Walk-Off Home Runs Fuel Nighthawks

The National Park College (NPC) Nighthawk softball team picked up two NJCAA Division II Region II conference wins in three games against Southern Arkansas University Tech (SAU Tech) Saturday, dropping a 9-1 decision in game one while defeating the Lady Rockets, 9-7 and 11-10, respectively with walk-off home runs in games two and three.

The teams began the day with the resumption of game two from the previous weekend’s series at SAU Tech, which was postponed due to darkness. Resuming in the fourth inning with a 7-1 Lady Rockets lead, Nighthawk sophomore hurler Sarah Todd (Conway) pitched two scoreless innings before allowing two runs to plate in the bottom of the sixth inning, ending the game via mercy rule.

Nighthawk freshman Madalynn Thompson (Bryant) went 2-2 in the loss. Freshman pitcher Ruby Hause (Bauxite) threw one-third of an inning, allowing four runs on four hits with a strikeout. Todd threw five and a third total innings out of the bullpen.

The first game of Saturday’s double header came down to the wire, with NPC taking victory on a dramatic two-run walk-off home run by Nighthawk freshman Baley Williams (Alma) in the bottom of the seventh inning. Trailing, 7-4, entering the final frame, NPC rallied for five total runs in the seventh, thanks to timely hitting and aggressive baserunning. Williams’ round-tripper completed the comeback, with NPC delivering SAU Tech’s first conference loss of the season.

Williams went 3-for-3 at the plate, driving in four runs, including a two-run blast in the sixth, before hitting the game winning two-run home run in the seventh. Freshman pitcher Brooke Nalley (Alvarado, TX) went the distance in the circle, allowing nine seven runs on nine hits, while striking out four.

In the nightcap, NPC struggled early, allowing four runs through the first four innings. The Nighthawks chipped away at the deficit with three runs in the fourth inning and one run in the sixth inning. Trailing, 10-4, entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Nighthawks rallied yet again, plating four runs quickly before Thompson’s three-run shot sent the Nighthawks to their second-consecutive walk-off victory.

In addition to Thompson’s home run, Williams and freshman Kya Schmidt (Greenwood) tallied two hits apiece in the win. Todd got the start for NPC, surrendering three runs on three hits over four innings. Nalley, who pitched the final two innings in relief, picked up her second win of the day.

Nighthawks softball plays host to Lyon College on Tuesday, Mar. 23 for a double header at Hot Springs World Class High School beginning at 2 p.m.

For more information on schedules, rosters and more, visit Nighthawks Softball online. Fans can also follow the Nighthawks all season on social media.

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