North Florida 5, Central Arkansas 3 (8) Central Arkansas 7, North Alabama 3
Central Arkansas kept its season alive Thursday at the UNF Softball Complex in Jacksonville, Fla., after dropping into the loser’s bracket earlier in the day. The Bears powered their way past North Alabama (38-18), grabbing a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the third inning on Morgan Nelson’s three-run home run. They added two more runs on Jaylee Engelkes’ single in the fourth.
That gave the UCA pitching tandem of Jordan Johnson and Kayla Beaver more than enough offense to see the Bears through — Beaver tossed a perfect 2 1/3 innings to finish the game. UCA (34-19) suffered an extra-inning defeat in its first-ever ASUN Tournament game earlier Thursday. North Florida (41-15) scored two runs in on Paige Pfent’s double in the top of the eighth and the Bears went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
Pfent went 2 for 4 with 4 RBI, including a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fourth that put the Ospreys up 3-2. UCA leveled in the fifth on Tremere Harris’ groundout to score Reagan Sperling after a leadoff double.
The Bears will play another elimination game today at 2 p.m. Central against sixth-seeded Kennesaw State.
The winner of that game will play again at 5:30 p.m. against the loser of the game between top-seeded Liberty and North Florida with a spot in Saturday’s championship at stake.