Triple Play Lifts SAU Over Golden Suns

Two swings of the bat and one gem of a defensive play gave nationally 21st-ranked Southern Arkansas University a 2-1 victory over Arkansas Tech University in a winners’ bracket softball contest at the Great American Conference Tournament in Bentonville on Thursday.

The Lady Muleriders (44-14) took a 2-0 lead on back-to-back solo home runs by Brooke Goad and Maddie Dow in the top of the fourth inning.

The Golden Suns (36-21) got on the scoreboard when Ashton Sangster drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. That brought Cara Tolar to to the plate with no one out and every base occupied.

Tolar lifted a fly ball to center field. SAU’s Rachel Miller caught it for the first out and threw home to cut down Jalissa Gum trying to score the tying run.

Lady Mulerider catcher Tyler Casada threw on to third base to retire Alix Boulanger as she tried to advance, completing the triple play, ending the inning and preserving a 2-1 Southern Arkansas lead.

The Golden Suns threatened again in the bottom of the seventh, but Lady Mulerider relief pitcher Peyton Jenkins was able to induce a foul out and a fielder’s choice to strand the tying and winning runs on base. It was Jenkins’ second save of 2017.

SAU starter Victoria Taylor (17-6) scattered six hits over five innings. She allowed one run.

Gum (20-11) was tagged with the loss in the circle. She allowed two runs on three hits in three-plus innings.

Arkansas Tech will face Ouachita Baptist University in an elimination contest at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 5, in Bentonville. Live coverage will be available at www.arkansastechsports.com.

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