St. George, Utah –
The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the Loyola Marymount Lions, 8-3 and the Weber State Wildcats, 10-2 in five innings, at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.
The Arkansas pitching staff led the team to two victories on day two of the Red Desert Classic. Kimmy Beasley
led the Razorbacks in game one against LMU. She recorded eight strikeouts while only allowing two hits and one earned run in 4.2 innings of work. Hope McLemore
was able to come in and finish the job in game one. She threw 2.1 innings, struck out a batter and allowed one run. Game two also featured a strong pitching performance, this time by freshman Kelly Young
. She went five innings, striking out nine and allowed only one earned run. Head coach Mike Larabee
praised his freshman pitcher.
“Young did a nice job in her first start,” Larabee said. “She had nine strikeouts in five innings. We recruited Kelly because she is a winner. She was 26-and-0 in postseason games in high school. She is a competitor and one of the hardest workers on our team. She just loves to compete.”
The Razorback bats were also in full swing as Arkansas outscored its opponents 18-5 in the two games. The Hogs were led in game one by Devon Wallace
, Clarissa Navarro and Chloe Oprzedek
, all three notched three hits in the game. Navarro, Nicole Schroeder
and freshman Claire Clark
all netted three RBI. In game two the team was led again by Wallace, she went 1-for-2 with two walks, three runs scored and a three-run homerun that landed in the bullpen behind the centerfield fence. Schroeder and Jayme Gee
also delivered solo homeruns in game two.
“I thought we swung the bats really well today,” Larabee said. “We had some runners on base that we need to get home, but the good thing is that we are getting the runners on base. It was nice to see three balls leave the yard. Schroeder and Gee got their first ones and Devon Wallace
hit a no-doubter.”
Game one started with two scoreless innings for both teams. Arkansas struck first in the top of the third when pinch runner Ashley Martindale
scored on a throwing error from the Loyola defense.
The Lions fought back to tie the game at one run apiece before the Razorbacks delivered three runs in the top half of the fourth. The inning featured a triple by Oprzedek and she eventually scored when Schroeder hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded.
Arkansas broke the game open in the seventh inning when Oprzedek again led off the inning with a hit. Wallace walked and Canfield hit a single to load the bases for Clarissa Navarro. Navarro roped a single up the middle that scored two and the game was out of reach at 6-2. The Razorbacks added two more runs in the inning and the Lions plated one in the bottom of the seventh to make the final 8-3.
Game two featured the Weber State Wildcats jumping on the board first when Alyson Kulp singled and scored on a Silva single. Young struck out three batters in her first inning as a Razorback.
Arkansas answered in the bottom half of the inning when Amanda Geile
lined a single up the middle scoring Navarro. Gee continued the scoring in the second when she towered a homerun to dead centerfield, making the score 2-1, Hogs, after two.
This time the Wildcats answered, in the top of the third, when an arid throw from Gee on a double steal resulted in Kulp stealing third. The ball squirted into the outfield and WSU picked up its second run of the game as Kulp trotted home. Young was able to work out of the jam, striking out the next two batters for her fifth and sixth strikeouts of the game.
Schroeder continued the back-and-forth pace when she rocketed a solo homerun over the leftfield wall. Geile followed the solo shot with her second hit of the game, a double off of the centerfielder’s glove. Geile was advanced to third on a single from Gee and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Sierra Bronkey
. Wallace then continued the hit parade when she hit a three-run homer to centerfield, scoring three and giving Arkansas a 7-2 lead after the third inning.
After the five-run third inning, Young started to settle in. She retired six of the next seven batters, including three strikeouts. These seven batters were the last that Young would see as Arkansas ended the game in the fifth when Canfield lined a triple into the right field wall, scoring Oprzedek and Wallace. Two batters later Navarro scored on a Schroeder double to right field. Arkansas improved to 4-0 on the young season.
The Razorbacks will conclude play in the Red Desert Classic tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT against the PAC-12’s Utah Utes.