Varsity Football

Helmets approved for camp use by KSHSAA

Helmets may be used in high school and middle school camps under a proposal approved by the Kansas State High School Activities Association board of directors Saturday in Topeka.

Previously not allowed because no school-owned equipment or uniforms can be used in camps, the proposal was seen as a way to improve player safety. Other padding remains prohibited.

"We've had incidents where one kid's head hit another kid's face," Emporia principal Scott Sheldon said. "We had another incident when a kid hit his head on the ground. With wearing a helmet, we could minimize incidental things."

* If it were up to him, Penn State coach Joe Paterno would expand the Big Ten by three members to 14, adding two schools from the east and one from the west.

Paterno said Saturday before the Nittany Lions spring game that it's just his preference, and he doesn't know if anyone else in the conference agrees with him.

But the Hall of Fame coach says he has a "gut feeling" the Pac-10 will expand first, and the Big Ten will have to grow, too, if that happens.

The league has said it is exploring expansion options and has a timetable of 12 to 18 months to make a decision.

If the conference grows by one to 12 teams, it can add a championship game, which Paterno has been touting for several years.

TRACK & FIELD

Wichita State's La'taish Brown won the women's long jump at the Sooner Invitational, breaking the WSU record and moving into a tie for ninth nationally at Norman, Okla.

Tonya Nero and Leah Thompson finished 1-2 in the 1500 meters.

On the men's side, WSU's Todd McKown finished third in the 110 hurdles with a time of 13.97 seconds, the fastest outdoor time in the event for WSU since 2004.

Rugby

The Wichita Barbarians defeated the visiting Kansas State team 40-29 on Saturday.

Tennis

American Melanie Oudin beat Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-3 after slow starts in both sets during Fed Cup play at Birmingham, Ala. Then Russia's Elena Dementieva evened up the Fed Cup semifinals matchup with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Dementieva, ranked No. 6 in the world, set up a big rematch today with Oudin in the best-of-five match.

The 18-year-old Oudin, ranked a career-best 31st, rallied from two games down in each set to win the match at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena. She fell behind 1-3 and 0-2 to the Russian, who was making her Fed Cup debut and admitted nerves bothered her.

Not Oudin, who had the support of some 20 friends and family members from her suburban Atlanta hometown two hours away.

Oudin took control after the slow start, breaking Kudryavtseva's serve three straight times in the first set.

Dementieva capitalized on 43 unforced errors by Mattek-Sands in a matchup of players with aggressive styles to win the second singles match. Mattek-Sands is ranked 129th.

* Fernando Verdasco reached his second final in two weeks by beating David Ferrer 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-1 in the Barcelona Open semifinals.

Eighth-seeded Ferrer rallied from early jitters with solid baseline play to take the first set in a tiebreaker.

Fifth-seeded Verdasco snapped his fellow Spaniard's momentum with two breaks in the second set to even the match. Verdasco then dominated his Davis Cup teammate in the deciding frame with forehand winners.

Ferrer was denied a third straight trip to the Barcelona final, where he had lost to Rafael Nadal both times.

Second-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden was playing Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands in the second semifinal.

* Wichitan Laurette Jennings was ranked No. 1 in women's 4.0 singles for Kansas by the Missouri Valley Tennis Association in 2009.

SOFTBALL

Wichita State dropped both games in a doubleheader against visiting Southern Illinois, losing 3-1 in the first game and 9-4 in the second game to fall to 15-27 overall and 5-12 in Missouri Valley Conference play.

Kasha Kolb was the losing pitcher for WSU in the first game, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out seven.

In the second game, Southern Illinois scored three runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings sparked by back-to-back home runs by Katie Wilson and Allie Hanson in the third.

BASEBALL

Newman closed out its home schedule by sweeping a three-game series from Oklahoma Panhandle State, closing things out with a 14-6 win on Saturday after sweeping Friday's doubleheader.

Newman trailed 5-0 in the fourth inning before rallying to tie the game at 5-5 in the sixth, then tacking on four more runs in the seventh and five in the eighth.

Brandon Cox became the first Newman player to record four doubles in one game, going 4 for 4 with four RBIs.

SOCCER

Kansas City shut down Los Angeles' Edson Buddle for the first time this season, but Kei Kamara's goal-line blunder meant the Wizards had to settle for a scoreless tie with the unbeaten Galaxy at Kansas City, Kan.

Buddle had seven goals in the first four games for Los Angeles (4-0-1), but got off only one shot on goal against the Wizards.

Wizards keeper Jimmy Nielsen had five saves and still hasn't conceded a goal at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, and Donovan Ricketts made six stops for the Galaxy for his fourth shutout in five games. In Los Angeles' first four matches, Ricketts had a total of five saves. Kansas City (2-1-1) remained unbeaten in three home matches.

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