Sports Digest: USM stuns top-seeded UMass Boston in Little East softball tourney

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COLLEGES

The University of Southern Maine, seeded fifth, went ahead for good with a four-run fifth inning to stun top-seeded UMass Boston 8-4 Thursday at the Little East Conference softball tournament in Boston.

Trailing 3-2 after three innings, the Huskies tied it in the fourth on a fielding error before Abby Miner broke it open with a three-run double. Olivia Levasseur added a two-run triple in the sixth.

Miner, Levasseur and Makena Mulcahy each had two hits for Southern Maine, which will play Eastern Connecticut on Friday.

• UMaine was knocked out of the America East Tournament with a pair of losses in Orono.

Maine, the sixth seed, didn’t recover after allowing six runs in the third inning to third-seeded Bryant, eventually losing 7-4 in the elimination game.

The Black Bears did chip away at the lead over the final three innings, including two in the seventh on an RBI ground out by Kyrah Haba-Dailey and an RBI single by Gabby Papushka.

Nora Campo had two hits for Maine.

The Black Bears lost 3-2 to No. 2 Binghamton earlier in the day.

After taking a 2-0 lead on Maine’s only hit, a two-run homer by Caitlyn Fallon, in the top of the fourth, the Bearcats tied it in the bottom of the inning on a two-run homer by Emma Lawson and went ahead on RBI double by Bella Farina. Winning pitcher Brianna Roberts then allowed two harmless baserunners the rest of the way.

BASEBALL: Adam Maher scattered three hits and struck out seven over seven innings as third-seeded UMass Dartmouth handled fourth-seeded USM 6-0 at the Little East Conference tournament in Boston.

Chris Kustigian hit a three-run homer in the second inning. Devyn Vezina hit an RBI double in the third before UMD added two more in the eighth on singles by Andrew Possi and Anthony Keefe.

Christian Siciliano, Jack LeBlond and Lucas Francis each had a hit for the Huskies.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Igor Milicic Jr., one of the top big men in the American Athletic Conference at Charlotte last season, will play his final year at Tennessee.

Volunteers Coach Rick Barnes announced the addition of Milicic, who becomes the third transfer to join the team for 2024-25.

The 6-foot-10, 225-pound Croatian spent his first season at Virginia and the last two at Charlotte. He has averaged 8.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in his career.

FOOTBALL

OBIT: Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Jimmy Johnson, a three-time All-Pro and member of the All-Decade Team of the 1970s, has died. He was 86.

Johnson’s family told the Pro Football Hall of Fame that he died on Wednesday night.

Johnson, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994, played his entire 16-year pro career with San Francisco. He appeared in 213 games, more than any other 49ers player at the time of his retirement.

NFL: The New York Giants have signed wide receiver Allen Robinson to a free-agent contract with the hope he can help boost the team’s struggling offense.

Robinson was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers two months ago in a cost-cutting move. The 30-year-old Robinson is a veteran presence in a receivers room adding first-round draft pick Malik Nabers, the all-time leading receiver at LSU.

Robinson started all 17 games for the Steelers last season and caught 34 balls for 280 yards, both career lows except for the 2017 season when an injury limited him to one game.

• The Los Angeles Rams traded receiver Ben Skowronek to the Houston Texans in a swap of late-round draft picks.

Houston got Skowronek and a seventh-round pick in 2026 for a sixth-round pick in 2026.

TENNIS

ITALIAN OPEN: Rafael Nadal dropped the first set of his first-round match at Rome against Belgian qualifier Zizou Bergs, but rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory before an adoring crowd in what will likely be his final tournament at the Foro Italico.

Nadal was playing only his 10th match this year after missing nearly all of 2023 with a hip injury that required surgery. He’s hoping to be competitive one last time at the French Open, where he is the record 14-time champion.

In other matches, Serbian qualifier Hamad Medjedovic beat Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-2; Thiago Seboth Wild defeated French qualifier Gregoire Barrere 6-4, 6-2; and Dominik Koepfer eliminated Andrea Vavassori 6-4, 6-3.

Two former top-ranked women eliminated seeded players. Naomi Osaka beat 19th-seeded Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-2 in a match that was suspended for about an hour because of rain, and Angelique Kerber ousted 17th-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-0.

AUTO RACING

INDAYCAR: Arrow McLaren named reigning F2 champion Theo Pourchaire as the permanent replacement driver for the injured David Malukas.

Pourchaire takes over the No. 6 Chevrolet for Saturday’s Indianapolis Grand Prix and will compete in all remaining IndyCar Series races with the exception of this month’s Indianapolis 500. A scheduling conflict for Indy’s qualifying weekend, May 18-19, will prevent him from driving in the series’ biggest race.

Callum Ilott, who replaced Malukas in this season’s first two IndyCar races and completed April’s open test on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval, is expected to run in the 500. Ilott, who is English, started each of the last two 500s, finishing 32nd as a rookie and 12th last season.

SOCCER

MLS: The Philadelphia Union formally announced they have signed 14-year-old academy prospect Cavan Sullivan to a Homegrown contract that will eventually land him with Manchester City.

The long-rumored deal — said to be the richest Homegrown signing in Major League Soccer history, although no details were released — allows the Union to continue to develop Sullivan and benefit in the short term from his ability, before profiting when he likely heads overseas to the Premier League.


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