Golden Suns split Sunday games

ARKADELPHIA — The Arkansas Tech Golden Suns softball team (1-1) split its first two games of the 2014 season, topping Missouri Western 3-1 before falling 4-3 to Cameron in a game shortened by darkness.

The first game was played on Ouachita Baptist’s field against the Missouri Western Griffons where Victoria Huie got the first start of the season for the Golden Suns. Ashley Savage homered in the opening inning and Whitney Robinson tacked on another two-run homer to help Tech to a 3-1 victory. Defensively, the Golden Suns had two errors but were able to turn four double plays.

Huie pitched five solid innings while only giving up one unearned run before freshman Sydnee Clark finished the final two innings to give Tech their first victory of the season.

The second game was played on Henderson State’s field against the Cameron Aggies. All-American Siarra Gomez, senior Ashley Keen, and junior Shanna Davidson all managed a hit in the 4-3 loss to Cameron. The Golden Suns had two errors in game two.

Freshman pitcher Jalissa Gum started on the mound and got the loss in four innings pitched against the Aggies. Sydnee Clark again came in for relief in the fifth inning but the game was called due to limited daylight in the top of the sixth inning.

Tech will host their next game for the home opener at the Chartwells Women’s Complex in Russellville against Newman University on Feb. 15.

Blossoms finish weekend with loss

ARKADELPHIA — The University of Arkansas at Monticello concluded its participation in this weekend’s "Hurry Up" Classic with a 4-3 loss to Lincoln (1-0) on Sunday at Ouachita Baptist’s Sully Anderson Field.

The Blossoms (2-2) struck first and scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run double from sophomore Kali Piha, who was driven in on an RBI single from senior Beth Johnson in the next at bat.

Lincoln (1-0) quickly answered and tied the game in the top of the third on a three-run homerun by Sara Kircher.

Senior Courtney Wilson (1-1) took the loss in complete-game fashion, allowing four runs (three earned) off nine hits with eight strikeouts and four walks.

The Blossoms make its annual trip to Bentonville next weekend for the largest NCAA Division II softball classic in the country. The 8-State Classic, featuring 29 teams, begins Feb. 14 at Bentonville’s Tiger Athletic Complex and Memorial Park. The Blossoms take on William Jewell College on Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Harding suffers first loss

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Harding (2-1) dropped its first game of the season on Sunday falling to Emporia State 5-1 in the Tarleton State Tournament.

Harding had seven hits but left seven runners on base.

The Lady Bisons’ only run came in the top of the seventh when sophomore Jessica Greene hit a single to center that scored Brooke Lynn Moon from second. Moon had doubled with two out.

Emporia State (2-1) scored one in the third, two in the fourth and two in the fifth innings.

Freshman Megan Gipe (0-1) received the loss for Harding with three innings of work giving up three earned runs. Kaitlyn Caston (2-0) got the win for Emporia State, pitching all seven innings.

Harding was scheduled to play Northeastern State and Emporia State again on Monday but due to the weather forecast the games were canceled.

The Lady Bisons will be back in action next weekend as they take part in the Arkansas-Monticello Tournament in Bentonville. Harding will kick off the tournament on Feb. 14 against Rockhurst at 11:30 a.m.

Harding opens season with two wins

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Harding opened its season with a pair of wins on Saturday as they defeated Northeastern State 6-4 and Tarleton State 7-5 in the Tarleton State Tournament. It was Harding’s first softball games since the University discontinued the program following the 1985 season.

Game One — Courtney Derrick led the Lady Bisons with three hits and an RBI. Kinsey Beck, Kimmy Hendricks and Brooke Lynn Moon all had two hits for Harding.

Junior Amber Rollins got the win for Harding, pitching all seven innings, giving up eight hits and striking out 10. S

Game Two — Harding got off to strong start scoring five runs in the top of the first. Freshman Marley Edwards knocked in two of the runs on a single to center field. The Lady Bisons had four hits in the inning and took advantage of Tarleton State’s two errors.

Kinsey Beck went 3-of-4 in the game, knocking in one run. Five other Harding players also had a hit.

Freshman Danielle Hubbard pitched six innings, walking four and striking out six earning the win for Harding. Freshman Megan Gipe came on in relief and got her first career save, striking out three batters. Taylor Wells pitched only a third of an inning and got the loss for Tarleton State.