Golden Suns 5th straight win

RICCI LOGAN/THE ARKA TECH Aston Sangster from Van Buren slides into first base.

The Golden Suns have now exceeded the 30 plus win threshold for the fifth straight season after winning three of the four games this weekend against Southeastern Oklahoma state at Chartwells Sports Complex in Russellville.

The first game of the series on Saturday evening turned into a pitcher’s duel early. There was not a run scored until the bottom of the fourth inning when Janie Knowles, of Celina, Texas, hit a solo homerun to put Tech up 1-0. The Savage Storm scored three runs in the next half inning to put them up 3-1.

The Golden Suns tied the game at three on a double by Van Buren native Ashton Sangster scoring Sydnie Henson, from Greenwood, then Paige Mendoza, from Fort Smith, scored Sangster on a fielder’s choice. Southeastern then scored two in the top of the eighth for them to regain the lead. Sarah Coronado, of Frisco, Texas, singled home Tulsa, Oklahoma native Makenzie Addis but the Golden Suns fell in the first game of the series, 5-4.

In the night cap, the game had a different feel from the first game. Both offenses were manufacturing runs in bunches. Southeastern took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. In the bottom half of the inning, Paty Loredo, of Fort Worth, Texas, doubled home Bailey Bunch, of Mena. Three batters later, Knowles hit a sacrifice fly to score Loredo to give Tech a 2-1 lead after one.

The Savage Storm then took back the lead with three runs to make it 4-2, SEOSU. But just like in the first inning, Tech tied the game back at four after Henson scored on a wild pitch and Bunch singled home Sangster. Southeastern scored four in the third to give them an 8-4 lead. Tech got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fourth on a Sangster double scoring Coronado.

Then in the sixth inning Sangster hit a tworun homerun cutting Southeastern’s lead to 8-7. Then in the bottom of the seventh inning, Sangster hit a walk off double to score Coronado and Valerie Bennett, of Frisco, Texas, to give Tech a 9-8 win. Bailey Shaffer, of Guthrie, Oklahoma, picked up her ninth win in the circle pitching three and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up only two hits, not walking a batter and striking out one.

In the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday, it was another pitcher’s duel. Southeastern scored first to give them a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning. Then, in the bottom of the second, the Golden Suns tied the game up at one on an RBI single by Henson scoring Cabot native Megan Goodnight. In the bottom of the fifth, Mendoza singled home Gabi Vasquez, from Lewisville, Texas, to give Tech a 2-1 lead, which is the score that they win by in the third game of the series.

Megan Goodnight picked up her eleventh win in the pitching circle, pitching a complete game allowing only four hits and giving up only one run, which was earned. Goodnight also only walked two in the contest.

In the night cap, it was all Tech. Tech started the scoring in the bottom of the second when Coronado doubled home Goodnight to put the Golden Suns up 1-0. Then, in the bottom of the fifth, Tech scored four, starting with an RBI double by Goodnight scoring Bunch.

Then Addis doubled home Goodnight and Knowles and the inning was capped off with an RBI single by Coronado scoring Addis. In the sixth inning, Loredo hit a sacrifice fly scoring Sangster and extending Tech’s lead to 6-0, which was the final score of the final game of this weekend’s conference series. Kristen Dempsey, of Benton, picked up her eighth win of the year, throwing a complete game one-hitter. Dempsey didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.

After this weekend’s series win, the Golden Suns stand alone in second place in the GAC softball standings four games back of league leader Southern Arkansas. Next weekend, the Golden Suns will take on Arkansas Monticello on the road for another four game conference series.