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Photo by Jeff Montgomery

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

After basketball season, the Harding sports information department takes a deep breath and focuses on the eight remaining spring sports at Harding — baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s golf, track and tennis.

The softball team won the series against Arkansas-Monticello 3-1 this past weekend. The Lady Bisons won both games on Friday, 4-1 and 3-2 but split the doubleheader on Saturday. Harding won the first game 4-3 before falling 7-1 in the second. In Friday’s game, Lady Bison junior pitcher Amber Rollins broke the Great American Conference strikeout record with 14. Arkansas-Monticello had a 2-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth inning in game two, when Brookelynn Moon hit a home run to left center field for Harding. The Lady Bisons took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Moon and Kimmy Hendricks hit back-to-back home runs to left field. It was Moon’s first multi-homer game. She leads the team with five. It was Hendricks third home run of the season. Rollins came in during the top of the seventh and struck out three batters to pick up her first save of the season. On Saturday, Rollins struck out nine batters in the first game and picked up her 10th win of the season. Hendricks, Marley Edwards and Jessica Greene all had two hits, and the Lady Bisons had 12 in the game. In the final game of the series, the Lady Bisons gave up a grand slam in the fifth inning that propelled Arkansas-Monticello. Courtney Derrick went 3-for-3 for Harding.

Elsewhere …

  • Baseball: Harding had troubles on the diamond this weekend as they were swept by Arkansas-Monticello. The Boll Weevils won 13-3, 4-0 and 6-4. Erin McCarver had two hits and two RBIs in the first game, and Trent Wooldridge had a hit, RBI and a run in the third game for Harding.
  • Women’s outdoor track: Two school records fell, and women’s track and field posted two event victories as the Lady Bisons competed Saturday at the UCA Relay and Multi at Bill Stephens Track at University of Central Arkansas. Harding broke a relay record in the 4×1600 relay. Rachel Roberts, Kelsey Taylor, Kaitlyn Leonard and Amber Webb placed second in the event in a school record time of 21 minutes, 31.34 seconds. The second record fell in the javelin where junior Rachael Domeyer heaved the spear 120 feet, 2 inches, breaking the record of 116-0 by Katelyn Kirby that had stood since 2006. Harding’s victories came in the 4×800 relay and the distance medley relay. In the 4×800, the team of Dallis Bailey, Tammy Kim, Caroline Embry and Ewa Zaborowska won in 9:38.36. Zaborowska, Kim, Bailey and Taylor won the distance medley in 12:12.62.
  • Men’s outdoor track: Men’s track and field ran one NCAA provisional time and posted two event victories at the UCA Relay and Multi. The 4×400-meter relay team of Landon Belcher, Trevor Holloway, Dillon Bagwell and Kevin Naceanceno placed second of 10 teams and their time of 3 minutes, 12.36 seconds, was an NCAA provisional time and the second-fastest recorded early in the NCAA II outdoor season. The Bisons’ top team placed in the top two in five of the six relay races contested. Harding’s team of Naceanceno, Corey Bassett, Bagwell, and Belcher won the 4×200 relay in 1:27.67.
  • Women’s tennis: Harding went 2-0 this week as they swept Henderson State 9-0 in GAC action and Lane College 9-0. Against Henderson State, Harding won all three doubles matches for the sixth time this season. Piper Huey and Benyapa Phumtip improved to 5-3 as a duo with an 8-3 victory against Sara Griffin and Hannah Watson at No. 1 doubles. Leading 3-0 after doubles, Harding won five of the six singles matches in straight sets. Arielle Butler was the first to finish with her second career 6-0, 6-0 victory and moved to 7-6 in singles this season. Huey made quick work of Watson at No. 2 singles, winning 6-0, 6-1. It was the 10th singles victory of the season for Huey and gave her seven wins in her eight matches when playing No. 2 singles. Lane had only four available players, defaulting at No. 5 and No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. With a 3-0 lead, Harding won both doubles matches 8-0 to clinch the team victory. Huey and Katie Huff teamed for the first time this season to defeat Ciera White and Jasmine Green at No. 1 doubles. Autrey Bradley and Kaylie Brown also played together for the first time and defeated Audemesia Maze and SeQoya Cox at No. 2.

This week’s schedule: (Home games bold)

Monday, March 24

  • Men’s golf at Jim Bishop Toyota Classic hosted by North Alabama in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  • Men’s and women’s tennis vs. Nebraska-Kearney, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 24

  • Men’s golf at Jim Bishop Toyota Classic hosted by North Alabama in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  • Softball doubleheader vs. Arkansas Tech, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball at Arkansas Tech, 6 p.m.

Friday, March 28

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at Northwest Missouri State, 1 p.m.
  • Softball doubleheader at Northwestern Oklahoma, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball vs. Northwestern Oklahoma, 3 p.m.

Saturday, March 22

  • Women’s tennis vs. Southern Nazarene, 10 a.m.
  • Softball doubleheader at Northwestern Oklahoma, 12 p.m.
  • Baseball doubleheader vs. Northwestern Oklahoma, 12 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at Harding Invitational, 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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I picked up the local paper this morning and learned that Gina Cielo, one of our student workers from last semester, has been selected for a very high honor based on her athletic and academic skills. The tennis player was named to the Capital One First Team Academic All-America At-Large Team yesterday, becoming just the third Harding female ever to earn First Team honors. She joins Laura Tollett (2001) of the women’s tennis team and Kendyl Washburn (2007) of the women’s soccer team in earning that distinction.

She is only the 18th Harding women’s tennis player to record at least 50 career singles victories and finished her career with 57 wins. As a senior, she led the Lady Bisons with a 20-5 singles record and 14-5 doubles mark. In one stretch during her junior and senior seasons, she won 19 consecutive singles matches.

But it was not just her superb play on the court that earned her this award; it also took a very strong record in the classroom. A public relations major with an almost perfect grade-point average, she graduated in May.

Perhaps even more notable was Gina’s humility and sweet spirit. She was a strong addition to our Public Relations team.

By Tom Buterbaugh with Scott Goode

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One of the highlights of working in our office is the talented student workers who help us every semester. We have students that work in every area, including news writing, graphic design, photography and even social media. This semester, Gina Cielo is new to our office even though she is a senior who will graduate in May. Gina works for Hannah Beall in our news services area. As you can see, Gina is also on the tennis team. Shooting the match on Monday, I mentioned to Scott Goode, Harding’s sports information director, that Gina worked in our office, and he told me she has a 14-match winning streak going into the match with Stillman College.
I am happy to report that Gina won, and her record is now 15 straight match wins. We have great student workers, and that is just one of the reasons I love working here.

Jeff Montgomery / photographer

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