DECATUR – Despite holding a 10-4 advantage in hits, the University of North Alabama softball team could not find enough run support Thursday afternoon during a 4-2 loss to Arkansas Tech in the opening day of the Gulf South Conference Crossover at Decatur's Wilson Morgan Park. UNA left nine runners on base, including the potential tying runs in the top of the seventh inning to fall to 9-19 on the season and 4-8 in GSC play.
With the win, the Golden Suns (21-11 overall, 12-1 GSC) extended their winning streak to nine straight games and remained in first place in the West Division. ATU jumped out to a 3-0 lead after stealing home in the bottom of the second inning, then getting a two-run home run from Shelby Fenter in the third.
UNA did all of its scoring in the top of the fifth inning. After Natalie Harrison singled and stole second base, Emily Barnes drove her home with a double to left center. Barnes later scored on an RBI-single by Jennifer Sharp to make the score 3-2.
After ATU added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lions had one last chance in the top of the seventh. UNA put runners on second and third with one out, but after a fly out to right field, the Golden Suns doubled up the base runner at third to end the game.
Sharp finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. Sarah Corn was also 2-for-3 on the day. Haley Barnette took the loss for the Lions after scattering four hits with three earned runs, four walks and three strikeouts.
North Alabama will remain in Decatur for the next three days. The Lions play twice on Friday, facing Southern Arkansas at 2 p.m. and Henderson State at 4 p.m.