Golden Suns Win Opening Game at Regional

Southern Arkansas University blinked first on Thursday, and when the Lady Muleriders made their mistake Arkansas Tech University was ready to pounce.

The Golden Suns scored the tying and go-ahead runs on an SAU fourth-inning error and went on to earn a 4-3 victory in an opening-round softball game at the NCAA Division II Tournament Central Regional in Edmond, Okla.

With the win, nationally 12th-ranked Arkansas Tech (45-13) advances to the winners’ bracket to face nationally top-ranked University of Central Oklahoma (46-5) at noon on Friday, May 10.

Live coverage will be provided by KARV 101.3 FM/610 AM and www.arkansastechsports.com.

Ashton Sangster and Tymber Riley came home on SAU’s error to give Arkansas Tech a 4-3 advantage.

Bailey Shaffer preserved that one-run lead the rest of the way, limiting the Lady Muleriders to one hit over three innings of relief work. Shaffer was credited with her sixth save of 2019.

Kristen Dempsey (15-3) was the winning pitcher. She started in the circle for ATU and went four innings, allowing three runs on three hits.

It was the 17th consecutive victory for the Golden Suns, who improved to 5-0 this season against the 2019 Great American Conference regular season champions.

ATU Women’s Golf Earns Berth in Nationals

The Golden Suns are on their way to the Sunshine State.

Arkansas Tech University finished top two in the 2019 NCAA Division II Central Regional women’s golf tournament at Muskogee Country Club (Okla.) on Monday and Tuesday.

As a result, the Golden Suns will be one of 16 teams that will participate in the 2019 NCAA Division II Championships May 14-18 at PGA National Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach, Fla.

It will be the fifth national finals appearance in the last six years for head coach Amy Anderson and the Arkansas Tech women’s golf program.

ATU’s Peerada Piddon won the individual title at the regional. She fired rounds of 70-70-76 for a 3-over par total of 216 and a two-stroke victory among a field of 66 competitors.

Jacqueline Klemm (5th, 75-74-73-222), Pia Nunbhakdi (T-9th, 75-74-79-228), Sydney Staton (T-19th, 79-78-76-233) and Allie Weiner (T-37th, 80-76-82-238) also contributed to the Golden Suns’ team score in Muskogee.

Arkansas Tech completed the 54-hole event with a team total of 897. Southwestern Oklahoma State University won the regional with a team score of 893.

Northeastern State University (3rd, 913) and the University of Central Missouri (4th, 931) also earned trips to the national finals out of the regional in Oklahoma.

Wonder Boys’ Baseball Season Ends in Enid

Arkansas Tech University’s 2019 baseball season concluded on Monday night with a 13-10 loss to Harding University in an elimination game at the Great American Conference Tournament in Enid, Okla.

The Wonder Boys finished with an overall record of 29-24.

Arkansas Tech held a 10-7 lead on Monday night after Korey Thompson delivered a sacrifice fly and Jonathon Arrieta clubbed a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Harding (33-20) rallied to tie the score 10-10 in the top of the seventh inning, and the Bisons took the lead for good on Nolan Fertig’s run-scoring ground out in the top of the 10th inning.

Harding added a pair of insurance runs on an ATU throwing error and a single by Connor Kelly.

Reliever Ryder Yakel (7-2) retired the Wonder Boys in order in the bottom of the 10th inning to secure the Bisons’ victory.

Harding advanced to face the University of Arkansas-Monticello in an elimination game at David Allen Memorial Ballpark on Tuesday.

Continuing coverage of the GAC Tournament will be available at www.greatamericanconference.com.

Suns Earn Consecutive GAC Tournament Titles

It takes a lot of tenacity to reach the top of the mountain. It takes even more to stay there.

Arkansas Tech University’s softball program earned its second consecutive Great American Conference Tournament championship by defeating Southeastern Oklahoma State University 5-1 in the title game at Bentonville on Sunday afternoon.

The nationally 14th-ranked Golden Suns (44-13) will carry a 16-game winning streak into the NCAA Division II Tournament, which will begin May 9-11.

ATU will compete in the portion of the NCAA Tournament Central Regional played in Edmond, Okla. The No. 4 seed Golden Suns will be joined in Edmond by host and No. 1 seed University of Central Oklahoma, No. 5 seed Southern Arkansas University and No. 8 seed University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Tech’s first-round game against fellow GAC member Southern Arkansas is planned for a noon first pitch on Thursday, May 9. Coverage will be provided by KARV 101.3 FM/610 AM and www.arkansastechsports.com.

Arkansas Tech took the lead for good in the GAC Tournament final behind Paty Loredo’s run-scoring single in the top of the fourth inning. Sarah Coronado raced home and the Golden Suns took a 2-1 advantage.

Megan Goodnight’s run batted in on a double and a two-run single by Coronado one inning later increased Tech’s margin to 5-1.

ATU relief pitchers Bailey Shaffer (13-4) and Kristen Dempsey took it from there. Shaffer tossed scoreless frames in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings before giving way to Dempsey.

The Savage Storm (29-28) loaded the bases against Dempsey in the last of the seventh to bring the potential tying run to the plate with one out. The right-handed senior from Benton buckled down, inducing a fielder’s choice and a strikeout to strand three runners on base and preserve the Golden Suns’ second consecutive GAC Tournament title.

Arkansas Tech junior Ashton Sangster was named GAC Tournament most valuable player. She drove in five runs over the course of the Golden Suns’ three games in Bentonville.

Sangster was joined on the All-GAC Tournament team by fellow ATU players Bailey Bunch, Tymber Riley, Gaby Vasquez and Goodnight.

By virtue of earning the GAC’s automatic bid, the Golden Suns will appear in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years.

Suns Head to Postseason on Winning Streak

No team in Great American Conference softball will enter the postseason with more momentum on its side than Arkansas Tech University.

The Golden Suns swept Ouachita Baptist University 10-2, 2-1, 1-0 and 4-3 during a four-game series at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex in Russellville on Friday and Saturday.

With the sweep, Arkansas Tech (41-13 overall, 35-7 GAC) extended its winning streak to 13 games and secured the No. 2 seed in the GAC Tournament, scheduled for May 3-5 in Bentonville.

The Golden Suns are booked to face No. 7 seed Southwestern Oklahoma State University in the first round. Visit www.greatamericanconference.com for more information.