LAFAYETTE, La. – The Razorbacks softball team (2-0) finish day one of the 25th Annual Louisiana Classic with two wins over Prairie View A&M 16-0 and Sam Houston State 6-5 on Feb. 11 at Lamson Park in Lafayette, La.
The Razorbacks were swinging in full force, adding up five triples and four doubles in just five innings of work. The two pitchers for Arkansas picked up nine total strikeouts and only one walked batter, while McLemore picked up her first win of the season.
The long ball was in play for the Hogs in game two against the Bearkats (0-1) where they picked up a pair of home runs from the freshman Jennifer Rambo and sophomore Courtney Breault. The Razorbacks scooped up five triples in their early game against the Panthers.
SHSU jumped out to an early lead of four runs in its half of the first inning behind one error by Arkansas. The Bearkats would hold their lead from the first after UA answered with a run of their own from the senior Becca Carden.
"This was a great game for us to start off the season with," head coach Mike Larabee said. "We got almost everyone in the game, our starting lineup got us out to an early lead, and it’s much easier to pitch when we jump out to a lead like that."
Carden also tallied three stolen bases on the day to go along with a triple and two more hits in the night game against the Bearkats. Freshman Chloe Oprzedek picked up a stolen base and three hits on the day as well.
Arkansas scored another run in the fifth to make the score 5-2 in favor of SHSU after the Hogs held the Bearkats to three scoreless innings. Arkansas got the bats going again in the bottom of the sixth, picking up two runs off a homer from Rambo to make the score 5-4.
The Razorbacks then got the tying run off a solo shot from Breault in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings at Lamson Park. Pitcher Hope McLemore entered the game in the bottom of the fifth, inheriting a 5-1 deficit but kept the Bearkats scoreless for the rest of the game. Along the way, McLemore earned five more strikeouts to give her 11 on the day while not giving up any free bases and her second win. Layne McGuirt picked up a no-decision in game two.
"I’m really proud of our young ladies," Larabee said. "We kind of dug ourselves in a hole, we kicked the ball around a little bit and had a few illegal pitches, but we didn’t panic. We talked about chipping away in the dug-out and that’s what we ended up doing."
McLemore led the Razorbacks to three scoreless extra innings before it came to conclusion in the bottom of the ninth inning. Oprzedek was put on base while taking a ball of her shoulder while Carden was walked, both runners were able to advance on a wild pitch when Breault was at the plate. Breault launched a ball to the right field fence allowing Oprzedek to pick up the game winning run walk-off fashion.
The Razorbacks return to the field on Saturday to meet host Louisiana-Lafayette and Same Houston State once more. UA is set to face the Ragin’ Cajuns at 12:30 p.m. CT.