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No. 24 SDSU Beats No. 25 Kentucky and UC Santa Barbara

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No. 24 SDSU Beats No. 25 Kentucky and UC Santa Barbara


 

SAN DIEGO – No. 24 San Diego State swept a pair of games on Saturday night at SDSU Softball Stadium, including a 2-1 victory over previously unbeaten and 25th-ranked Kentucky. The Aztecs (2-2) opened with a 2-1 win over the Wildcats (3-1) before beating UC Santa Barbara, 6-1, in the nightcap.

In the opener, Mac Barbara hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the third inning to put SDSU in the lead and Allie Light pitched four scoreless innings of relief to pick up her first win of the season.

UK, which has picked up two wins over No. 3/3 Stanford this weekend and another victory over Minnesota, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Eric Coffel doubled in Jenna Blanton. With no outs and two runners in scoring position. San Diego State freshman starting pitcher Cece Cellura got Peyton Plotts to line out to second base, where Micaela Macario almost tagged the runner on second for the double play. On the very next pitch, Rylea Smith flew out to shallow center field, where Macey Keester rifled a throw to catcher Cali Decker, who tagged Vanessa Nesby at the plate for the inning-ending double play.

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The Aztecs responded in the bottom of the third as Katie Goldberg led off with a single to right field. It appeared Goldberg was going to be stranded at first base after Keester fouled out and Bella Espinoza lined out, both to Grace Lorsung at third base. Micaela Macario struck out swinging, but advanced to first on a passed ball. Goldberg and Macario each moved up a base on a wild pitch before Barbara ripped a 1-2 pitch to center field to give SDSU a lead it would not relinquish.

Light (1-0) entered in the fourth and worked around four hits and a walk over four innings, striking out three while stranding seven Kentucky runners. Cellura, pitching in her first career game and earning her first start, gave up one run on four hits and no walks over three innings, striking out one.

Light and Cellura stranded nine Wildcats in the game, and held Kentucky to just a 3-for-15 outing with runners on base and 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Barbara, Goldberg and Macario had San Diego State’s hits in the game, while Alyssa Garcia reached via walk.

In the nightcap, the Aztecs surpassed their run and hit total from the first three games of the season with six runs and 12 hits in a 6-1 win over the Gauchos (0-4).

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Barbara homered, singled, had two RBIs, a run and a walk to pace the SDSU offense, while four others – Goldberg (2 RBI, SF), Keester (RBI, R), Macario (RBI, R, 3B) and AJ Murphy – added two hits apiece.

UCSB tied San Diego State with an infield single by Elicia Acosta in the bottom of the first but the Aztecs scored the final five runs of the game.

Garcia (1B, BB) and Angie Yellen (2-for-3, 2 R, BB) also reached twice for SDSU, which went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position and 7-for-19 with runners on base.

Cellura gave up one run on two hits and no walks over two innings as the starter, striking out two. Dee Dee Hernandez pitched a scoreless four innings of relief, striking out four with three hits and no walks allowed. Hernandez got the win and is now 1-1 on the year. Cassidy West hit the first batter she faced in the seventh but retired the next three in order with two strikeouts.

THE NOTE
RHP Allie Light has pitched 12 1/3 scoreless innings this season with just nine hits allowed (.191 average).

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THE NOTE II
In the nightcap, San Diego State outhit UC Santa Barbara, 12-5, making it 13 consecutive victories when outhitting its opponent.

STAT OF THE DAY
Despite playing games in the opening weekend against Stanford (No. 3 in last year’s final RPI), Minnesota (No. 28), Kentucky (No. 29) and UC Santa Barbara, the Aztec pitching staff went 2-2 with a 1.75 ERA in 28 innings, striking out 25 against three walks and limiting the opposition to a .263 average.

UP NEXT
SDSU plays at San Diego at 5 p.m. PT Wednesday.

Game 1: No. 24/rv San Diego State 2, No. 25/rv Kentucky 1
Kentucky (3-1)                       001 000 0 — 1 8 0
San Diego State                      002 000 x — 2 3 2
Langdon and Hamilton; Cellura, Light (4) and Decker
W – Light, 1-0; L – Langdon, 0-1

Game 2: No. 24/rv San Diego State 6, UC Santa Barbara 1
San Diego State (2-2)            110 211 0 — 6 12 0
UC Santa Barbara (0-4)         100 000 0 — 1 5 1
Cellura, Hernandez (3), West (7) and Decker, Garcia (4); Snyder, Stoll (4), McCoskey (5) and Donaldson
W – Hernandez, 1-1; L – Snyder, 0-2
HR: San Diego State, Barbara (1)

