Sports briefs 3/28/05

Monday, March 28, 2005

Baseball

* Boston's springtime baseball shrine could soon be open for winter sports.

The owners of the Boston Red Sox hope to bring ice skating to Fenway Park as a way to squeeze more revenue out of the smallest ballpark in the major leagues.

A seasonal rink built on top of the playing surface during the offseason would host college hockey games and public skating. The team plans to apply to the city soon for a license for the rink, said the team's chief operating officer, Mike Dee. The rink could be open as early as the end of this year, he told The Boston Globe.

College

* Arizona State running back Loren Wade has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a former ASU football player outside a Scottsdale night club early Saturday.

Police said Brandon Falkner, 25, of Tempe was shot in the head as he sat in his car outside club CBNC about 2:30 a.m.

Falkner and Wade had exchanged sharp words, police said, before the shot was fired.

Falkner was a three-year letterman for the Sun Devils from 1999 to 2001.

Wade, 21, from Los Angeles, started the first three games for Arizona State as a sophomore last season, then was suspended for the remainder of the schedule while the school investigated whether he had received improper benefits from a university employee. He had returned to the team and was participating in spring practice.

* Four University of Texas softball players were hurt Saturday when part of a dugout collapsed in Austin, Texas.

Tina Boutelle, Desiree Williams, Amy Bradford and Alexis Garcia were taken to St. David's Medical Center with injuries to their lower legs, university officials said. The injuries were not considered serious.

School officials said the players were standing on a bench inside the dugout during the second inning of a rain-delayed game against Kansas.

The players reported hearing a loud cracking sound before the bench and part of a cinderblock wall that supports it gave way, said Barb Kowal, a University of Texas spokeswoman.

The game at McCombs Field was canceled.

Motorsports

* Rookie Reed Sorenson raced to his first NASCAR Busch Series victory Saturday, beating Kenny Wallace by a whopping 14.417 seconds in the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.

The 19-year-old Georgia driver, making only the 11th start of his Busch career, started from the pole after topping qualifying for the first time.

Shane Hmiel was third, followed by series leader Carl Edwards.

Tennis

Top-ranked Roger Federer began a bid for his first Nasdaq-100 Open title Saturday by beating Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-1.

Federer, whose best finish at Key Biscayne was as the runner-up to Andre Agassi in 2002, won his 17th match in a row. He's 43-1 since the start of the U.S. Open last August.

The 5-foot-5 Rochus beat 6-10 Ivo Karlovic in the first round but couldn't topple the biggest talent in tennis. Federer steadily wore down his former doubles partner on a muggy afternoon and lost just seven points on his serve.

In women's play, top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo overcame a slow start and the steamy weather to beat Maria Kirilenko 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

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