As the others have said you can lock the images in camera of the ones you think you might submit, then only bring those into photomechanic. My only difference would be is I rate the images in photomechanic then you can sort them by rating, tag, then copy to a new folder for upload. The drawl back to PM is again you can do only minor adjustments.
Another option which which I'll use more is Light Room. With LR you can again rate the images, apply a caption to a selected group of images, then go back to add names, therefore it does take a bit longer to caption. But I'm able to do all of my adjustments a LOT faster then doing it one image at the time using PS. And my work flow will be different for different publishers. I have one daily where my deadline for sports is noon, so I have a lot of time inbetween the end of the game and when I need to submit. Most others the deadline is 9PM that day. So to answer your question, here you go.
For 9PM deadline I'll have the rosters already setup in PM before heading to the game. Then at half time or 8:30 which ever comes first) I'll bring in the images I've locked into LR, crop the first image per specks, make any adjustments (WB, noise adjustments, color, exposure and so on), then sync the rest of the images to it. Then I'll cull these shots after cropping each one individually. Then export. Then I'll bring them into PM for captioning, then submit then either leave or shoot the rest of the game.
If you only buy one piece of software, for what you're doing it would be LR. You can add a boiler plate, if you will, caption to a group of selected images, and then one by one add the additional information they require to each. For my small papers the reporter already knows each of the kids on each team and will write the caption himself. All he wants to know is when the image(s) were taken (first quarter, inning, set, ect.) An easy way to do this is take a shot of the score board between each quarter/inning and that will be your marker. My larger daily's will require me to write all captions. Some just require the what and when, other require the who, what/what and when.
As far as PS, I can't think of the last time I've ever used it for sports. LR and PM does everything I need. I could get by with PM, but it would be tougher.
Lastly LR 5 is now available for free beta download. You might want to download a copy, and give it a try and then buy PM and learn how to setup your roster files. I think by the time the beta is up (at which time it will expire on your computer) you'll realize how much you'll need LR. That should give you around 90 days between the time you buy PM and when you have to pay for LR, making it a bit easier for your wallet.