Coweta Sports Digest

Owen sets strikeout records

Allison Owen’s junior softball season ended earlier than hoped. But the former East Coweta standout pitcher helped Mississippi State advance further in the NCAA Tournament than the program had since 2008.

Owen went the distance in a two-hit victory over Mississippi Valley State during last weekend’s Mobile Regional. Allowing only an unearned run in a 2-1 victory, the right-hander struck out a NCAA Tournament school-record 13 batters, with her 11th strikeout of the game breaking the single-season school record of 246 set by Autumn Anderson in 1998.

Her 20 strikeouts in the regional, which ended with a 3-0 loss to host South Alabama (47-8) also marked a school record for a single NCAA Tournament as well as in a career.

The win over MVSU snapped a six-game losing streak in the NCAA Tournament for Mississippi State.

She finished the 2013 season leading the Bulldogs in every major pitching category while ending the year with a 17-13 record to go with a 1.97 ERA and 250 strikeouts in 198 2/3 innings.

SMITH STILL GOING IN FRESHMAN YEAR WITH KENTUCKY SOFTBALL: Former Northgate softball standout Ansley Smith, who helped lead the Lady Vikings to a Class AAAA state championship in 2011, now has a chance to help lead her new school to a NCAA College World Series.

The freshman for 12th-ranked Kentucky will be playing with the Lady Wildcats in this weekend’s Super Regional at Arizona State, with a best-of-three series starting Saturday at 10 p.m., on ESPN2. Game 2 of the series will also be televised on Sunday at 5 p.m., on ESPN.

Smith has appeared in 39 games this season, including five starts. She is batting .205 with three homers and nine RBIs. Two of the homers came in a doubleheader sweep of Middle Tennessee on April 17, hitting a pair of two-run blasts in the same game.

ASKEY ADDS FINAL VARSITY HONOR: Before officially becoming a college freshman at the University of Virginia following tonight’s graduation ceremonies at Northgate High, Viking senior wrestler Tyler Askey picked up yet one more accolade to go with a perfect varsity career.

Askey, who added a fourth consecutive GHSA individual state championship in February to cap off a 196-0 career record, was recently named Georgia’s recipient of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award.

Created in honor of the former Olympic and world champion, the award is based on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship and community service.

Askey was one of 49 state winners (all except Mississippi) to earn the award. Five regional winners were also chosen.

The Viking standout also was selected as Wrestling Insider Magazine’s high school wrestler of the year for Georgia, sharing the honor with Pope senior Brooks Climmons.

Askey’s final varsity match was also the last in the career of high school coach Adrian Anderson, who is retiring from his wrestling duties following 400-plus victories.

Longtime Newnan head wrestling coach Tom Everett also announced his retirement at this year’s postseason banquet.

WHITTON TO PLAY IN U.S. KIDS EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP: Lee Middle School student Carson Whitton will be competing in next week’s U.S. Kids European Championship event to be held in East Lothian, Scotland.

The tournament runs from Tuesday-Thursday at East Lothian’s Gullane course.

Whitton will compete in the Boys 13-year-old division against players from France, England, Switzerland, Denmark, South Africa, Hungary and The Netherlands.

The Newnan resident is one of just three Americans playing in the division. In February, Whitton connected on his first hole-in-one while playing in the U.S. Kids Desert Shootout in Arizona.

LINDY LONG HONORED AT SPORTS CHAMPION OF GREATER ATLANTA BANQUET: Landmark Christian senior and recent state individual track champion Lindy Long was honored on May 9 as a Sports Champion of Greater Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Center.

Long, who reached the state track and cross country championships in all four varsity seasons, finished her career with four individual state titles including one in the 1,600 at this year’s GHSA Class A Private Track & Field Championships. She broke a state record by 14 seconds on the same day as her AP Literature exam.

She was one of 10 varsity athletes to earn the honor.

SKINNER HELPS NAVY CREW TEAM WIN PATRIOT LEAGUE TITLE: Former Newnan High girls lacrosse star Cessily Skinner has taken her talents from the field to the water while continuing her athletic career at the Naval Academy.

Skinner, a sophomore, helped Navy’s women’s crew team win a Patriot League Championship last weekend and will advance with the team to the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis from May 31-June 2.

It is Skinner’s second year with the program after playing three varsity sports at Newnan and moved from the second boat to first varsity boat this season.

She is the daughter of Robert and Lisa Skinner of Moreland.

COWETA COLLEGE LAX PLAYER SELECTED TO PLAY FOR TEAM USA IN EUROPEAN TOURNAMENT: Shorter College junior and former Newnan High lacrosse standout Rachel Skinner has received an invitation to play for USA Athletes International in a 10-day European tournament to be held in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Skinner is a two-time All-South Region selection and team captain for the Lady Hawks program.

Currently, Skinner is currently raising money to fund the $5,000 trip. Donations are tax deductible. Those interested can send a check with Skinner’s name in the memo line to USA Athletes International; 13095 S. Mur-Len Road, Ste. 140, Olathe, Kansas, 66062.

She is the daughter of Rhodes and Tracy Skinner of Moreland.

(Have an item for our Coweta Sports Digest? Send it to sports editor Chris Goltermann at

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