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Other Saturday Scores at the San Diego State Season Kickoff
No. 25/rv Kentucky 3, No. 3/3 Stanford 2 (8 inn.)
No. 3/3 Stanford 3, Minnesota 0
Minnesota 4, UC Santa Barbara 3





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Kentucky

Tyrell Ward’s last-second shot lifts LSU over No. 17 Kentucky 75-74

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Tyrell Ward’s last-second shot lifts LSU over No. 17 Kentucky 75-74


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — While LSU’s Tyrell Ward was mobbed on the court by jubilant fans, including women’s basketball star Angel Reese, Kentucky coach John Calipari and the Wildcats could only watch the celebration while awaiting a brief video review of the frantic, last-second sequence that did them in.

Ward capped a 17-point performance with a short floater as time expired, and LSU pulled out a second straight comeback victory over a ranked team with a 75-74 victory over No. 17 Kentucky on Wednesday night.

“We wanted it more than them, plain and simple,” Ward said. “I would definitely say we’re finding more ways to win.”

The Wildcats nearly sealed a dramatic, last-minute comeback when Adou Thiero blocked Jordan Wright’s driving shot in the final seconds. Wright was able to push the ball back up in front of the rim, where Ward leaped to grab the ball and quickly release his decisive shot before he came down.

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“Adou blocks it; I got to watch the tape and say, ‘Who did not grab that ball — the winning ball — who didn’t grab it and why?’” Calipari said. “Why not dive on the floor? Just tie it up and we win the game.”

Calipari lamented that an inability secure a number of loose balls cost his team the game.

“That’s all we talk about,” Calipari said. “If you’re not going to come up with 50-50 balls, you can’t win. … They toughed us for those balls, which were the difference.”

Ward’s basket sent jubilant fans pouring onto the floor as security officers scrambled to rope off an area around both benches in an effort to minimize mingling between spectators and the teams.

Reese threw her arms around Ward’s shoulders as she hopped joyously next to him, but Ward said he didn’t realize she was there.

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“I blacked out as soon as the shot went in,” Ward said. “I can’t remember. I didn’t know nothing that was going on.”

Wright and Jalen Reed each scored 13 points for LSU (14-12, 6-7 Southeastern Conference), which erased a 15-point, second half deficit against Kentucky — one game after overcoming a 16-point, second-half hole in a 64-63 victory at then-No. 11 South Carolina on Saturday.

“Just so proud of our players,” LSU second-year coach Matt McMahon said. “Over the last week, we’ve seen the toughness that we need to play with. I think it has to be the foundation of your program.

“We really came together as a team and found ways to get it done,” he added. “It’s a special week, certainly something we can build on.”

Antonio Reeves scored 25 points for Kentucky (18-8, 8-5), which has now stumbled to five losses in its past nine games. Rob Dillingham scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half. His driving scoop as he was fouled with 53 seconds left, followed by his pullup jumper on the baseline with 13 seconds left, briefly gave the Wildcats a 74-73 lead.

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“The last minute was not a work of art, but that’s on me and the guys found a way to win anyway,” McMahon said.

Kentucky closed the first half on a 12-1 run during which Reeves hit a 3 and fast-break layup. Justin Edwards’ 3 gave the Wildcats a 36-27 lead at the break.

Kentucky opened the second half with consecutive 3s by Edwards and Reeves to make it 42-27, but Derek Fountain’s layup shortly after ignited a 21-4 LSU run that included consecutive 3s by Wright and ended with back-to-back layups by Reed and Hunter Dean to put the Tigers up 48-46.

Reed Sheppard interrupted the spurt with a layup while being fouled and completed the 3-point play, but the game was tight from then on.

BIG PICTURE

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Kentucky: The Wildcats did not have any players other Reeves or Dillingham score more than nine points and were outshot 45%-44%. … Senior forward Tre Mitchell, who has averaged 12 points per game this season, sat out for the fourth time in five games with an ailing shoulder and back.

LSU: The Tigers are looking like an increasingly dangerous opponent as the conference tournament nears. They outrebounded Kentucky 38-30 and won a second straight game without guard Jalen Cook, who sat out with a hamstring injury that has caused him to miss three of five games overall.

UP NEXT

Kentucky: Host No. 13 Alabama on Saturday.

