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GSC West Title Within Reach for Suns

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Two is the magic number for the Arkansas Tech softball team this weekend.

The Golden Suns (29-17 overall, 19-7 Gulf South Conference) will host the Christian Brothers Lady Buccaneers (12-26, 5-19) for a four-game series at the Chartwells Women's Sports Complex in Russellville this weekend, and they hope that their home field becomes the site of a celebration.

Any combination of Arkansas Tech wins and Ouachita Baptist losses that adds up to two during this final weekend of the regular season would give the Golden Suns their third GSC West Division softball championship in the last four years.

Arkansas Tech and CBU will begin their series with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 29. Those games can be heard in the Arkansas River Valley on KCAB 980 AM.

Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcasts (the schedule is being difficult and not wanting to update; if you click on any of the links that say "Listen Live" you should be able to hear the games).

The series will conclude with a noon doubleheader on Saturday, April 30. Updates from those games will be provided on KCAB 980 AM and over the Internet broadcast throughout the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Ouachita Baptist (20-20, 14-10) will cross the street in Arkadelphia to take on arch rival Henderson State for a four-game series on Friday and Saturday.

There is also a possibility that the OBU Lady Tigers might travel to Memphis, Tenn., to take on Christian Brothers for a GSC doubleheader on Sunday, May 1.

Those OBU-CBU games would be a make-up of a rainout from earlier this season, and they will only be played if they are needed to determine the outcome of the GSC West race or berths in the GSC Softball Tournament.

Arkansas Tech can make things simple if it takes care of business against Christian Brothers.

The Golden Suns are the surprise team in GSC softball this season. Arkansas Tech was picked to finish fifth in the GSC West Division, and a 12-11 start to the season suggested those expectations might be spot on.

Then came two days that changed the course of the season --- March 26-27. That was when the Golden Suns went on the road and swept four consecutive games from then nationally seventh-ranked Arkansas-Monticello.

Those wins vaulted Arkansas Tech to the front of the GSC West pack, and the Suns have stayed there ever since.

Tech has won 17 of its last 23 games. The only hiccup in the last month came when the Golden Suns lost 3-of-4 at home to Ouachita Baptist on April 16-17, but they bounced back to take 3-of-4 at Delta State last weekend.

Arkansas Tech is in good position to hang a third GSC West championship sign on the outfield fence at the Chartwells Women's Sports Complex.

The Golden Suns won the division in 2008 and 2009, and now they have an opportunity to walk away from the Gulf South Conference as champions.

Arkansas Tech will move forward to the new NCAA Division II Great American Conference in 2011-12.

After this weekend, the Golden Suns will prepare for the GSC Softball Tournament, which will be played May 6-8 in Southaven, Miss. Arkansas Tech was GSC Softball Tournament runner-up in 2008 and 2009.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech softball.