Suns win another conference series

Arkansas Tech Archives Jalissa Gum, of Red Rock, Oklahoma, tallied 19 strikeouts last weekend. She is now eight strikeouts away from most in ATU history.

The Golden Suns won another conference series, defeating Henderson State three games to one this past Sunday and Monday. This series was the first true home conference series of the season for the Golden Suns.

In the first game of the weekend, it was a complete pitcher’s duel. The Lady Reddies scored the first run of the contest when Madie Green of Henderson hit a solo homerun in the top of the third to give them a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, Ashton Sangster of Van Buren ties the game up at one on a double steal. In the bottom half of the eighth inning, Megan Goodnight of Cabot hit a walkoff threerun homerun to give the Golden Suns the 4-1 victory.

Goodnight pitched five innings in the contest giving up four hits, one run which was earned, didn’t walk a batter and struck out three. Bailey Shaffer, of Guthrie, Oklahoma, got the victory improving her record in the circle to 6-1 on the year. Shaffer pitched three innings didn’t allow a run, gave up one hit and struck out five.

The Golden Suns’ victory was head coach Kristina McSweeny’s 200th career win as the head coach of the Golden Suns.

In the night cap, it was another pitcher’s duel. Henderson State once again strike first scoring two runs in the top of the fourth inning, giving them a 2-0 lead. Tech cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth when Sarah Coronado, of Frisco, Texas, hit a sacrifice fly, but the Golden Suns weren’t able to score anymore runs after that and lost the game 2-1.

Kristen Dempsey, of Benton, pitched six innings gave up five hits, two runs both earned, walked one and struck out one but still took the loss in the contest. Her record now in the circle is 3-2. Shaffer also pitched a hitless and scoreless inning.

In the third game of the series on Monday, things were a little different. Tech’s offense exploded for 10 runs. It all started in the first inning when Bailey Bunch of Mena and Paige Mendoza of Fort Smith scored after Goodnight reached on a fielding error by Henderson State’s shortstop of the bat of Goodnight, which put the Golden Suns up 2-0.

The next at-bat, Goodnight scored on a wild pitch, extending Tech’s lead to 3-0. In the top of the third inning, the Golden Suns kept the scoring going when Coronado scored Valerie Bennett, of Frisco, Texas, to make the score 4-0, Tech leading.

The next batter, Greenwood’s Sydnie Henson, scored Tulsa, Oklahoma native Makenzie Addis scores to make the score 5-0, Tech. Bunch then singled to center to score Sangster and Henson to make the score 7-0, Tech. Goodnight in the same inning hit a double scoring Mendoza, Paty Laredo, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Henson to extend the lead to 10-0.

Henderson scored a run in the top of the fifth on a throwing error by Goodnight to make the score 10-1 but that was all the Lady Reddies were able to muster up and the Golden Suns win their second game of the weekend 10-1.

Goodnight pitched five innings giving up four hits, one run not earned, walked two and struck out three. Goodnight’s record in the circle now is 5-0.

In the last game of the series, there was another offense outburst. The scoring was started by Henderson in the top of the first on a solo homerun by Green to give the Lady Reddies a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the second, Kailey Reese from Henderson hit a solo homerun to extend their lead to 2-0. Tech ties the game up in the bottom half of the inning after Henson doubled home Coronado, then Sangster reached on a fielding error by the second baseman scoring Henson. Tech took the lead in that same inning when Sangster scored on a wild pitch to put them up 3-2.

Then in the bottom of the third inning, Janie Knowles, of Celina, Texas, hit a two-run homerun, scoring Addis to extend Tech’s lead to 5-2. In the bottom half of the fourth, Laredo doubled home to Sangster to make the score 6-2. Bethany Allen of Henderson hits a solo homerun in the top of the fifth to cut into the Tech lead 6-3 but Goodnight closed out the game in the seventh securing the third win of the weekend and their second conference series win of the year.

Dempsey picked up her fourth win of the year pitching four and twothirds innings giving up three hits, one run which was earned, walked three and struck out six. Shaffer pitched two innings giving up two hits, two runs both earned, didn’t walk a batter and struck out two. Goodnight faced one hitter and retired her to pick up her sixth save of the year.

After this weekend series of victories over Henderson State, the Golden Suns improve to 18-6 overall and 9-3 in GAC play which is tied for second in the current softball standings.

Tech will take on Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Oklahoma this upcoming weekend for a four-game conference series starting on Friday at 2 p.m. then Saturday’s doubleheader will start at noon. You can keep with these games at