MAGNOLIA, Ark. - A walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning by Brittany Wood gave the Southern Arkansas softball team a 4-3 victory in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader against Newman University. The Lady Muleriders would then turn it into a sweep as they took the shortened nightcap by a score of 5-1.
In the first game, the Lady Muleriders (8-8) fell behind early as a couple of first-inning defensive errors led to a pair of runs for the Lady Jets (2-7). The Lady Jets would add another run in the next inning as they took a 3-0 lead through the first two innings of play.
The Lady Muleriders would not have much success offensively their first time through the lineup, but their second time through was a different story. After being limited to just one hit over the first three innings, the Lady Muleriders' offense started up in the bottom of the fourth inning as they scored a pair of runs on three hits to cut the lead down to 3-2. The big hit in the inning was a two-run double off the bat of Lauren Witzke.
Over the next two innings, neither team would record a hit, much less score, as both starting pitchers were sharp during that stretch. The Lady Muleriders' starter Hanna Gill would continue the solid pitching through the top of the seventh inning as she pitched a scoreless frame.
In the bottom of the frame, the Lady Muleriders would get their bats rolling once more. With the tying and winning runs in scoring position with one out, Courtney Hudgins tied the game on a groundout to the pitcher. In the ensuing at-bat, Brittany Wood lifted a pitch that carried out to deep centerfield for a double as the Lady Muleriders walked off with the 4-3 come-from-behind win.
The second game of the day would start similar to the first as the Lady Jets capitalized on a couple of Lady Mulerider errors to take an early lead. This time, however, the Lady Jets would only get one run inning as Taylor Clifton was able to work out of the first inning without further damage.
After going down in order in the bottom of the first, the Lady Muleriders tied the game up in the second inning on a RBI single by Darian Harris. An inning later, the Lady Muleriders took the lead as they plated three runs. The big blow in that inning came on a two-RBI double to right-centerfield off the bat of Sarah Higginbotham. Joella Bayles would then score Higginbotham with a RBI single to right-centerfield.
The three-run lead would be more than enough for Clifton as she kept the Lady Jets hitless after she was staked to the lead. Overall, Clifton was fairly dominant as she struck out six in five innings while only allowing a pair of hits, and one unearned run.
Ashley Quintana would drive in the Lady Muleriders' fifth and final run in the fifth inning as the game was called in after the fifth inning due to impending darkness and weather.
The Lady Muleriders will now jump into Great American Conference play as they are set to host Arkansas Tech for a four-game series starting with a doubleheader on Saturday, February 23rd. Saturday's first-pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.