Suns Knock Off No. 2 Valdosta State

Tiphani Moon went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in to help the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns stun the nationally second-ranked Valdosta State Lady Blazers 5-2 on Saturday at the Gulf South Conference Softball Crossover in Decatur, Ala.

Moon gave the Golden Suns (19-20 overall, 9-12 GSC) the lead for good with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. Amy Kilpatrick drove in a run with a double later in the first inning and Tech led 2-0.

Marti Littlefield had an RBI double for VSU in the last of the first, but Golden Suns starting pitcher Morgan Rodgers settled in after that brief bout with trouble.

Rodgers (6-8) allowed just two runs, one earned, on four hits in five innings. Tech’s Chelsea Evanoff came on to pitch the final two innings for her third save of the season.

Moon gave the Suns some breathing room at 3-1 with an RBI double in the top of the fifth. Taylor Gates and Natalie Magie scored for Tech in the top of the sixth to make it 5-1.

Ashley Steinhilber had a sacrifice fly for Valdosta State (30-5, 15-4) in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Suns’ lead to 5-2, but Evanoff was able to strand two Lady Blazers on base to end that frame.

Evanoff closed the deal by working around a lead-off single by Amber Shaw to hold Valdosta State scoreless in the last of the seventh.

With the win, Arkansas Tech stopped a seven-game losing streak and gained a measure of revenge for its 5-3 loss to Valdosta State in the 2009 GSC Tournament championship game.

Earlier on Saturday, 11th-ranked Alabama-Huntsville defeated the Golden Suns 8-2.

Kelli Long was 3-for-4 with three RBIs for the Lady Chargers (30-7, 15-1).

Arkansas Tech, which is 1-4 at the 2010 GSC Softball Crossover, will conclude its portion of the event by facing West Alabama at noon Sunday.