Suns Throttle Harding in GAC Tourney Opener

A three-run home run by Janie Knowles and shutout relief pitching by Morgan Vaughan sent the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns to a mercy rule-shortened 10-2 win over Harding University on Friday afternoon in the Great American Conference Tournament first round at the Tiger Athletic Complex in Bentonville.

With the win, the Golden Suns (38-18) advance to face top-seeded Henderson State University (38-11) in a winners’ bracket game at 9:25 p.m. Friday night. Live coverage will be available from KWKK 100.9 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com.

Arkansas Tech took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Alex Edinger drove in Ashley Anderson on a fielder’s choice.

Two batters later, Knowles sent her three-run shot over the left field fence. The Golden Suns led 5-1 and maintained control of the game the rest of the way.

Amanda Berdon’s RBI single in the top of the fourth inning pulled the Lady Bisons (22-31) within 5-2.

Arkansas Tech answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Shanna Davidson came home on a throwing error and Alexa Wimberly delivered a run-scoring single. Edinger collected her second RBI of the game on a single one inning later and the Suns led 8-2.

Harding loaded the bases with no one out in the top of the sixth, but Vaughan escaped the jam by recording a strikeout and inducing two ground balls that resulted in outs.

Tech ended the game early in the last of the sixth courtesy of an RBI single by Chelsea Reeves and an RBI triple by Whitney Robinson.

Vaughan (11-6) limited Harding to four hits over two and two-thirds innings of relief. She struck out four and walked one.

Harding starting pitcher Amber Rollins (14-14) was charged with seven runs on eight hits in three innings.

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