Sunday Sweep: Suns Do It Again in Monticello

Every student looks forward to Spring Break, but it’s safe to say that no one enjoyed the respite more than the members of the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns softball team.

Arkansas Tech (16-11 overall, 7-1 Gulf South Conference) completed an unthinkable four-game GSC sweep of the nationally seventh-ranked Arkansas-Monticello Cotton Blossoms by defeating UAM 7-3 and 12-6 in Monticello on Sunday.

The Golden Suns had lost six of their last nine games before heading to Monticello to take on the defending GSC West Division champions. UA-Monticello had won 21 of its last 22 games and was undefeated at home this season before Arkansas Tech came to town.

All of that changed on Saturday when the Golden Suns won by scores of 5-4 and 5-0.

Hayley Hudson got Sunday off to a good start for Arkansas Tech by hitting a three-run home run in the top of the first inning of game one. Natalie Magie added an RBI single in the top of the third, and the Tech pitching combination of Shelby Jo Fenter and Alex Doyle made the lead stand up.

Fenter (6-5) allowed three runs on five hits in four innings and was credited with the win. Doyle provided three innings of shutout relief to earn her first save of the season.

Hudson was 2-for-3 with four runs batted in during Sunday’s opener.

The finale of the series in Sunday’s second game was a slugfest.

Shanda Jimeson’s two-run home run for the Golden Suns in the top of the first inning set the tone.

Arkansas Tech eventually scored five runs in the first inning and added four more in the second. The Suns led 12-2 after three-and-a-half innings.

UAM scored four runs in the last of the fourth inning to prevent the mercy rule from becoming a factor, but Arkansas Tech relief pitcher Morgan Rodgers made sure that was as close as the Blossoms could get.

Rodgers pitched three and one-third innings of scoreless relief as the Golden Suns wrapped up a four-game sweep of a UAM program that reached an NCAA Division II Super Regional last season.

Jimeson was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored in the nightcap. Tiphani Moon was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Fenter and Alicia Zack added two hits each. Amy Kilpatrick scored two runs.

With the four losses over the weekend to Arkansas Tech, UA-Monticello is now 26-6 overall and 7-5 in league play.

The Golden Suns will return home to host Henderson State for a four-game GSC series at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex in Russellville on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3.

First pitch for the doubleheader on Saturday is set for 2 p.m., while Sunday’s twin bill will start at noon. No admission will be charged.