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SOFTBALL

Lady Jags picked to finish 3rd in league

Augusta State is picked to finish third in the Peach Belt Conference's preseason poll of league coaches.

USC Aiken is picked to finish sixth.

Both teams made it to the postseason in 2009. USC Aiken finished 34-16 and Augusta State was 34-21.

North Georgia, the defending regular season and tournament champions, received nine of 10 possible first-place votes and 99 total.

Francis Marion received the other first-place vote and finished second with 72 points.

Augusta State had 70 points, along with Georgia College and State, and USC Aiken had 67.

GOLF

Club is accepting donations for event

Palmetto Golf Club is accepting donations to its Honor Day, during which the Aiken club will show its appreciation for the 1221 National Guard Engineer Clearance Company, which is located in Graniteville and Batesburg-Leesville, S.C.

It will be held Feb. 28.

The unit, which is scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan this summer, is one of two in the Army whose mission is to clear roads of IEDs.

With the donations, the club will play host to a solider for a day of golf, drinks and food. The club has waived greens fee and cart fee for the soldiers.

The fundraiser will also help the families of the soldiers while they are deployed.

Donations can be sent to Palmetto Golf Club, 275 Berrie Road, Aiken, S.C., 29801. Checks should be made out to 1221 National Guard Engineer Clearance Company.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Lesnar is prepared to make comeback

Brock Lesnar is ready to resume training to defend his UFC heavyweight title after a serious intestinal problem derailed his career and endangered his life.

Lesnar hasn't been in the octagon since UFC 100 last July, when he beat Frank Mir in the biggest event in mixed martial arts history.

Lesnar struggled through several months of pain and confusion with an illness eventually diagnosed as diverticulitis.

UFC president Dana White expects Lesnar to return this summer, likely fighting the winner of Mir's March 27 bout against Shane Carwin in Newark, N.J.

BOXING

Ex-champion Cotto ready for his return

Former welterweight champion Miguel Cotto is expected back in the ring in June, likely challenging junior middleweight titleholder Yuri Foreman at Madison Square Garden.

Top Rank president Todd duBoef said he has Madison Square Garden on hold for June 12,

SOCCER

Man United's debt continues to soar

Manchester United's total debt has risen to $1.17 billion.

Businessman Malcolm Glazer 's family-owned Red Football Joint Venture Ltd. has filed accounts that show its total debt for the year ending June 30, 2009, is $28 million higher than the previous year.

Glazer also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

- American soccer star Landon Donovan is so famous in Mexico that he's appearing in a new TV commercial for a product he'd never be promoting in the United States -- gambling on a soccer lottery.

OLYMPICS

IOC wants special medical centers

The International Olympic Committee is recommending the establishment of special medical centers to deal with athletes who have ambiguous sexual characteristics.

The IOC also wants rules put in place by sports bodies to determine their eligibility to compete on a "case by case" basis when gender is called into question.


Top headlines

Storm brings heavy rain, property damage reported

The National Weather Service in Columbia says the threat of severe weather has left the Augusta area, but not before leaving behind some property damage Sunday.
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