GSU report: Fleming's suprising power surge

Junior transfer Ryan Fleming has given the Georgia State baseball team an unexpected power surge this season.

Last year, Fleming hit .286 with three home runs and 20 RBIs at Iowa Western Community College, which reached the Junior College World Series.

This spring, Fleming seems a different player. He entered the week ranked fourth in the NCAA in slugging percentage (.935), seventh in RBIs (45), 12th in runs scored (39), 15th in home runs (11) and 19th in batting average (.452).

Even Fleming is a little shocked by what he has accomplished.

“The home runs are always a surprise,” he said. "I never thought I would hit home runs on a scale like this."

What is the reason for the turnaround?

“The hard work is paying off,” Fleming said. “Last fall we hit a lot as a team, almost every day.”

At 6 foot 3 and 212 pounds, Fleming has the size to be a power hitter, but his improved contact has been a big help.

Men’s golf

Junior Alan Fowler shot a 3-under 69 at last weekend's Administaff/Augusta State Invitational at the Forest Hills Golf Club. His round was the lowest of the five Georgia State players in the two-day tournament.

Georgia State finished 17th of 18 teams in the tournament.

Women’s track and field

Junior Yolanda Berryhill hopes her slump year is over.

She failed to qualify for the NCAA regionals last year after making the meet in the shot put during her freshman season.

Berryhill won the discus and the hammer throw last Saturday at the JSU Gem of the Hills meet in Jacksonville, Ala.

“I’m trying to get back to where I was before my slump year when nothing went right for me,” she said.

Berryhill set a meet record with a throw of 163 feet, 8 inches in the hammer and won the discus with a throw of 130-7.

“Everything clicked and I had some pretty nice throws,” she said.

Georgia State finished second to Kennesaw State in the meet.

Among strong performers for the Panthers were senior Tamika Kinchen (first place, 800 meters), the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams.

Senior Janel Blancett finished third in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17 minutes, 20.46 seconds at the Duke Invitational in Durham, N.C., last weekend.

Women’s tennis

Sophomore Diana Nakic, ranked No. 22 in the nation, defeated South Alabama's Marie Boura 6-1, 6-2 last Saturday to improve her record to 16-0.

Nakic said she will be looking to refine her game during the 10-day layoff before the CAA championships on April 14-18 in Norfolk, Va.

“I’m going to be working on the usual stuff like my ground strokes and serves,” Nakic said.

Nakic, who was the CAA Rookie and Player of the Year last year, said hard work is half of the battle in collegiate tennis and that has been the key to her success.