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Suns' Tourney Hopes on the Line Against UAM

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Two wins. That is the goal this weekend for the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns softball team. Arkansas Tech (22-22 overall, 12-14 Gulf South Conference) will host the nationally 23rd-ranked Arkansas-Monticello Cotton Blossoms (44-9, 21-5) for a four-game series at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex.

Inclement weather in the Arkansas River Valley has led to a change in the weekend schedule. The two sides will now play doubleheaders at 2 p.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. Monday.

The Golden Suns must win at least two of those four games in order to assure themselves of a spot in the GSC Softball Tournament for a third consecutive year.  Admission will be free. Radio station KCAB 980 AM and www.athletics.atu.edu will have live updates from Sunday’s doubleheader and live play-by-play of the twin bill on Monday. Check with www.athletics.atu.edu and www.arkansastechnews.com over the weekend for any further weather-related changes to the schedule. Arkansas Tech kept its postseason hopes alive by sweeping a doubleheader from Delta State last Sunday. The wins vaulted the Golden Suns from fifth to a share of second place in the GSC West Division standings. But it is a tightly-packed field in the GSC West, and that will make for an exciting final weekend of the regular season. Arkansas-Monticello has already secured the GSC West title and a spot in the GSC Tournament. Arkansas Tech, Henderson State (23-24, 12-14), Delta State (27-25, 13-17) and Ouachita Baptist (33-21, 11-15) are in a four-way fight for the final three berths from the GSC West Division in the postseason. Delta State’s regular season is over, and Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist have a favorable remaining schedule. The Lady Reddies will visit Southern Arkansas (10-29, 6-16) this weekend, while the Lady Tigers will entertain Christian Brothers (16-26, 5-17). That paragraph is full of sad facts for the Golden Suns, but Arkansas Tech still controls its own destiny. Two wins over UAM puts the Suns in the postseason, and one win might be enough if the tiebreaker scenarios fall Arkansas Tech’s way. The Golden Suns are trying to get back to the GSC Tournament, an event that has been very kind to them in their first two trips. Arkansas Tech reached the championship game of the GSC Tournament in both of the last two years before falling to perennial GSC East Division powers Alabama-Huntsville (2008) and Valdosta State (2009). This year’s GSC Softball Tournament is scheduled for April 30-May 2 in Southaven, Miss.

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