Lions' Rivers, Baker earn PIFL honors

March 12, 2013 

The Professional Indoor Football League named Columbus Lions linebacker Justen Rivers and kicker Chandler Brooks as the Week 1 Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week.

Rivers finished Sunday's 58-28 victory over Knoxville with three tackles and two sacks. He also blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown.

Brooks led all PIFL kickers in scoring with 10 points going 7 of 8 on extra point attempts as well as tacking on three Uno's.

The Lions will play at defending PIFL champion Albany at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

CSU-Stillman game postponed

Heavy rain in the Tuscaloosa, Ala., area Monday soaked Stillman's baseball field, forcing Columbus State and Stillman to postpone Tuesday's scheduled game.

No make up date has been announced.

CSU (9-11) will return to the field Friday at No. 22 Montevallo (17-7). The first game of the three-game Peach Belt Conference series is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Auburn runs win streak to seven

KENNESAW, Ga. -- Auburn won its seventh straight game taking advantage of eight walks and four hit batters by Kennesaw State pitchers Tuesday night at Stillwell Field.

Auburn (13-3) scored once in the first, three times in the second and third and one more in the fourth for an 8-0 lead.

Dillon Ortman (1-1) pitched four innings in relief and earned the win.

Bulldogs rally past Appalachian State

ATHENS, Ga. -- Brett DeLoach and Justin Bryan hit home runs to lead Georgia to a 9-4 win over Appalachian State.

The Bulldogs scored five times in the seventh and twice in the eighth to rally for the win.

DeLoach finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

First baseman JT Phillips (Columbus High) went 1-for-1 with a run scored.

Alabama loses fourth straight

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama lost its fourth straight game as Memphis limited the Tide to just four hits in a 6-0 victory on Tuesday.

Alex Gunn went seven innings for the Tigers and allowed just three hits.

Taylor Guilbeau took the loss as he gave up three runs on five hits in four innings.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL

Two CSU players earn honors

Columbus State softball players Casey Googe and Taylor Turner earned Peach Belt Conference honors, it was announced Tuesday.

Googe won the Player of the Week award by hitting .481 in eight games with two homers, three doubles, 10 RBIs and an .815 slugging percentage.

Turner was named the PBC Pitcher of the Week after pitching 19 scoreless innings in three starts, all wins. She gave up only 11 hits and three walks while striking out 14.

COLLEGE GOLF

CSU men finish third at Southeastern

Valdosta, Ga. -- The Columbus State men's golf team struggled to a 20-over-par 308 score Tuesday in the final round of the First Federal Southeastern Intercollegiate at the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.

The No. 8 Cougars sliiped from a tie for second into a finish at third. It was their fifth top-3 finish this season.

Barry, which was tied with CSU for second when the final round started, won the team title by four shots over Florida Southern.

Jack Stumpfig finished 11th (5 over) to lead CSU despite shooting a 6-over 78 Tuesday.

Bryan Lichimo had CSU's best score Tuesday with a 72. He finished tied for 16th at 8 over.

Jesse Gibson (78) and Yannick Gumowski (80) finished tied for 23 at 9 over.

Robert Mize's 81 didn't count toward CSU's team score. He finished tied for 48th at 14 over.

Altiser finishes in top four

Carrollton, Ga. -- Four Columbus State women's golfers played as individuals in the University of West Georgia Invitational at Sunset Hills Golf Club.

Heather Altiser shot a 10-over 82 on Tuesday to finish tied for fourth at 16-over 160.

The other CSU players were Ciera Bagley (83-168, tie-12th), Madison Williams (86-171, 19th) and Kristin Galek (86-175, tie-24th).

TENNIS

Djokovic moves into fourth round

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Top-ranked Novak Djokovic reached the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday when he beat Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (4), 6-1 for his 20th consecutive victory.

-- From staff, wire reports

Djokovic trailed 5-3 in the first set when the 21-year-old Bulgarian committed six double faults, including four in one game, to help the Serb force the tiebreaker. Djokovic won it on a backhand error by the youngest player remaining in the draw.

"It was not really a beautiful match to watch," Djokovic said. "There were a lot of unforced errors, and we both look quite sluggish on the court."

Dimitrov was broken twice in the second set while falling to 1-17 against top-10 opponents.

"He did all the work making winners and making unforced errors," Djokovic said. "I just needed to hang in there and try to be patient."

Djokovic moves on to play Sam Querrey, a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 7-5 winner over Marinko Matosevic.

Djokovic hasn't lost since Oct. 31, when Querrey beat him at the indoors Paris Masters.

"He does everything really well: unbelievable forehand, unbelievable backhand, moves around the court great, returns great. It's tough to pick on something," Querrey said. "I might have to go outside of my comfort zone a little bit and do things I don't like to do, and hopefully it will pay off for me."

Querrey is poised to take over as the top-ranked American in the men's game -- albeit not in the top 10 -- from Mardy Fish, who lost 7-6 (4), 7-6 (0) to No. 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"The most important thing is your world ranking," Querrey said. "If you're top 10 I think you're seen a little differently."

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka played later in the day.

Maria Sharapova advanced to the women's quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino of Spain, someone she had never played before.

Sharapova trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in the first set before rallying on a cloudless day in the desert when temperature reached the lower 90s.

"Just didn't get a good rhythm on her game from the beginning," she said. "Maybe I was going for the lines a little bit more than I had to, especially in the first few games when you don't know too much about your opponent or haven't played her.

"Towards the end of the first and beginning of the second set I really stepped it up, was being more aggressive, and really gave myself a better margin than I did throughout the first set."

Tsonga has beaten Fish all four times they have played. The Frenchman next plays 17th-seeded Milos Raonic, who outlasted Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

"I'm going to have to serve well and try to get ahead on his second-serve points," Raonic said about Tsonga. "When he's making his first serves he serves really well and it's tough."

Fish lost in the third round for the second straight year. He is playing his first tournament since last September after being sidelined with a heart condition, although he hasn't disclosed the exact nature of the problems.

"I certainly missed playing tennis for a living. I certainly missed making money, got bills to pay," he said. "It's a tough thing because the last time that I was on the tennis court was some of the worst times I have ever had. That part is very hard to deal with. It's not easy to come back from that. This week is a good step in the right direction."

Fish is still in contention in doubles with partner James Blake, and he plans to play in Key Biscayne, Fla., next week.

In other men's matches, 19th-seeded Tommy Haas got by No. 11 Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (2), and Carlos Berlocq defeated No. 16 Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-2.

On the women's side, fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova beat No. 19 seed Klara Zakopalova 6-2, 6-3, and sixth-seeded Sara Errani defeated No. 9 Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-2. Errani next faces Sharapova.

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