National Sports Briefs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 29, 2008

Associated Press
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. ó Andy Roddick hit a shot not found in any how-to manual Saturday, and it came at a critical time to help him survive a scare in his opening match at the Sony Ericsson Open.
The sixth-seeded Roddick beat qualifier Viktor Troicki 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
When Troicki pushed a backhand wide, Roddick had his victory. But six seeded men lost, including No. 21 Lleyton Hewitt, beaten by Jose Acasuso 6-3, 7-6 (4).
On the women’s side, Lindsay Davenport played at Key Biscayne for the first time in five years and needed only an hour to eliminate Camille Pin 6-2, 6-1. Second-seeded Ana Ivanovic beat Emelie Loit 6-1, 6-2 and advanced to a third-round match Sunday against Davenport.
SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. ó Lorena Ochoa moved into position for her second straight Safeway International victory and second win in three starts this year, shooting a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take the third-round lead.
– AVONDALE, La. ó Woody Austin, Nicholas Thompson, Peter Lonard and Briny Baird topped the Zurich Classic leaderboard at 8 under when rain, lightning and thunder forced the suspension of third-round play.
Play was stopped at 1:48 p.m., then called off for the day at 5:35 p.m.
– PALM COAST, Fla. ó German star Bernhard Langer shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 on the windy Oceanside course to reach 11-under 133 and move two strokes ahead of Lonnie Nielsen (69) in the Champions Tour’s Ginn Championship.
NEW YORK – Lisa Fernandez, a three-time Olympic champion and perhaps softball’s signature star for more than a decade, did not make the U.S. team’s final 15-player roster for the Beijing Games.
The 37-year-old Fernandez was named a replacement player on the American team, which will attempt to win its fourth straight gold medal this summer. Fernandez was on the mound when the U.S. team won gold in Athens, completing a historic run through the tournament in which the U.S. outscored the competition 51-1.
Fernandez was also the starting pitcher when the U.S. won it all in Sydney in 2000. Four years earlier, she was a reliever when the Americans clinched gold in Atlanta.CLINTON SNUBBED
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, a noted Republican, says he thought long and hard before deciding against greeting Bill Clinton when the former president visited campus on behalf of his wife’s presidential campaign.
Clinton pitched the Penn State ties of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday during a stop in State College, reminding the mostly youthful audience that her father and brother both played football at Penn State. In fact, brother Hugh Rodham, a 1972 graduate, was a backup quarterback under Paterno.
“I had a little bit of soul search I had to do when President Clinton was here the other day,” Paterno said Saturday. He said he felt that perhaps he should welcome Clinton out of respect for his status as a former president.
But in the end, Paterno said, “I couldn’t vote for either one of them because I’m a Republican.”