FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas softball team dropped the first game of the series with Alabama 13-6 Friday night at Bogle Park. Arkansas's overall record moves to 24-23 and 5-18 in the Southeastern Conference, while Alabama moves to 44-4 overall and 20-3 in the SEC.
Alabama recorded the first hit on the night with a single to the left field from its lead-off batter Jennifer Fenton. The Crimson Tide then went on the load the bases after two walks with no outs. Five runs were scored in the first inning for Alabama. Devon Wallace
led off with a single for the Razorbacks, giving her 39 hits on the season. Clarisa Navarro
made it to first on a fielder's choice that put Wallace out at second. Sierra Bronkey
recorded her first hit of the game when she dropped a ball in centerfield for a single. Navarro and Bronkey advanced to second and third off a hit from Chloe Oprzedek
while Jayme Gee
collected a walk to load the bases for the Razorbacks. Jennifer Rambo
put Arkansas on the board after a hit to the left field wall bringing all three runners on base home and placing her at second. Eight runs were scored between the two teams in the first innings giving Alabama the 5-3 lead.
"I was pleased how we did not give up after they scored five in the top of the first," said head coach Mike Larabee
. "We came back fighting and actually out hit them on the night. I was pleased the way we competed."
Alabama added to its lead in the top of the second when the designated player blasted a home run bringing home three runs and giving the Crimson Tide the 8-3 lead.
Wallace recorded her second hit on the night when she collected a double out to the centerfield wall in the bottom of the second.
Senior Tori Mort
made an athletic diving catch in foul territory to grab the first out of the third inning.
Bronkey and Gee repeated their first inning at bats in the third, collecting another single and walk placing Bronkey in scoring position.
Arkansas faced the least amount of batters in the top of the fourth with help from Rambo making an excellent catch at the center field wall denying Alabama a hit.
The Razorbacks began their at bat in the fourth inning with two batters being walked. Wallace collected her third hit of the night when she slammed a home run way over the right centerfield wall bringing home three runs for Arkansas and making the score 8-6. That home run gives Wallace 10 on the season and 27 RBI.
"Devon had four hits against one of the best pitchers in the country, in Traina," said Larabee. "That just shows you how special of a player Devon is."
After two scoreless innings for Alabama, the Crimson Tide brought home five more runs in the top of the fifth giving them the 13-6 lead.
Mort hit her first single of the night in the bottom of the sixth, she has 23 hit on the season. Wallace continued her perfect night at the plate collecting another single to left field while advancing Mort to second.
The sixth and seventh innings were scoreless for both teams giving Alabama the first game of the series with a 13-6 victory.
Overall, Arkansas out hit Alabama eight hits to seven, with Wallace going 4-4 at the plate.
"Offensively I was very pleased," said Larabee. "But to win we have to pitch better, bottom-line."
Arkansas is back in action tomorrow at 1 p.m. for the second game of the series. The first 500 fans to enter Bogle Park will receive an Arkansas softball cap.
For more information regarding Razorback softball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.