Coach, pitcher claim top honors in MWC

UNLV’s Lonni Alameda was named Mountain West Conference softball Coach of the Year for the second time, and sophomore Christie Robinson (15-5, 2.26 ERA) was named Pitcher of the Year.

Robinson was joined on the All-MWC team by shortstop Jaci Hull (.370 batting average, 12 home runs) and first baseman Kendall Fearn (.297, 13 home runs).

Alameda led UNLV to a 37-27 overall record, including 12-8 in conference. The Rebels were 26-37 last year.

The league’s six coaches on Monday selected the honorees, including naming Brigham Young shortstop Jodi Norton the Player of the Year.

Also: UNLV men’s tennis coach Owen Hambrook was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Mountain Region Coach of the Year.

Hambrook guided UNLV to the Mountain West Conference Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament bid.

Sophomore Elliot Wronski (19-12) was named the ITA’s Mountain Region Player to Watch.


Cyclists could face discipline from WADA

The World Anti-Doping Agency is prepared to take disciplinary action in the Operation Puerto cycling scandal now that it has gained access to the files in the Spanish doping investigation.

WADA previously had been rejected as a party in the case. The agency, which discussed Operation Puerto at its weekend meetings in Montreal, said it also would file an appeal against a Spanish judge’s decision to drop the case.

WADA said in a statement Sunday it now has the “ability to intervene in the case.” It added that it “will review the documents for elements which may be used for sports disciplinary purposes and will work with UCI (the international cycling union).”

The scandal broke in May 2006 when sports physician Eufemiano Fuentes, coach Manolo Saiz and six other people were arrested in Madrid on suspicion of providing doping services to cyclists.

In a related matter, Italy’s Olympic Committee recommended the Italian Cycling Federation suspend Ivan Basso for admitting involvement in the scandal.

Basso said he had intended to cheat but never did, and was guilty only of “attempted doping.”


Hamlin’s Nextel Cup team eyes changes

Joe Gibbs Racing officials met to discuss personnel changes after a pit road mishap cost Denny Hamlin a possible victory at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sunday.

Hamlin was critical of his crew after a pair of dropped lug nuts during a late pit stop cost him the race. Hamlin, who led a race-high 179 laps, was in second when he went into the pits but plummeted to 16th after the error.

He still rallied to finish second but was furious with his team after the race.

Also: The O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will not be held as scheduled this weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway because part of the freshly resurfaced track is not ready.

The event was rescheduled for July 6-8.

Roger Federer will compete in the French Open and Wimbledon without a coach.

The top-ranked player, who split from Tony Roche after four straight tournaments without a title, said he wouldn’t be hiring another coach in the near future.

Anaheim Ducks left wing Chris Kunitz will undergo surgery today on his broken right hand and is expected to miss the rest of the postseason.

The Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings are tied at a game apiece in the Western Conference finals.

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