RAILCATS TOP K.C. TO KEEP WILD CARD LEAD: The RailCats used a first-inning homer from Reid Fronk to score two runs en route to a 5-3 win over Kansas City on Thursday.
The RailCats entered the day with a 1 1/2-game lead over Winnipeg in the American Association wild card race, then had to wait out the end of the Goldeyes late game to see if that was extended.
Stephen Hiscock picked up his fourth win of the season with eight strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings.
The RailCats finish their four-game series in Kansas City with a 7:05 p.m. game today. They return home for the regular-season finale Saturday through Monday against El Paso.
VALPO’S VLASIC WINS SENIOR MATCH PLAY TITLE: Seeded 13th, Valparaiso’s Dave Vlasic still found a way to win the IGA Senior Match Play Championship on Thursday at Delaware Country Club.
Vlasic defeated No. 9 Gordie Rees 1-up in the semifinals, then edged No. 3 Skip Runnels 1-up for the title.
This is Vlasic’s third IGA win of his career. His next big event is the U.S. Senior Amateur in September.
NFL TO SPEND $765M TO SETTLE CONCUSSION LAWSUITS: The NFL agreed to pay more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to settle lawsuits from thousands of former players who developed dementia or other concussion-related brain disorders they say were caused by the very on-field violence that fueled the game's rise to popularity and profit.
The class-action settlement, unprecedented in sports, was announced Thursday after two months of court-ordered mediation and is subject to approval by a federal judge. It came exactly a week before the first game of the 2013 season, removing a major legal and financial threat hanging over the sport.
The settlement applies to all 18,000 past NFL players and spouses of those who are deceased — a group that could total more than 20,000 — and will cost the league $765 million.
BENGALS BEAT COLTS: Andy Dalton led the Bengals to a touchdown in his only drive, and Josh Johnson threw for another in his bid to win the backup job on Thursday as Cincinnati ended the preseason with a 27-10 victory over the Colts.
Matt Hasselbeck started for Indianapolis and led a 12-play drive to a field goal against most of the Bengals starters.
SERENA MOVES ON AT U.S. OPEN: Only a few spots separate them in the seedings. Still, the considerable gulf between No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 4 Sara Errani was hard to ignore in their back-to-back matches Thursday at the U.S. Open.
Williams, seeking her 17th Grand Slam title and second straight at Flushing Meadows, brushed off an ungainly slide onto her backside en route to a typically easy second-round victory, 6-3, 6-0 over Galina Voskoboeva in half-full Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Only an hour before on the same court, a much different scene: Errani imploded in a 6-3, 6-1 loss to her Italian teammate, 83rd-ranked Flavia Pennetta.
PURDUE CALUMET SWEEPS INDIANA NORTHWEST: LaTiana Harris led the Peregines (2-0) with seven kills and nine assists. Patrice McBee added six attack kills, six block kills and four aces.
PURDUE CALUMET EDGES GOSHEN IN OT: Papa Otoo's second goal of the match lifted Purdue Calumet to a 3-2 double overtime victory over Goshen on Thnursday at Morton High School.
Nicolau Monteiro notched the Peregrines' other score, with Juan Pabloo Garza and Victor Garcia adding assists for Purdue Cal, which outshot the Maple Leafs 28-13.
BUTTERFLY TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS TO BE HELD THIS WEEKEND: The 2013 Butterfly Team Championships table tennis tournament will be held at The Fieldhouse-Merrillville starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. The event will bring 120 participants and 32 teams, including former Olympian Mark Hazinski.
ACLU FILES SUIT FOR GIRL TO PLAY FOOTBALL: The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit against Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation in an effort to allow a seventh-grader to play football.
"The school's seventh grade football team is made up solely of male students, and no male student who wants to join is turned away," the ACLU said in a release.
When the plaintiff, listed in court documents as "C.B." asked to play football, she was told to try volleyball or cross country.
ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk said in the release: "Numerous courts have recognized that gender is not a valid excuse for keeping young women out of previously all-male sports. Equal protection demands equality of treatment."
Around the horn
Alan Karpick, president/publisher of the Purdue athletic publication, "Gold & Black Illustrated," will preview the Boilermakers' football team on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230).