GAC Tournament championship time

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

The Great American Conference Tournament championships started this week. The men’s and women’s golf teams will play in the golf championship April 13-15 and the men’s and women’s tennis teams will play their tournament April 18-20.

The women’s tennis team won the Great American Conference regular season championship Saturday with a 6-3 victory against East Central Oklahoma. The Lady Bisons improved to 15-5 overall and finished the regular season 6-0 in GAC action with their 10th-straight victory. Harding won two of three very tightly contested doubles matches. Ali Rowden and Katie Huff won at No. 2 in a tiebreaker, 7-3, and Lauren Doversola and Arielle Butler won 9-7 at No. 3. Piper Huey gave Harding a 3-1 lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 2 singles, her ninth-straight singles victory. East Central closed the match to 3-2 with a victory at No. 3, but Harding pulled back to a two-point lead with Rowden’s three-set victory at No. 1. The Lady Bisons clinched the match-winning point when East Central’s Augustina Moren had to retire from her match with Butler at No. 5 with a shoulder injury. Harding added a sixth point with Kaleigh Wagner’s 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 6. Earlier in the week, the Lady Bisons shut out Ouachita Baptist 9-0 on Tuesday and then defeated No. 50 Arkansas-Fort Smith in non-conference action 6-3. Women’s tennis was also ranked No. 4 in the first NCAA II Central Region Rankings, released Wednesday on NCAA.com. The top seven teams in the 31-team NCAA II Central Region advance to the NCAA II Tournament that starts May 3. The two teams that reach the finals of the Central Region advance to play May 13-16 at the championship rounds in Surprise, Ariz.

Elsewhere …

Baseball: Harding dropped the first two games of the series with Henderson State 4-3 and 8-3 but bounced back to win the final game of the series 7-0. Matt Calhoun led the Bisons at the plate hitting .462 in 13 at bats. He had six hits, including two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Collin Campbell led the Bisons on the mound in the third game to get the win. Campbell got his second shutout of the season. He gave up five hits and struck out three. Campbell is the only Harding pitcher to record a shutout.

Softball: Harding played six GAC games this week as they finished the Arkansas Tech series on Tuesday with a split and then took one of a four game series at Henderson State this past weekend. Amanda Berdon led Harding, batting .471 on the week. She had eight hits, four home runs, six RBI and five runs scored. Courtney Derrick hit .391 on the week, including a grand slam in the 9-5 win at Henderson State. Amber Rollins had a team-high 3.65 ERA on the week. In 15 1/3rd innings pitched, she had 11 strikeouts.

Men’s tennis: Harding went 2-1 for the week. The Bisons fell at Ouachita Baptist 5-4, then beat Arkansas-Fort Smith 8-1 and East Central Oklahoma 6-3. Harding will be the third seed in the GAC Tournament. Jon Mark Rowden and Brandon Hogland won all three of their singles matches.

Men’s track and field: Men’s track and field team won seven events and posted three NCAA provisional results Saturday at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Open. Sophomore Corey Bassett won the 100 meters in 10.55 seconds, an NCAA provisional time that ranks second among Lone Star Conference runners and tied for 14th in NCAA Division II. Junior Donatella Luckett placed second in 10.60, also a provisional time and the third-best among LSC runners. Senior Landon Belcher won the 400 meters in 48.63. It was his second-straight event victory in the 400 meters and the fifth of his career. Freshman Luke Goodspeed won the 1,500 meters in his collegiate debut in the event with a time of 4:09.81.

Women’s track and field: Harding junior Ewa Zaborowska ran the sixth-fastest 1,500-meter time this season in NCAA Division II, and the Lady Bisons collected four event titles Saturday at the UALR Open. Zaborowska, who earned All-America honors last season with a fifth-place finish in the 1,500 meters at NCAA II Nationals, won the event in an NCAA provisional time of 4 minutes, 30.96 seconds. She holds the school record in the 1,500 meters at 4:26.24. Zaborowska has won six times in nine 1,500-meter races in her career. Freshman Amber Webb won the 5,000 meters in 18:14.50, her first career event victory. Sophomore Kelsey Taylor won the steeplechase in 12:12.37. Harding had the top three finishers in the steeplechase with Amber Priest second and Sarah Shepherd third. The Lady Bisons had one event victory and four second-place finishes in the field events. Senior Kristen Celsor won the high jump for the second time this season and ninth time of her career. She cleared 5 feet, 4.25 inches.

This week’s schedule: (Home games in bold)
Monday, April 14

  • Men’s and women’s golf at GAC Tournament, TBA

Tuesday, April 15

  • Men’s and women’s golf at GAC Tournament, TBA

Wednesday, April 16

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 11 a.m.
  • Baseball vs. University of Arkansas-Monticello, 3 p.m.

Thursday, April 17

  • Men’s and women’s track and field at Mt. SAC Relays, TBA

Friday, April 18

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Ouachita Baptist University, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball at Ouachita Baptist University, 3 p.m.
  • Men’s tennis vs. East Central Oklahoma University at GAC Tournament, 1 p.m.
  • Women’s tennis vs. TBA at GAC Tournament, 4 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at University of Central Arkansas Open, TBA

Saturday, April 19

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Ouachita Baptist University, 12 p.m.
  • Baseball doubleheader at Ouachita Baptist University, 12 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at University of Central Arkansas Open, TBA
  • Men’s and women’s tennis at GAC Tournament, TBA

Sunday, April 20

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at GAC Tournament, TBA

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

Nathan Looney, assistant sports information director

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