Blossoms Open Penn State Series With Split

Courtesy of
Brian Ramsey

tv_sports 10dbMONTICELLO — The University of Arkansas-Monticello’s softball team split a non-conference double header with Pitt State on Saturday at home, winning the first game 5-4 in eight innings followed by a 7-3 loss in the second half of the twin bill.

   In the first game, UAM took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI double from junior Beth Johnson to score senior Maggie Sands, who walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.

   The Cotton Blossoms (15-7) took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from sophomore Sydney Tipton and back-to-back bases loaded walks from freshman Kali Piha and Johnson.

   The Gorillas (3-3) rallied back in the top of the seventh to score four runs, three coming on back-to-back homeruns from Tiffany Brown and Kreslee Ketcham. PSU tied the game later in the inning on an RBI single from Devon McCreath. 

   UAM had a runner on second base with just one out in the bottom of the seventh, but junior Summer Huddleston and junior Channing Tharpe were set down on groundouts to force extra innings.

   Senior starting pitcher Randa Perry sat down the Pitt State side in order in the top of the eighth, including two strikeouts. In the bottom of the eighth, Johnson capped her three-RBI outing with a groundout to drive in the winning run in the form of freshman Taylor Norris, who was pinch-running for Tipton. Tipton singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sac bunt and took third on a single from Piha.

   Perry (7-4) earned the win in complete-game fashion, allowing four runs (three earned) off nine hits with seven strikeouts and five walks. PSU’s Samantha Grove (0-2) took the loss in relief, allowing four runs off eight hits with two strikeouts and four walks in the final 5.1 innings.

   In the second game, the Gorillas pounded out 14 hits for three runs in the third, two runs in the fourth and one run in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Tiffany Brown led PSU with a 3-for-4, two-RBI game, including a solo homerun in the sixth. Molly Steins also had three hits for PSU.

   UAM scored two of its runs in the bottom of the fourth on RBI singles from Tharpe and Sands. The Blossoms finalized the scoring on an RBI single from Beth Johnson in the seventh. Johnson again led the Blossoms offensively, going 3-for-3 at the plate with one RBI and one walk.

   Sophomore Katie Slaughter (6-2) took the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) off seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks in the first 3.1 innings. PSU’s Hailey Sills (2-1) earned the win in complete-game style, allowing three runs (two earned) off six hits with two strikeouts and three walks.

   The Blossoms and Gorillas concluded the four-game series on Sunday with a double-header at Blossoms Field.


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