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Published: Sat, February 26, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



YSU

Baseball

AUSTIN, Texas -- Youngstown State's baseball game at Texas Saturday was rained out.

The teams will play two nine-inning games today at 1 p.m.

LOCAL

Tourney tickets

BOARDMAN -- Tickets for Boardman High's Division I girls regional semifinal game against Mentor will be on sale at the high school athletic office Monday and Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Presale tickets are $5 for students and $6 for adults.

Curbstone

The Curbstone Coaches weekly noon luncheon will be held at Lockwood House on Monday. WFMJ-TV sports director Dana Balash will be the guest speaker.

Umpires meeting

YOUNGSTOWN -- The Youngstown Metro Umpire Association will hold an OHSAA baseball/softball meeting today at 1:15 p.m. at St. Nicholas Activity Center on Shady Run Rd.

Call John Mang (330) 502-6665 for more details.

Mountaineer addsFriday races

CHESTER, W. Va. -- Live racing resumes on Friday's at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort beginning March 4.

Post time is 7 p.m. with the exception of July 4 and Aug. 14, which are 2 p.m. starts.

Sharon Speedwaytickets on sale

HARTFORD -- Tickets for Sharon Speedway's 2005 special events, like the World of Outlaws sprints and late models, will go on sale Tuesday.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at (330) 772-1186 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets also may be purchased online at www.sharonspeedway.com.

REGION

Bettis agreesto return to Steelers

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't ready to park the Bus just yet.

Jerome Bettis, who weighed retiring after the Steelers lost in the AFC championship game last month, agreed Saturday to another pay cut and will play for at least one more season.

This is the second consecutive season the NFL's No. 5 career rusher has accepted a substantial pay cut to stay in Pittsburgh. Bettis was to have made $4,484,000 next season, but will play for about $1.5 million -- or about $500,000 more than his base salary last season.

Bettis was due to make $4,484,000 in 2005 and $5,484,000 in 2006 under his old contract, far too much for the Steelers to fit under their salary cap.

NATION/WORLD

Godina win's men's shot put national title

BOSTON -- John Godina won the shot put Saturday at the U.S. Indoor Track Championships with the longest indoor throw in the world this year.

Godina, who finished a disappointing ninth at the 2004 Athens Olympics after earning a silver in 1996 and a bronze in 2000, won with a throw of 71 feet, 71/2 inches on his first try.

Reese Hoffa finished second at 71-4, which ranks as the second-best indoor throw in the world for 2005, followed by two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson at 70-10.

Jonathon Riley captured his third straight U.S. title in the men' 3,000 meters, edging Bolota Asmerom by just .08 seconds of a second with a winning time of 7 minutes, 53.73 seconds.

Riley had to survive a ferocious finishing kick from Asmerom to defend his crown.

Tora Harris followed up on a second-place finish in last year's Indoor Championships by winning the men's high jump at 7 feet, 5.25 inches, which tied his personal record.

Gwen Wentland took home top honors in the women's high jump by clearing 6-2, just ahead of Kaylene Wagner, who topped out at 6- 3/4.

Brian Johnson won the men's long jump despite three fouls. Johnson jumped 25-103/4 on his first try, which was enough for first ahead of Tony Allmond.

Jen Toomey won her second straight women's 1,500-meter with a time of 4:13.25. Scott McGowan upset defending champ Rob Myers in men's 1,500 meters with a winning time of 3:44.18.

Jennifer Stuczynski cleared 14 feet, 31/4 inches to win the women's pole vault, and Shayne Culpepper took first in the women's 3,000 meters.

Tennis roundup

*WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams will take the court for the U.S. Fed Cup team when it faces Belgium in a quarterfinal on April 23-24.

Williams, fresh off her Australian Open championship, and Davenport, the world's top-ranked player, will host a Belgian team that could include Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters. Both former No. 1's missed much of last year because of injuries.

*DOHA, Qatar -- Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova won her second WTA Tour title this month, rallying past Alicia Molik of Australia 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 Saturday in the Qatar Open final.

Sharapova, seeded second, captured her ninth career title. She won the Tokyo Open this month, then took two weeks off to recover from the flu.

Molik, seeded fourth, broke the 17-year-old Russian in the third game for the first set and appeared in position for her second title of 2005 after winning in Sydney, Australia, last month.

*DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Roger Federer routed Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-1 in the Dubai Open semifinals Saturday and will play Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic in a title match for the third time this year.

The top-ranked Federer beat Agassi a sixth straight time. This latest victory was even more impressive than the one in straight sets in last month's Australian Open quarterfinals. Agassi last defeated Federer in 2002.

Federer, the two-time defending Dubai champion, will play eighth-seeded Ljubicic only a week after edging the big-serving Croat in the Rotterdam final. Last month, the Swiss star downed Ljubicic in the Doha final.

*ACAPULCO, Mexico -- Top-seeded Flavia Pennetta advanced to the finals of the Mexican Open for the second year in a row Saturday, breezing past fellow Italian Antonella Serra Zanetti, 6-2, 6-1.

Ranked 30th in the world, Pennetta used precise, long strokes to overpower her 118th-ranked opponent in just 68 minutes.

Pennetta, who fell a year ago to 2004 Acapulco champion Iveta Benesova, showed no signs of leg problems that slowed her in the first set of her Friday victory over Alilia Osterloh.

She will meet Slovakia's Ludmila Cervanova, who rallied to best fifth-seed Dally Randriantefy of Madagascar, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Vindicator staff/wire reports




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