PHOENIX, Ariz. – Seattle University softball won, 6-3, at Grand Canyon Friday night, keeping its hold on first place in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) standings. The teams split a doubleheader at GCU Softball Field, as the Lopes won the first game, 10-1 in five innings, to set up a vital game on Saturday night.

The Redhawks (32-15, 11-3 WAC) jumped out to an early lead in the nightcap Friday. Ally Choate reached on an error with one out. Bailey Thompson was then hit by a pitch with two outs. Kaylee Ree smashed a double to left center to drive in two runs. Carley Nance followed with a single through the right side, bringing in Ree for a 3-0 lead.

Shianne Smith limited the Lopes early, retiring six straight to start the game. In the top of the second, Breanna Timmons and Alyson Matriotti both drew walks. Olivia Viggiano reached on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Later in the frame, Madison Cathcart doubled to right center, making it 5-0.

The hosts chipped away after that, scoring a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth, but Smith held the Lopes at bay and put SU in solid position late in the contest. Andie Larkins came on in relief and threw two 1-2-3 frames to collect her first save of the season. Thompson led off the top of the seventh with a home run to give the Redhawks insurance.

Thompson went 2-3 with an RBI and two runs, while Cathcart and Ree both had two-run doubles. Smith earned the win by pitching five innings and allowing three runs on eight hits. Larkins threw a pair of perfect innings, striking out two, to close out the night.

In the first game, the host scored first, but the Redhawks answered in the top of the third. Matriotti led off with a double down the left field line. With one out, Choate singled through the left side. Cathcart followed with an RBI single to left center, tying the game. GCU replied with a run in the bottom half of the frame and then struck for eight runs in the fourth. Choate went 3-3 to lead the SU offense in the contest.

The teams will wrap up the weekend set tomorrow. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at GCU Softball Field.