Blossoms win away from title

BENTONVILLE — Arkansas-Monticello can further strengthen its case for an NCAA Division II softball tournament bid today with another championship.

Already the Great American Conference regular-season champions, the Cotton Blossoms have advanced to today’s championship round with an 8-0 five-inning victory over archrival Southern Arkansas on Friday. UAM will face Southeastern Oklahoma State at noon today, with another game to follow if the Blossoms lose.

UAM (39-14) scored on a bases-loaded walk in the first inning but left the pads full to end the frame. Beth Johnson then made it 2-0 in the second with an RBI grounder to send Katie Bowman across the plate.

An SAU error allowed Kara House to score in the third. Bowman reached first on the error and then stole second to put herself in scoring position. Summer Huddleston followed with a hard single up the middle to make it 4-0.

With the diamond full again on three walks in the fourth, Jennifer Hickman tripled to clear the bases and scored on the Lady Riders’ fourth error to cap the scoring.

Kayla Jackson allowed two SAU hits, walked none and struck out four in 16 batters faced.