ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (UAM) - Junior Summer Huddleston and freshman Kali Piha delivered the big blows on Thursday, while sophomore Katie Slaughter tossed a three-hit shutout to lead the University of Arkansas at Monticello softball team to a pair of wins over Henderson State to open a four-game Great American Conference series. UAM won 5-2 in the first game and 7-0 in the second game.
In the first game, UAM (20-14, 7-5 GAC) scored all five of its runs in the top of the third inning, highlighted by a two-run single from Piha. Senior Randa Perry and junior Beth Johnson also tallied run-producing singles in the inning. Perry later scored on an HSU error.
Perry (8-9) also picked up the complete-game win in the circle, allowing just two runs off nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks ins seven innings of work. Kayla Williams (9-7) took the loss for HSU after allowing five runs (four earned) off six hits with six strikeouts and four walks in the full seven innings.
HSU (15-19, 9-9 GAC) scored its two runs in the bottom of the seventh with two outs on a two-run single from Sarah Gibson.
After going 0-for-4 in the first game, Huddleston started the scoring in the second game with a grand slam in the top of the second inning following three consecutive walks from Johnson, Perry and junior Brittany Eitel. It was Huddleston's fourth homerun of the year.
The Blossoms went up 5-0 in the fourth on an RBI double from senior Preslie Long. Piha added to the lead with a solo homerun in the top of the fifth, her second round-tripper of the year. UAM added its final run in the seventh on another homerun, a solo shot from sophomore Sara Matthews, her second of the year.
Huddleston and Long led the team offensively in the second game, both going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Sophomore Katie Slaughter (10-4) moved into double-digits in the win column by tossing her second shutout of the season. The Austin, Texas native allowed just three hits with five strikeouts and no walks in the complete-game effort. She tossed four perfect innings and retired the final eight HSU batters in the contest.
Kasey Carlock (6-9) took the loss for the Lady Reddies after allowing four runs off one hit with one strikeout and three walks in just one inning of work.
The Cotton Blossoms and Lady Reddies wrap up the four-game series on Friday with a double header starting at 1 p.m.