FAYETTEVILLE- The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 13-2 in five innings in the final game of the series improving its overall record to 19-18 and 3-14 in the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs, while losing the final game, did capture the series with two wins Friday and move their overall record to 21-19 and 3-14 in the SEC.
"I was very pleased with our play today," said head coach Mike Larabee
. "We played some solid defense, our pitching was strong and I was happy to see that everyone contributed to this awesome win."
Arkansas began the third game of the series with some great defensive work in the top of the first, including a double play from Sierra Bronkey
to Clarisa Navarro
to Andrea Sullivan
to end Mississippi State's at bat.
Navarro collected the first hit of the game for the Razorbacks when she grabbed a single up the middle. Junior Amanda Geile
then blasted a home run over the right field wall to give Arkansas the 2-0 lead. The home run by Geile is her seventh of the year and third in SEC play, giving her the most of any Razorback this season, thus far. Navarro leads the Razorbacks at the plate with 44 hits on the season and 20 in SEC play. Both Navarro and Geile were perfect at the plate on the day going three for three.
"The success to our hitting today was we swung at good hitting pitches," said Larabee. "If we sit on good pitches we are a great hitting team, as you can see today."
The Bulldogs responded in the top of the second when Jessica Cooley hit a solo home run over the center field wall, making the score 2-1 in favor of Arkansas. Mississippi State then loaded the bases after a batter was walked, a single and another batter was hit by a pitch. Arkansas got out of the inning with a pop up catch by Navarro, forcing the Bulldogs to leave three runners on base.
The Razorbacks recorded two more hits in the bottom of the second from Jayme Gee
and Tori Mort
. With Mort and Martindale, pinch running for Gee, on first and second, Wallace grabbed a single up the middle bringing in one run. Navarro followed with a single bringing in Wallace and Mort giving Arkansas the 5-1 lead.
Cooley recorded her second solo home run on the game in the top of the third making it a 5-2 game.
Sullivan added to the hitting spree in the bottom of the third when she blasted a home run over the center field wall with plenty of room to spare. She also brought in Geile who was on first after a single, giving the Razorbacks the 7-2 lead. Chelsea Cohen
had a perfect inning in the top of the fourth striking out all three batters, catching two swinging and one looking. Chloe Oprzedek
came up big at third base in the top of the fifth making a diving catch to put the batter out followed by a double play to end the Bulldogs at bat.
Arkansas loaded the bases with zero outs in the bottom of the fifth after a single from Geile and Navarro followed by a walk for Sullivan. Bronkey added another single bringing in Navarro for another run, making it 8-2 with the bases still loaded. Jennifer Rambo
collected her first sacrifice fly of the 2012 season bringing home Geile and making the score 9-2 Arkansas. The bases were loaded once again after pinch hitter Alyssa Bass
was walked with still only one out on the inning. Gee cleared the bases and ended the game with a grand slam hit over the left field wall giving the Razorbacks the 13-2 victory in five innings.
The Razorbacks are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Lexington, Ky to take on the Wildcats of Kentucky in a doubleheader at 3/5 p.m. There will be a live blog and live stats for both games available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. For more information regarding Razorback softball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.