Conway, Ark. -The Central Arkansas softball team played host to in-state rival Southern Arkansas at Farris Field on Thursday night, defeating the Lady Muleriders 9-1 in five innings.
Central Arkansas (26-14) jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the first inning. Second baseman Melissa Bryant started the inning off by doubling to right field, and right fielder Sam Forrest followed by blasting her third home run of the season off of the scoreboard in right field to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. After a fly out, shortstop Lissa Avita drew a walk. Left fielder Sarah Bigej singled to right field, and a fielding error allowed Avitia to score from first.
Southern Arkansas (23-20) got a run back in the top of the fourth inning when center fielder Courtney Johnson hit a homer to right center field to pull the Lady Muleriders to within 3-1. Central Arkansas struck back immediately though, as third baseman Tiffany Roby led off the bottom of the frame by blasting her fifth home run of the season into the left field bullpen.
Central Arkansas put the game away in the bottom of fifth inning, scoring five runs to put the run rule into effect. Forrest led the inning off with an infield single and then stole second base. Catcher Melanie Bryant lofted a fly ball to left field and Forrest was able to score when the ball was misplayed. Shortstop Lissa Avitia doubled home pinch runner Cristin Curl and then came in to score when Sarah Bigej hit her sixth homer of the season to center field to push the score to 7-1. Third baseman Tiffany Roby reached on an error and advanced to second on a ground out. Pinch hitter Taylor Dear singled to move Roby to third. After designated played Lindsay Elliot reached on an error, Melissa Bryant hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Roby and end the game.
Kelsie Armstrong (19-9) got the win for the Bears, allowing one run on only one hit. In five innings, she struck out 12 without issuing a walk. Hanna Gill took the loss for Southern Arkansas, allowing nine runs in 4.2 innings. She issued two walks and struck out batters.
Central Arkansas will hit the road this weekend, traveling to Thibodaux, Louisiana for a three game set against Nicholls State. The teams will play a double-header beginning at four o'clock on Saturday before wrapping up the series with a single game at noon on Sunday.
Charlie Skinner: Media Relations