LSU: Host Mississippi State on Saturday night.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Kentucky

Kentucky Senate supports constitutional change to restrict end-of-term gubernatorial pardon powers

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Kentucky Senate supports constitutional change to restrict end-of-term gubernatorial pardon powers


FRANKFORT, Ky. — The GOP-dominated Kentucky Senate endorsed a proposed constitutional change Wednesday to limit a governor’s end-of-term pardon powers, reflecting the outrage still burning over pardons granted by the state’s last Republican governor on his way out of office in 2019.

The measure seeks to amend the state’s constitution to suspend a governor’s ability to grant pardons or commute sentences in the 30 days before a gubernatorial election and the time between the election and inauguration. The restriction essentially amounts to two months of a governor’s four-year term.

“This proposed amendment would ensure that a governor is accountable to the voters for his or her actions,” state Sen. Chris McDaniel, the measure’s lead sponsor, said in a statement after the Senate vote.

The proposal sailed to Senate passage on a 34-2 tally to advance to the House. Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers. If it wins House approval, the proposal would be placed on the November statewide ballot for voters to decide the issue.

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The measure is meant to guarantee what happened at the end of former Gov. Matt Bevin’s term never occurs again in the Bluegrass State. During his final weeks in office, Bevin issued more than 600 pardons and commutations — several of them stirring outrage from victims or their families, prosecutors and lawmakers. Bevin’s actions came as he was preparing to leave office, having lost his reelection bid in 2019.

While presenting his bill Wednesday, McDaniel read newspaper headlines chronicling some of Bevin’s pardons. The Courier Journal in Louisville earned a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Bevin’s actions.

McDaniel also put the spotlight on the case of Gregory Wilson, who was convicted decades ago for the rape and death of a woman. Wilson was sentenced to the death penalty, but Bevin commuted his sentence to life with the possibility of parole after 30 years. The state parole board recently decided that Wilson must serve out the remainder of his life sentence.

Kentucky Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel listens to the proceedings during the Senate session in Frankfort, Ky., Feb. 1, 2024. The GOP-dominated Kentucky Senate endorsed a proposed constitutional change led by McDaniel, Wednesday, Feb. 21, to limit a governor’s end-of-term pardon powers, reflecting the outrage still burning over pardons granted by the state’s last Republican governor on his way out of office in 2019. Credit: AP/Timothy D. Easley

Another high-profile Bevin pardon was granted to Patrick Baker, whose family had political connections to the Republican governor, including hosting a fundraiser for him. Baker was pardoned for a 2014 drug robbery killing but later was convicted for the same slaying in federal court. He was sentenced to 42 years in prison. A federal appellate court upheld the conviction.

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McDaniel has pushed for the same constitutional change to put limits on gubernatorial pardon powers since 2020, but he has so far been unable to get the measure through the entire legislature. On Wednesday, he called his proposal a “reasonable solution to a glaring hole in the commonwealth’s constitution.”

The proposal won bipartisan Senate support Wednesday.

Democratic state Sen. Reginald Thomas stressed there have been “no allegations, nor any innuendos of wrongdoing” regarding current Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s use of his pardon powers. Beshear defeated Bevin in 2019 and won reelection last year in one of the nation’s most closely watched elections.

“This is a reaction to the previous governor, Gov. Bevin, and his obvious misuse of that pardon power,” Thomas said.

The proposed restriction on gubernatorial pardon powers is competing with several other proposed constitutional amendments being considered by lawmakers for placement on Kentucky’s November ballot.

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Ford and UAW reach local contract agreement at Kentucky Truck plant, averting threat of a strike

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Ford and UAW reach local contract agreement at Kentucky Truck plant, averting threat of a strike


DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative agreement on a local contract at the company’s largest and most profitable factory, averting the threat of a strike.

The union said last week said that nearly 9,000 workers at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville would walk picket lines starting Friday if the contract dispute was not resolved.

But the UAW said in a statement Wednesday that a deal had been reached, ending the strike threat.

The tentative agreement addresses health and safety issues, ergonomics, the company’s efforts to reduce the number of skilled trades workers and other issues, the union said.

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The plant, one of two Ford factories in Louisville, makes heavy-duty F-Series pickup trucks and the Ford Excursion and Lincoln Navigator large SUVs, all hugely profitable vehicles for the company.

A strike at the sprawling plant would have been the second in the past year. In October, UAW workers shut down the plant during national contract negotiations that ended with large raises for employees.

Workers have been without a local contract for five months, the UAW said.

It says there are 19 other local agreements being negotiated with Ford, and several more at rivals General Motors and Stellantis.

The strike threat last week came after Ford CEO Jim Farley told an analysts’ conference in New York that last fall’s contentious UAW strike changed Ford’s relationship with the union to the point where the automaker will “think carefully” about where it builds future vehicles.

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