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Lady Statesmen Take Two From Suns

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Delta State's chances of making the Gulf South Conference Softball Tournament improved and Arkansas Tech's odds of qualifying for that event went the other direction on Saturday after the Lady Statesmen swept a league twin bill from the Golden Suns at the Chartwells Women's Sports Complex.

The Lady Statesmen (27-23 overall, 13-15 GSC) defeated the Golden Suns 6-0 and 4-3.

The wins lifted Delta State into third place in the GSC West Division, while Arkansas Tech (20-22, 10-14) sank from third to fifth place in the GSC West. Only the top four teams in the final GSC West Division standings will go to the GSC Tournament April 30-May 2 in Southaven, Miss.

The two sides will complete their four-game series with a doubleheader at noon Sunday at the Chartwells Women's Sports Complex. Admission will be free.

Game one on Saturday was dominated by Delta State pitcher Edie Oliver and DSU designated player Courtney Clark.

Oliver pitched a complete-game shutout. She limited the Suns to just five hits while striking out four.

Clark was 2-for-3 with a home run and five RBIs.

The second game was not decided until the ninth inning.

Chelsea Carr had an RBI single for the Lady Statesmen in the top of the ninth to put DSU in front 4-3.

Oliver retired the Golden Suns without incident in the bottom of the ninth to polish off the doubleheader sweep.

Oliver (14-12) came on in relief after DSU starter Brittany Gonzales gave up two runs without recording an out in the first inning. Oliver went the rest of the way. She gave up just one run on seven hits in nine innings.

Dana Stephenson had three hits and Amy Kilpatrick had two hits for the Suns in the nightcap.

Arkansas-Monticello maintains first place in the GSC West with a league record of 19-5. Henderson State is in second place with a 12-12 league mark. DSU is now 13-15 in league play and in third place, while Ouachita Baptist is currently percentage points in front of Arkansas Tech for fourth place.

OBU is 11-15 (.423) in GSC games. The Suns are 10-14 (.417).

Sunday's games in Russellville will be the final regular season conference games for Delta State. The Golden Suns will conclude the regular season April 24-25 with a four-game series at home against Arkansas-Monticello.