Blossoms Down Rival SAU Twice

Courtesy of
Brian Ramsey

tv_sports 10dbMONTICELLO — The University of Arkansas at Monticello softball team defeated in-state Great American Conference rival Southern Arkansas twice on Saturday at home, recording a 7-6, 13-inning win in the first game before posting a 9-1 run-rule victory in the second game.

   In the first game, each team scored only two runs throughout the regulation seven innings. SAU jumped out on top in the first inning, scoring two runs on a UAM error. UAM responded with a run off an error in the fourth and tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI double from senior Randa Perry to score junior Brittany Eitel, who singled to lead off the inning.

   Perry was left stranded at second base, forcing extra innings. Both teams went scoreless in the first two extra innings before each squad scored three runs in the 10th inning. SAU’s scoring was all unearned due to a UAM fielding error. In the bottom of the inning, the Blossoms tied the game once again, this time on a two-run homerun from sophomore Sydney Tipton and later an RBI single from freshman Kali Piha.

   SAU next scored on an RBI bunt single in the top of the 12th inning to take a 6-5 lead, before UAM answered on a sac fly from junior Beth Johnson in the bottom half of the inning to force another extra frame.

   UAM won the game in the bottom of the 13th when while trying to intentionally walk junior Summer Huddleston, SAU pitcher Joella Bayles threw a wild pitch over her catcher’s head, allowing sophomore Sara Matthews to score the game-ending run. Matthews started the inning at second base due to the international tie-breaker rule. She moved to third on a groundout by Piha.

   After tossing the first 10 innings and allowing just on earned run, senior starter Randa Perry gave way to junior Courtney Wilson (3-2), who earned the win after allowing just one unearned run off just two hits in the final three innings. Bayles (1-2) took the loss despite not getting credited any runs allowed due to international tie breaker scoring rules.

   In the second game, UAM scored in every inning except for the third, starting with three runs in the bottom of the first on a three-run homerun from Eitel. UAM added two more in the second on a solo homerun from junior Channing Tharpe and a sac fly from Johnson.

   UAM went the long ball again in the fourth on a solo shot from freshman Cassidy Wilson to give the Blossoms a 6-1 lead. UAM went up 8-1 in the fifth on a SAU error and an RBI single from Perry.

   Back-to-back doubles from Wilson and senior Maggie Sands to lead off the sixth gave UAM its fifth run-rule victory of the season.

   Sophomore Katie Slaughter (12-7) earned the complete-game victory after allowing just one run, a solo homerun from Kelci Garza in the second, off four hits with three strikeouts in six innings of work. Taylor Clifton (5-11) took the loss after allowing nine runs off 13 hits with two strikeouts in five innings of work.

   The two squads conclude the four-game series on Sunday with a double header starting at 1 p.m. There will be special Senior Day Ceremony at approximately 12:30 p.m. to honor UAM’s four student-athletes participating in their final home games.

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