OKLAHOMA CITY — Holly Tankersley's eighth-inning homer off NCAA wins leader Stacey Nelson lifted Louisiana-Lafayette to a 3-2 upset of top-seeded Florida on Thursday, the opening day of the softball World Series.
The Gators face Virginia Tech in an elimination game at noon Saturday. Louisiana-Lafayette faces Texas A&M at 7 tonight.
Nelson (45-4) had allowed only one homer in 3162/3 innings this season and entered with the nation's third-lowest ERA (0.73).
"You can't have the attitude that if we lose one, we'll lose another," Nelson said. "Through the season, even though we haven't lost a lot of games, there's been games where we've been behind and we've been able to come back. I think our team has a lot of character in that respect."
In other games, Texas A&M beat Virginia Tech 1-0 when third baseman Charisse Mariconda's wild throw to first in the sixth allowed Andrea Tovar to score.
Football: SEC coaches seek new signing period
DESTIN — SEC coaches voted 9-3 in favor of asking the league to support national legislation for an early signing period.
The proposal would give players one day (likely in late November) to sign a binding letter of intent. Mississippi coach Houston Nutt said it would allay concerns of coaches swaying players who previously gave only a nonbinding oral commitment. Florida's Urban Meyer, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier and Arkansas' Bobby Petrino voted against it.
West Virginia: The lawsuit against ex-coach Rich Rodriguez is headed for mediation with the goal of resolving it by Aug. 1. The school believes Rodriguez owes it a $4-million buyout for resigning to take over at Michigan. He alleges the school failed to honor verbal promises, including reducing or eliminating the buyout. If mediation doesn't help, a pretrial motion is scheduled for Nov. 10.
Men's soccer: Aubrey "Trey" Perry, a member of the U.S. under-17 national team and two-time Parade All-American, said he has signed with USF and will play in the fall. He said he considered Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and UCLA. "I loved the environment," said Perry, a 5-foot-9 defender who lives in Ocoee but has trained the past two years at IMG Academy in Bradenton. "And it's close to home."
Men's golf: Florida's Billy Horschel shot 5-under 67 for a one-shot lead midway through the four-round NCAA tournament at Purdue. Clemson leads by one over UCLA. UF is fourth, four strokes back.
Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.