Americans secure spot in World Group
There was no controversy and little challenge for the American Fed Cup team this time around.
Determined to make up for an embarrassing loss to Austria earlier in the year, the Americans took the first two matches Saturday in the best-of-five series against Israel, then Monica Seles overwhelmed Anna Smashnova 6-4, 6-0 on Sunday in Springfield, Mo., to put the United States back into the 16-nation World Group.
The Americans, who have won a record 17 Fed Cup championships, lost to Austria after team captain Billie Jean King dismissed Jennifer Capriati in a bitter dispute over practice rules.
In the second singles match Sunday, Lindsay Davenport beat Tzipi Obziler 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1), the only time the Americans did not win in straight sets. In the weekend finale, Meghann Shaughnessy and Lisa Raymond, the world's No. 1-ranked doubles player, beat Obziler and Hila Rosen 6-3, 6-0, giving the Americans a clean sweep.
Columbia County routs Lamar County
Columbia County routed Lamar County, 15-1, in the Dixie Boys State Tournament in Forsyth, Ga., on Sunday.
Columbia County out-hit Lamar County 14-2, with Shawn Ward and Rich Poythress hitting two home runs apiece. Ward went 4-for-5, and Poythress went 3-for-5. Josh Brodhedrer was the winning pitcher.
Columbia County will meet the winner of the Lee County-Troup County game at 8 tonight.
Charlotte presses for downtown arena
Despite losing the Charlotte Hornets to New Orleans, Charlotte, N.C., leaders are close to building a downtown arena that could be home to an NBA team.
City Council members are expected to give City Manager Pam Syfert permission today to negotiate a lease arrangement with the National Basketball Association.
League officials are expected to come to Charlotte in August for the negotiations, city officials say. If the talks go smoothly, council members could be asked to vote on a deal by the end of that month.
The NBA has indicated it will choose an ownership group and give Charlotte an expansion team to start play by fall 2004 if a lease is signed.
Construction on a $231 million arena could begin by the end of the year.
U.S. women's team shuts out Norway
Cindy Parlow scored a pair of first-half goals as the U.S. women's soccer team defeated Norway 4-0 on Sunday in Blaine, Minn., to snap a four-game losing streak against its biggest rival.
The United States is 6-2-2 in international play this year, with both losses coming against Norway, the only team with a winning record (18-14-2) against the Americans.
Norway had beaten the United States four consecutive times, a streak dating to the gold medal game at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
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