drive, stepping on second and firing the ball to first baseman Jennifer Stout.

Against Nunaka Valley, Big League posted a 14-14 tie. Terra Kendrick and Christianson were 2-for-3 in the game. Nikki and Jasmine Fry preserved the tie with a couple of nice catches in left and center field.

Soldotna will return home Saturday and Sunday to play a pair of doubleheaders against Nunaka.

Oilers top Bucs

The visiting Peninsula Oilers defeated the Anchorage Bucs 14-7 Sunday to run their winning streak in the Alaska Baseball League to three games.

The Oilers started the ABL season with two straight losses, but the winning streak has allowed them to get over .500 for the first time this year.

Frank Esposito picked up the win for the Oilers, while Stephen Copeland had the save.

Randall Shelley and Jeff Jones led an Oilers attack that pounded out 13 hits by each knocking home runs.

A full box score of Sunday's game will be available in Tuesday's Clarion.

Peninsula will look to keep its winning streak going when it plays at the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks today at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 920 AM.

Bowman returning to Red Wings

CALGARY, Alberta -- Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history, is returning for another season with the Detroit Red Wings.

Bowman, 66, had been mulling his future since the Red Wings' second-round playoff elimination by the Colorado Avalanche.

As the league's entry draft was ending Sunday, Detroit general manager Ken Holland said Bowman would be back under a one-year contract. Holland had told Bowman after the Colorado series he wanted him back.

''I wanted to feel in my heart that I could come back and, healthwise, I wanted to make sure I was up to the challenge again,'' Bowman said of the month it took him to decide to return for a 29th season as an NHL coach.

''I feel good I've lasted so long. You like to go as far as you can.''

Coaching in five decades had been his goal, and he's accomplished it.

Assistant Barry Smith also will return. Dave Lewis, the other assistant, is waiting to hear from the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets on his application for the head coaching position. If he doesn't get it, he'll stay with Detroit.

Gonzalez not in lineup, but still with Tigers

CLEVELAND -- The Detroit Tigers stayed in town for another day, and so did Juan Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, who may soon be dealt to the New York Yankees, wasn't in the lineup and didn't play Sunday.

But it had nothing to do with a trade.

Gonzalez fouled a ball off his left ankle during Saturday night's game and was still hobbling around the Tigers' clubhouse following Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

''See you guys tomorrow,'' Gonzalez told reporters after dressing.

The Yankees, Tigers and Gonzalez's agent, Jim Bronner, were negotiating Sunday, trying to determine if they could finalize the deal, according to a baseball official familiar with talks who spoke on the condition he not be identified.

While there was no confirmation, it appeared the sides and the commissioner's office had agreed to an extension of the deadline to complete the trade, which originally was Sunday. The sides planned additional talks Monday, the official said.

Dutch, French gain Euro 2000 semis

BRUGES, Belgium -- Patrick Kluivert scored a record four goals to lead the Netherlands into the semifinals of the European Championship.

Raul Gonzalez couldn't even manage a penalty kick, eliminating Spain in an agonizing loss to World Cup champion France. He covered his face with his shirt while leaving the field.

Kluivert's outburst in a 6-1 victory over Yugoslavia in Rotterdam on Sunday was the greatest individual scoring display in European Championship history.

Raul, the star of the Spanish team, sailed his penalty kick over the bar in the last minute, leaving Spain with a 2-1 defeat in the other quarterfinal.

''Penalties all depend on the man,'' Spain coach Jose Antonio Camacho said. ''Sometimes you score, sometimes you don't. At least the players can now have their holidays.''

The results set up next week's semifinals: Portugal-France on Wednesday in Brussels and the Netherlands-Italy on Thursday in Amsterdam.

U.S. women stomp Costa Rica

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It was a different opponent with a similar result. The U.S. women's soccer team looks as dominant as ever through two games in the Gold Cup.

Two days after routing Trinidad and Tobago 11-0 in their tournament opener, the Americans overpowered Costa Rica 8-0 Sunday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Nikki Serlenga scored three goals and Susan Bush had a goal and four assists for the United States, which clinched a berth in the semifinals of the eight-nation tournament.

The Americans dictated play from the opening minutes, keeping the ball in the Costa Rican half of the field for more than 90 percent of the first half. The U.S. team failed to click on many early scoring runs but was never threatened by its smaller, slower opponent.

Serlenga broke the scoreless tie in the ninth minute, beating Costa Rica goalkeeper Marie Claire Herra with a shot from the top of the penalty area. Shannon MacMillan scored from nearly the same spot a minute later and Bush made it 3-0 when she dashed into the goal crease and sent home a long cross from Cindy Parlow in the 22nd minute.

Christie Welsh scored off a cross from Bush in the 47th minute to make the score 4-0 and Serlenga sent a rocket past Herra from just outside the crease in the 53rd minute for a 5-0 lead.

Serlenga scored in the 64th minute for her first hat trick since joining the team in January. Welsh and Sara Whalen added goals in the final 15 minutes.

World Cup veterans Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Tiffany Milbrett and Kate Sobrero did not play.

The stadium, which seats 42,000, was less than one-quarter filled when the U.S. game started, despite sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s.

Earlier Sunday, Katia Da Silva scored seven goals in Brazil's 11-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

The Brazilians defeated Costa Rica 8-0 on June 23, and will play the U.S. team on Tuesday night in Foxboro, Mass.

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