Olympics: Baseball, softball out, golf in
OKLAHOMA CITY — On a day when her sport lost another bid to get back into the Olympics, U.S. softball star Jennie Finch vowed to fight on.
A two-time Olympian, Finch called Thursday a heartbreaking day, particularly for young players around the world who dreamed of playing at the sport's highest level.
Softball was added to the Olympics at Atlanta in 1996 and was a part of the last four games, with the United States winning three gold medals before Japan's victory last summer in Beijing.
In 2005, softball and baseball became the first sports in 69 years to be dropped from the Olympics, beginning with the 2012 London Games. Both lost appeals for reinstatement in 2006 and then set their sights on this year's vote to get back on the program for 2016.
Instead, International Olympic leaders voted to recommend that golf and rugby be added to the 2016 Games,
Venus, Serena both ousted in Ohio
MASON, Ohio — The Williams sisters have seldom spent such a miserable day together.
Venus Williams botched routine shots all the way through a 7-6 (2), 6-4 loss to Italy's Flavia Pennetta on Thursday, the first major upset at the Cincinnati Open. She made 38 unforced errors, repeatedly dumping balls into the net or well beyond the baseline.
"I saw her after the match, and she just said she had made a lot of errors," younger sister Serena said. "I was like, 'Wow.' I didn't think I would do the same thing."
Not the same. Worse.
Playing on the same court a few hours later, Serena topped her sister in confounding mistakes. She had 44 unforced errors during a 7-5, 6-4 loss to Austria's Sybille Bammer, who reached the quarterfinals of a tournament for only the third time this year.
"I never played worse in my life," Serena said. "It was really a bad match."
With the Williams sisters gone, the $2 million Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open became a stage for Kim Clijsters' comeback. She returned from a two-year layoff to recharge and start a family, and won her first two matches rather easily. Clijsters persevered through a tough test on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals.
She showed focus and energy in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova during the midday heat.
UVU adds assistant hoops coach
OREM — Utah Valley University men's basketball coach Dick Hunsaker announced Thursday the hiring of Ken DeWeese as an assistant basketball coach.
DeWeese, 28, spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach under his father, Ken, at Div. III University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.
The Cru participated in the American Southwest Conference tournament each season he was there.
— Staff and wire services