VALPO FALLS BEHIND EARLY, DOESN'T CATCH UP TO UIC: Illinois-Chicago struck for six runs in the first three innings and never looked back in a 12-5 Horizon League win over Valparaiso on Saturday. Chris Manning led the Crusaders (24-25, 10-10) with a double and two RBIs.
FIRE SHUT OUT AGAIN: Jack McInerney scored his league-leading seventh goal of the season Saturday and Zac MacMath made six saves to lead the Philadelphia Union to a 1-0 victory over the Fire.
McInerney took a 35-yard pass from substitute Sebastien Le Toux in the 75th minute, danced around defender Jalil Anibaba and slipped the ball by diving goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
The victory was the first in three matches for Philadelphia (4-3-3) and only the second in its last seven games. It was the fourth loss for the Fire (2-6-1) in the last six matches and the second straight game without a goal. Chicago has been shut out in five of its nine matches this MLS season.
NADAL REACHES SEVENTH STRAIGHT FINAL AT MADRID OPEN: Rafael Nadal reached his seventh consecutive final since returning from a knee injury, brushing aside wild-card entry Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-4 at the Madrid Open on Saturday.
Nadal can win his fifth title since coming back from seven-month layoff healing his left knee.
The Spaniard will play Stanislas Wawrinka after the 15th-ranked Swiss recovered late to defeat Tomas Berdych 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will meet for the No. 1 ranking and the women's title after winning semifinals in straight sets.
The top-ranked Williams will have a chance to win her 50th title after beating Sara Errani of Italy 7-5, 6-2. No. 2 Sharapova got her 500th win at all levels after defeating Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-3. Williams boasts a 12-2 record against Sharapova.
FORMER JETS RECEIVER SAUER DIES: George Sauer, a wide receiver on the New York Jets' only Super Bowl championship team, has died. He was 69.
Sauer played a key role in the Jets' 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl. He caught eight passes from Joe Namath that day in one of the greatest upsets in pro football history.
He played for the Jets in the AFL and then the NFL from 1965-70. He was chosen to four all-star teams and was a two-time All-Pro. In 84 games, he caught 309 passes for 4,965 yards and 28 touchdowns.
LEGALLY BLIND VAULTER COMPETES AT TEXAS STATE MEET: A legally blind 15-year-old pole vaulter cleared three heights at the Texas state championship but didn't win a medal.
Charlotte Brown of rural Emory Rains high school was one of the top qualifiers in girls' Class 3A with a height of 11 feet, 6 inches. Her best vault of Saturday's final was 10-6, and she missed on three chances at 11-0.
Brown was born with normal vision but developed problems while still an infant. She has no depth perception, sees no color and cannot distinguish shapes. Her range of vision is similar to looking through a tiny straw. She reads Braille and will get a seeing eye dog next month.
Around the horn
Valparaiso senior Andrew Rixon took sixth in the javelin throw (172 feet, 1 inch) at Friday’s Dr. Keeler Invitational in Naperville, Ill. ... Blackhawks Western Conference Final tickets go on sale at noon Monday. For details, go to www.ticketmaster.com, or call (800) 745-3000. ... Brooks Orpik scored 7:49 into overtime, and the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame three one-goal deficits in Game 6 to eliminate the New York Islanders with a 4-3 victory on Saturday night. ... ... The United States beat France 4-2 Saturday to take the lead in its group at the ice hockey world championships. Stephen Gionta and Bobby Butler gave the Americans a 2-0 lead in the first period, and captain Paul Stastny and David Moss added goals in the third. American goaltender Ben Bishop had 15 saves. ... Wigan won the FA Cup for the first time in its 81-year history by beating big-spending Manchester City 1-0 on Saturday in one of the biggest final upsets the tournament has seen. ... Tamika Catchings scored 17 points to lead the defending WNBA champion Fever to an 80-75 victory over San Antonio in a preseason opener. Shavonte Zellous and Layshia Clarendon each added 13 points.