Arkansas Tech won its first game at the 2011 Gulf South Conference Softball Tournament on Friday, but the Golden Suns dropped into the elimination bracket with a loss later on Friday afternoon.
Amy Horne pitched a complete game and Shelby Jo Fenter hit a three-run home run to lead Arkansas Tech to a 6-1 win over North Alabama in the opening round game at the Greenbrook Softball Complex in Southaven, Miss.
Game two ended in heartbreak for the Golden Suns when Valdosta State's Ashley Steinhilber hit a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the nationally fourth-ranked Lady Blazers a 2-1 victory.
Arkansas Tech (34-18) will face West Alabama in an elimination game at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 7.
Radio station KCAB 980 AM will broadcast the game in the Arkansas River Valley.
Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast.
The Golden Suns took control against North Alabama with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Alicia Zack tied the score at 1-1 with a RBI single, and Fenter followed with her sixth home run of the season. Her three-run shot over the left-field fence put Arkansas Tech in front for good.
Horne (7-1) took it from there, holding the Lions to one run on four hits over seven innings. The freshman from Harrison struck out eight as she won her fourth consecutive decision.
Shanda Jimeson and Hayley Hudson added one RBI apiece for Arkansas Tech. Jessica Fields scored two runs.
UNA starting pitcher Hallie Barnette (8-14) allowed six runs, five of which were earned, on nine hits in six innings.
Game two saw Valdosta State's Natalia Morozova put the Lady Blazers in front 1-0 with an RBI double in the third inning.
That lead stood up until the top of the seventh inning. The Golden Suns tied it at 1-1 behind an RBI double to center field by Tiphani Moon.
The tie did not last for long. Steinhilber led off the bottom of the seventh and sent a drive over the center field fence that sparked Valdosta State's celebration.
Holly Satterfield (9-1) pitched one inning of relief for the Lady Blazers to earn the win. Tech starting pitcher Alex Doyle (12-10) took the loss.]]>