RODRIGUEZ LEADS PIRATES PAST CUBS: Wandy Rodriguez allowed just two hits over 6 2-3 innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Cubs 3-0 on Wednesday night for their first win of the year.
Andrew McCutchen smacked an RBI double for the Pirates. Starling Marte and Gaby Sanchez also drove in a run, more than enough for Rodriguez on a frigid night.
Jason Grilli, promoted to the closer's role in the offseason, worked the ninth for his first save.
Rodriguez, acquired in a trade deadline deal with Houston last July, struck out six and walked one in a continuation of his strong spring.
Edwin Jackson gave up two runs in five innings but lost to the Pirates for the first time in seven career starts. The Cubs produced just two singles and only put a runner on third once.
CRUSADERS SWEEP EASTERN MICHIGAN: An eighth-inning RBI single by Kaitlyn Ranieri (Lake Central) gave Valparaiso a 3-2 win and a doubleheader sweep over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday.
Tarah McShane and Janelle Bouchard each doubled and had two RBIs in a 5-4 win in the opener.
Joylyn Ichiyama was a combined 3-for-7 with a solo home run and a double for the Crusaders (20-12).
PUMAS SWEEP CRIMSON WAVE: Visiting St. Joseph's beat Calumet College 5-1 and 3-2 at the Whiting Sports Complex
Kylie Weeks went 3-for-4 to lead SJC in the opener. Morgan Moseley (Lake Central) was 2-for-6 on the day.
Jessica Pabey (E.C. Central) had a hit in the opener, and Brittany Renninger was 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Crimson Wave (12-15). Lauren Johnson (Crown Point) finished the twinbill 3-for-6 with two runs.
SOUTH SUBURBAN'S COX NAMED POW: Griffith's Rhionnon Cox was named the OC Sports NJCAA National Player of the Week for March 25 to 31.
In four appearances last week, the South Suburban College freshman went 2-1 with 33 strikeouts. She pitched a shutout against No. 2 Rock Valley College giving up on two hits and striking out 12. The freshman pitcher has a 2.67 ERA on the season with 53 strikeouts.
VU'S HENNING EARNS HORIZON LEAGUE HONOR: Valparaiso junior Kyle Henning has been named Horizon League Golfer of the Week after finishing in a third-place tie at last weekend’s Beu Mussatto Invitational in Macomb, Ill.
Henning had a three-round total of 219, placing two shots behind the winner.
NO. 20 NOTRE DAME RALLIES PAST VALPO: Three eighth-inning runs by No. 20 Notre Dame gave the Irish a 3-1 win over visiting Valparaiso on Wednesday.
Freshman Dalton Lundeen threw seven shutout innings for the Crusaders (10-17). Andy Burns had the lone RBI for Valpo.
RUTGERS FIRES RICE AFTER VIDEO RELEASE: Fueled by outrage from even the governor when the video went public, Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice on Wednesday after deciding it didn't go far enough by suspending and fining him for shoving, kicking and throwing balls at players along with spewing gay slurs.
Athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the tape by a former employee in November and, after an independent investigator was hired to review it, Rice was suspended for three games, fined $75,000 and ordered to attend anger management classes. University president Robert Barchi signed off on the penalty.
But on Wednesday, Rutgers referred to new information and "a review of previously discovered issues" as the reasons for Rice's termination.
"Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior," Barchi said in a statement. "I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University."
Around the horn
The current Big East will be called the American Athletic Conference starting next season. The AAC will have 10 members in its first season: Rutgers, Louisville, Connecticut, South Florida, Cincinnati, Central Florida, Memphis, Houston, SMU and Temple. Rutgers and Louisville are likely leaving after 2013 and are set to be replaced by Tulane, East Carolina and Tulsa in 2014. ... Minnesota has picked 30-year-old up-and-comer Richard Pitino to take over for Tubby Smith. In his lone season at Florida International, Pitino led the Panthers to an 18-14 record, the school's first winning season in 13 years.