Amber Kral hit a three-run homer and Coley Ries pitched a five-hitter as Minnesota State Mankato beat Southern Indiana 5-0 on Thursday night in its first game of the NCAA Division II Women's College World Series in Salem, Va. Ries struck out seven and walked one.

The second-seeded Mavericks took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Samantha Buhmann's homer and got four more runs in the third.

MSU Mankato will play either Armstrong of West Florida at 12:30 p.m. Friday in the winners' bracket.

St. Catherine falls

The St. Catherine softball team lost 7-0 to Illinois Wesleyan in its first game of the Division III Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. The Wildcats (38-13) were held to five hits, all singles, by Wesleyan's Mackenzie Marquis. Sam Berghoff went 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBI for the Titans (37-13).

Wolves hire Thomas

Former Gopher John Thomas, who appeared in 208 NBA games, including 44 with the Timberwolves in the 2004-05 season, was named the Timberwolves/Lynx vice president of community engagement.


Fencing coach picked for Hall of Fame

Roberto Sobalvarro, the longtime head coach of St. Paul's Twin Cities Fencing Club, was elected to the USA Fencing Hall of Fame. A St. Paul resident and Macalester graduate, Sobalvarro coached the U.S. women's epee team from 2009-2013.

At the 2012 Olympics, his team — which included Susie Scanlan of St. Paul — won a bronze medal, the first ever for an American team in women's epee. Sobalvarro also has coached U.S. women to gold and bronze medals at the junior world championships and five consecutive golds at the Pan American Championships.

Rachel Blount


Hamline senior Anthony Tyler finished fifth in the discus (159-10) at the NCAA Division III track and field meet in Geneva, Ohio. Classmate Gabby Koel was third in the women's discus (151-1). … Nicole Nelson of Winona State was fifth in the hammer throw (193-8) in the Division II meet in Bradenton, Fla.