Softball team wins conference series

Junior pitcher Raven Cole winds up for a pitch against West Georgia Feb. 19. The Lions (18-4, 4-2 Gulf South Conference) took two of three in the series and Cole improved to 9-1 on the mound.

The UNA softball team remains the busiest team in the Gulf South Conference, playing two back-to-back series with West Georgia and Truman State Feb. 19-20, adding to its league-high 22 games so far.

The Lions (18-4, 4-2 GSC) had a successful outing Friday, picking up a 5-1 win in game one and a 7-4 victory in the nightcap game. Saturday did not bring as much success, as UNA closed its series with a 2-1 loss to West Georgia.

Following a series with the Wolves, the Lions turned around and hosted a double-header against non-conference Truman State. The Bulldogs took game one, winning 3-2, but the Lions forced the split with a 4-3 win in the last game.

Winning two conference games Friday was the most important part of the weekend, said UNA coach Ashley Cozart.

“It’s hard to beat a team three times in a row,” Cozart said. “Anytime you can win two out of three, I’m proud of that. West Georgia is a great team, and winning those two games Friday was big.”

The Lions had 18 total runs on Friday. In the first game trailing 1-0, the Lions drove in four runs in the fourth inning to take the lead. In the following inning, junior Amy Carden drew a bases loaded walk to extend the lead.

In game two, UNA started hot and never looked back, scoring three runs in the first inning. The Lions totaled 13 hits, as sophomores Reagan Tittle and Bailey Nelson each had three hits in four at-bats from the top of the order.

In the final game of the series Feb. 20, the Wolves won 2-1. Tied 1-1, UNA junior pitcher Hillary Carpenter threw a wild pitch, allowing the go-ahead run in the sixth. The Lions were unable to score, giving West Georgia the closing win.

After the West Georgia series, the Lions returned to the UNA Softball Complex for a double-header with Truman State at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

UNA grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the third inning when Courtney Shields and Harlie Barkley each drove in Nelson in separate innings. Truman State tied the game in the fifth inning with two runs. In the final inning, the Bulldogs hit an RBI single to take the lead. UNA was unable to score in the bottom half.

In the final game of the evening, UNA held off the Bulldogs for a 4-3 win.