Suns Win One, Lose One at GAC Tournament

Nationally eighth-ranked Arkansas Tech University defeated Southern Nazarene University in its opening-round softball game at the 2016 Great American Conference Tournament in Bentonville on Thursday, but a late-night loss to Harding University dropped the Golden Suns into the elimination bracket.

Weather permitting, Arkansas Tech (45-8) will face East Central University (25-30) in a win-or-go-home contest at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 30, in Bentonville. Radio station KCAB 97.1 FM/980 AM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.

Game One: Tech 2, SNU 0

Arkansas Tech’s Jalissa Gum pitched the third no-hitter in GAC Tournament history to lead the Golden Suns to a 2-0 win over the Southern Nazarene Crimson Storm on Thursday afternoon.

Gum (19-1) struck out 11 batters and needed just 82 pitches to go the distance. The only base runner she allowed came on a third-inning walk issued to Jessica Thompson.

Tech’s Janie Knowles notched both runs batted in with a two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the second inning.

Southern Nazarene starting pitcher Kayla Wyatt (18-14) allowed two runs on one hit in five innings.

Game Two: HU 1, Tech 0

Alexus Lawellin’s RBI double in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Harding a 1-0 victory over Arkansas Tech in a winners’ bracket game that ended early Friday morning.

Amanda Berdon drew a lead-off walk to start the last of the 10th inning and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Courtney Derrick.

With two out and a 2-2 count, Lawellin sent a shot down the left field line that brought Berdon home with the winning run at approximately 2:15 a.m.

Harding’s Hannah Johnson (20-8) was the winning pitcher. She tossed 10 shutout innings and limited the Golden Suns to four hits while striking out seven.

Gum (19-2) went the distance in the circle for Arkansas Tech. She was charged with one run on seven hits. Gum notched 14 strikeouts. Her consecutive innings without allowing an earned run streak ended at 55.

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