USC Aiken coach honored by NFCA
USC Aiken softball coach Jerry Snyder has been honored for reaching the 600-win milestone by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
He was honored at the NFCA’s convention in Orlando, Fla., where he received a special commemorative 600-win plaque.
Snyder, whose 600th victory came when the Lady Pacers defeated Pfeiffer 2-1 in the first game of a doubleheader sweep on April 6, 2012, has a 604-585 record in his 25 seasons at USC Aiken.
Snyder has led the Pacers to the NCAA Division II Tournament in two of the past four years.
• Chicago Simeon High School basketball player Jabari Parker, the No. 2-rated senior in the country, will announce his collegiate plans on Dec. 20, according to multiple reports.
The Chicago Sun-Times and USA Today previously reported the news.
Parker’s final list of schools consists of BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford. He’s made official visits to all the schools except Stanford. He made unofficial visits to all of the schools.
Parker’s father, Sonny Parker, told USA Today he isn’t sure which way his son is leaning, but he’s guessing it’s between Duke and Michigan State.
LPGA star loses battle to cancer
Colleen Walker, the former LPGA Tour player who won nine times during her 23-year career, died Tuesday night after her second battle with cancer. She was 56.
The LPGA Tour said Walker died at her home in Valrico, Fla.
Walker was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2003, and returned to the tour that September. Late last year, cancer resurfaced in her hips and pelvis and spread throughout her body.
Walker played the LPGA Tour from 1982 to 2004. She had a career-high three victories in 1992 and won her lone major title in 1997 in the du Maurier Classic in Canada. In 1998, she won the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average and finished a career-high fifth on the money list.
Messi pads his record goal total
In Madrid, Lionel Messi scored his 87th and 88th goals of the year Wednesday to give Barcelona a 2-0 win at second-tier club Cordoba in the first leg of the round of 16 in the Copa del Rey.
Having broken German great Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a year on Sunday, Messi added to his tally in the 11th minute by tapping into an empty net from David Villa’s pass.
Pedro Rodriguez controlled the ball in midfield and delivered a perfectly weighted long pass to the flank for Villa to cross.
As goalkeeper Mikel Saizar fell to the ground, Messi tapped the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.
Messi received a cross from Alexis Sanchez to beat Saizar and score his 21st double of 2012 in the 74th minute. The Argentina forward has now scored two goals in each of the past seven matches he has started.
Charity game is set for Toronto
In Toronto, Tampa Bay Lighting forward Steven Stamkos and P.K. Subban, of the Montreal Canadiens, will lead teams of locked-out NHL players during a charity game on Wednesday.
The proceeds will benefit the NHL Players’ Association’s Goals & Dreams fund and RBC’s Play Hockey initiative.