MAGNOLIA, Ark. -- For the third consecutive game, freshman outfielder Brooke Goad hit a home run for Southern Arkansas; this time Goad leaving the yard resulted in a dramatic 4-2 win as she blasted a two-run walk-off bomb to straight-away centerfield in the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader with Henderson State. SAU would be forced to settle for another split as Henderson rebounded to take the second game 8-0.
The opener on Saturday was a pitcher’s duel as HSU’s Kayla Williams and SAU’s Shelby Miller opposed one another in the circle. Both starters would yield a single run in the first inning, but would hold the other team off the scoreboard during the next five innings, pushing the game to the seventh tied at one.
In the top of the seventh, the Lady Reddies (11-12, 7-5 GAC) would apply immediate pressure as Tricia Hock drew a leadoff walk against Miller. A sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat moved Hock to second base with one out. A groundout back to Miller in the following at-bat moved Hock to third base, but served as the second out of the inning. The following batter would be Williams as she hit in the leadoff spot for the Lady Reddies. Looking to help her own cause at the plate, Williams laid down a well-placed safety-squeeze bunt that saw her drive in the go-ahead run as she beat out the throw to first base. A swinging strikeout in the next at-bat got Miller out of the inning.
Now trailing by a run, 2-1, the Lady Muleriders (11-11, 6-6 GAC) would send Ashley Quintana to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Quintana would put the tying run on base as she singled to left-centerfield. Quintana was then pinch-ran for by Lindsey Wallace. In the next at-bat, Taylor Guin attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move Wallace into scoring position. On that play, Henderson’s catcher would throw the ball away as she tried to put-out Guin at first. The errant ball would trickle into foul territory on the right side of the outfield, allowing Wallace to come all the way around to score the tying run. Once the ball was corralled by Henderson, the throw came into the plate, allowing Guin to advance to third base.
With Guin representing the winning run at third base with no outs, the Lady Muleriders simply needed a flyball to the outfield to win the game. With that situation in hand, Goad stepped up to the plate. Goad would take the first two pitches outside before the third pitch caught too much of the plate as she launched it into straight away centerfield to walk-off for the Lady Muleriders.