Arkansas Tech (4-0) used heavy hitting, including a trio of home runs in its final game, as the Golden Suns softball team swept the UAM 8-State Classic in Bentonville on Friday and Saturday.
Kambri Hill led the way at the plate for Tech through the season’s first four games, going 8-for-13 with seven RBIs and three home runs. Courtney Colunga also proved to be a deciding factor offensively, tallying eight hits in 14 at bats, nine RBIs and two homers. Alex Edinger also racked in eight hits, and Whitney Robinson went 7-for-14 with four RBIs and a home run.
Tech won the first of its double headers with the help of a walk-off home run in extra innings and a 5-for-8 two-game performance from Hill 8-6 over Northwest Missouri State on Friday.
NMSU led off scoring in the first, but the Golden Suns’ Ashley Savage answered in the second with a two-run home run. In the third, the Bearcats knocked a three-run home run over the center field fence to go ahead 4-2, and Tech inched one run closer in the bottom half with a score on an error.
The Bearcats notched two more runs in the fifth, scoring on a wild pitch and a walk that put the lead at 6-3.Hill added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single to left field, and Tech would head into the bottom of the seventh inning down two runs.
An RBI grounder from Savage put the tying run on third. Miranda Dupree then came up huge when she laid down a bunt to score the runner on third and send the game into extra innings.
Jalissa Gum led off the ninth with a base hit to left center. Tech tried to move Gum over to second on a bunt, but the Bearcats got the out at second and the runner was safe at first. This set the stage for Hill’s walk-off two-run home run over the left field fence that gave the Golden Suns its inceptive victory.
Sydnee Clark got the win pitching after coming in for the final two innings and not giving up any hits or runs.
Tech pulled off a 7-2 win against No. 18 Emporia State in the evening game after knocking in 14 hits and a trio of home runs.
Colunga struck first in the third inning on a sacrifice fly to left field that scored the runner on third. Emporia regained the lead in the bottom half on an RBI single to right center and a ground out RBI to the short stop.
The Golden Suns’ bats got hot in the sixth, as Gum tied the game at 2-2 with a solo homer. One batter later, it was then Hill’s turn, and she hit a two-run home run to go up 4-2. After a pair of singles, Robinson hit a three-run home run that would ensure Tech’s 7-2 win.
Victoria Huie earned the win after pitching four scoreless innings, giving up six hits and fanning three.
In Saturday’s first game, the Golden Suns handed Nebraska Kearney a 13-4 shellacking in which Colunga went 3-for-3 with six RBIs and two home runs. Morgan Vaughan earned the win on the mound after four innings of work, during which she gave up three hits, two runs and struck out three.
Tech again implemented the eight-run rule on its evening opponent Minnesota State in an 11-2 win. Huie earned her second win on the mound in the year’s fourth game, allowing six hits and two runs through five innings pitched.
The Golden Suns will host Pittsburg State at noon Thursday.