MAGNOLIA – The No. 5-ranked Southern Arkansas softball team took both ends of the GAC doubleheader against Harding on Saturday with a 5-1 final decision in the series-opener, followed by a come-from-behind effort in game two that saw the Lady Muleriders battle back from an early 3-run deficit and secure the eventual victory, 10-6. That second game saw a historical moment take place for the senior Brooke Goad as the slugger hit her 80th career dinger in the third inning that broke the NCAA DII All-Time Home Run record.
(No. 5) Southern Arkansas Lady Muleriders (40-4, 29-3 GAC)
Harding Lady Bisons (27-15, 19-13 GAC)
PITCHING DECISIONS – GAME 1
W – Victoria Taylor (18-0)
L – Emily Garrett (8-3)
S – None
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS & HAPPENINGS
- Starting pitcher Victoria Taylor was dominant in the circle for Southern Arkansas and settled in quickly as the sophomore struck out the first three hitters she faced in the top of the first inning to open the frame.
- The Lady Mulerider offense backed Taylor in the bottom-half of that frame and took a 2-0 lead over Harding on a pair of back-to-back walks issued to Marina Duran and Jill Roye, respectively, with the bases loaded.
- Harding cut its deficit down to one in the next inning as they loaded the loaded with a trio of base hits and then drew a walk to score, but would strand three base runners to end the inning without any further damage, 2-1 SAU.
- SAU got that lone run back quickly as they loaded the bases again in the bottom of the second and benefited from an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Faith Otts, 3-1.
- Taylor continued her impressive performance in the circle through the remainder of the contest and added five additional strikeouts while only allowing one hit and a walk in that time span to pick up her 18th-straight win on the season.
AT THE PLATE
- Duran and Roye each tallied a pair of RBIs apiece to lead SAU in the contest, and Otts collected a lone RBI to follow.
- Rachel Miller, Monica Islava, and Duran each collected a pair of hits and one run a piece.
- Goad reached bases in all four of her at-bats via walks and scored a run
PITCHING DECISIONS – GAME 2
W – Victoria Taylor (19-0)
L – Emma Dwyer (10-7)
S – None
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS & HAPPENINGS
- Harding got on the board first after taking a 1-0 lead in the opening frame and SAU would quickly retaliate with three runs on three hits in the bottom-half to steal the lead, 3-1.
- The Lady Bison then put up five runs on five hits in the next inning to regain that lead over SAU at 6-3, but the Lady Muleriders were not phased as they got four of those runs back in their first offensive opportunity following that frame to take the lead, 7-6, over Harding.
- Miller plated the first run for SAU in that inning to make it 6-4 HU, and Otts picked up the remaining slack as she stroked a 3-RBI homer to left-center field to put the Lady Muleriders on top, 7-6.
- The bottom of the third inning was historical for SAU as senior Brooke Goad connected with her 80th career dinger which broke the All-Time NCAA DII Home Run record, and pushed the Lady Muleriders to its eventual 10-6 final decision.
- Victoria Taylor came into the game in the fourth inning to finish-off the remaining portion of the contest and continued her dominant performance in the circle from game one as the sophomore dealt an additional seven strikeouts through four innings of work to capture back-to-back wins on the day and move to 19-0 on the year.
- Of Harding’s nine total hits in the contest, Taylor just allowed one.
AT THE PLATE
- Goad and Otts carried the Lady Mulerider offense with 3 RBI apiece in the contest as the duo combined for four runs on four hits.
- Duran added a pair of RBIs on a hit and Miller followed with one RBI and a pair of hits
- Every batter in SAU’s starting lineup collected a hit, minus Islava who drew a pair of walks