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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 14, 2001

Marcus Nettles' two-out single scored Kevin Howard and Kris Clute in the sixth inning as Miami defeated South Florida 8-2 in the first of two games at Red McEwen Field in Tampa.

Hurricanes starter Chris Sheffield (2-0) threw 101 pitches in a career-best six innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.

Four Miami batters -- Nettles, Mike Rodriguez, Danny Matienzo and Howard -- had two hits each.

MORE COLLEGE BASEBALL: Reliever Eric Roman pitched four no-hit innings as host Florida State beat Northern Iowa 4-3 for its 12th consecutive victory.

COLLEGES: The host Jackonville women's tennis team beat Appalachian State 5-2 for its second win in a row, led by a win at No. 1 singles by Tiffany Pinciotti, from Tampa King.

GOLF: David Duval, Davis Love III and Thomas Bjoern have withdrawn from this week's Bay Hill Invitational, tournament organizers said. Duval pulled out because of an ailing right wrist. Love withdrew citing fatigue. Bjoern said he cannot get to Orlando after playing last week on the European PGA Tour. ... Tiger Woods received the Mark H. McCormack Award for spending the most time last year at No. 1 in the world ranking, all 52 weeks. ... After two major operations and several months of chemotherapy for cancer, former European Ryder Cup captain Mark James said he plans to return to tournament play in May.

TENNIS: Second-ranked Marat Safin, hindered by a sore back, was upset by Thomas Johansson in their first-round match in the men's Masters Series tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. Also, Mardy Fish, an up-and-coming 19-year-old from Vero Beach, eliminated Mark Philippoussis 6-4, 6-7 (7-2), 6-4.

SOCCER: Christie Welsh and Stephanie Rigamat scored as the United States defeated host Portugal 2-0 in the Algarve Cup. Welsh scored in the 62nd minute on an assist from Katherine Reddich, and Rigamat scored with three minutes left. Welsh's goal ended a 315-minute U.S. scoreless streak stretching across four matches and dating to a 1-1 tie with China in January.

AUTO RACING: Cars for two-time winner Arie Luyendyk and 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Scott Sharp are among the first entries for the Indianapolis 500.

TRACK AND FIELD: Michael Johnson plans to retire after this summer's Goodwill Games in Australia, ending a career in which he won five gold medals at the Olympics and nine at the world championships. The 33-year-old runner previously had said this would be his last year competing. He said he did not want to "be an athlete who didn't leave when it was time." ... Runner Mark Richardson's bid for early reinstatement from a drug suspension was rejected by the sport's governing body. The International Amateur Athletic Federation also referred the drug case of hammer thrower Mihaela Melinte to arbitration at an undetermined date. Also, sprinters could be disqualified after one false start instead of two in a proposal before the ruling body. The proposed change was made to the IAAF Council by the organization's technical committee.

BASKETBALL: The Las Vegas Bandits of the IBL quit operations, citing low attendance and financial trouble.

OLYMPICS: The gymnastics coaches of Romania's gold-medal winning team at Sydney have threatened to quit because of wages of less than $150 a month. "We have complained repeatedly for years but received only empty promises," said Mariana Bitang, assistant coordinator for the national team. ... Mario Vazquez Rana, president of Mexico's Olympic Committee since 1974, said he will leave the post in April.

FIGURE SKATING: A world-class coach has been sued by a skater who contends the coach sexually exploited her during four years of training. The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Meriden, Conn., by Jessica Roos, naming Bob Young, the former executive director of the International Skating Center of Connecticut.

CYCLING: Peter van Petegem won the second leg of the Paris-Nice race, a hilly 121-mile course between Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Etienne. In the final stretch, Van Petegem overtook Alexandre Vinokourov to win the stage and take the leader's jersey. Today's stage takes riders 135 miles from Saint-Etienne to Villeneuve-les-Avignon. ... Marco Pantani was questioned in Florence, Italy, by police investigating drug accusations against Italian riders who competed at the Sydney Olympics.

RUGBY: A game this weekend between France and Wales is scheduled to proceed despite the first case of foot-and-mouth disease in France. Those arriving in France must have their shoes and car wheels disinfected, French Agriculture Minister Jean Glavany told France-Inter radio. Equestrian events scheduled for Friday through Sunday were called off, however. ... The ruling body for the sport in England said it wants the Six Nations Championship to become a two-division competition involving more teams.

SAILING: Two round-the-world sailors were hospitalized after their yacht was hit by giant waves off the New South Wales state coast. Veritas was struggling against 45-knot winds and 10-foot waves when Charles Smith broke a thigh bone and fractured and dislocated his ankles, a spokesman said. Amateur crewman Robert Brooke lost the top of a finger.

DOG SLED RACING: Doug Swingley was closing in on his third consecutive Iditarod victory, with his dogs getting little rest and time running out for other mushers in the 1,100-mile trek. Swingley was expected to cross the finish line in Nome early today after about 91/2 days of racing.

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