– The University of Arkansas softball team swept its first day in the Woo Pig Classic. The Razorbacks defeated Wright State and Northern Iowa by scores of 11-3 in six innings and 8-0 in five innings, respectively, on Friday at a snowy Bogle Park.
Arkansas (14-5) was led in game by Devon Wallace at the plate as she completed game one, going 2-for-2 with three RBI, a double, a homerun, two runs scored and two walks. Not to be outdone by Wallace was catcher, Jayme Gee. The junior went 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Head coach Mike Larabee thought the team compiled a nice day at the plate.
“I feel really good about the way we played today,” Larabee said. “I thought we competed well. Wallace is a special player. She is undoubtedly one of the best hitters in the country.”
Also having a nice day overall at the plate was Jennifer Rambo. She went 3-for-5 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Wallace added another solo shot in game two and went 1-for-2 with a walk. Clarisa Navarro also added two hits in game two and scored two runs. But the big hit of game two came from Amanda Summerford in the third inning as she belted a three-run homerun into the leftfield grass. This was Summerford’s first start of 2013.
“I am really happy for Amanda,” Larabee said. “It is her senior year and she is playing with a lot of confidence. I am proud of her. She is an athletic kid that knows the system and has waited her time.”
Game two starter Chelsea Cohen pitched a gem in the circle. She went five scoreless innings, giving up five hits and striking out seven. This improved the senior captain’s strikeout total to 53 through 43 innings pitched. Cohen picked up the win in game two, her sixth of the year.
“The biggest thing we try to pound into our pitcher’s heads is getting ahead,” Larabee said. “For the second consecutive game, she made it look really easy out there.”
Game one’s scoring began with two outs in the second inning. Gee and Chloe Oprzedek drew back-to-back walks to put two runners on for Wallace. She notched her first hit of the day, a double to the leftfield gap, scoring Kyndra Meeker, who pinch ran for Gee. Sierra Bronkey followed the double, adding two runs of her own on a single and making the score 3-0, Hogs. Navarro continued the offensive inning, shooting a double down the leftfield line, scoring Bronkey. Jennifer Rambo followed with an RBI-single, plating Navarro and giving Arkansas a 5-0 lead after two.
Gee continued her offensive production with one out in the third. She belted a triple off of the rightfield wall, scoring Claire Clark, who singled and stole second earlier in the inning. This would finish the day for Raider pitcher Krystian DeWitt, she went 2.1 innings, giving up seven runs on six hits. Wallace would add to the total as she belted a two-run bomb into the leftfield grass two batters later. Wallace’s fifth homerun of the year made the score 8-0, Arkansas.
The top of the fourth featured three runs for the Raiders. Lindsay Barrett started the inning with a triple and then scored on a throwing error. Taylor Knore followed the triple with a triple of her own. Wright State earned its second run on another triple, two batters later, from Kortney Tackett. Run three came when Kristi Boreing stole second and as Gee made the throw to second, Tackett came home to score. After a single up the middle from Kaitlyn Kite, Kelly Young’s game was complete. She allowed three runs on six hits in 3.1 innings pitched. Young gave way to Kimmy Bealsey with the bases loaded and one out. The sophomore came in and struck out the next two batters, leaving minimal damage in the inning.
Arkansas answered in the bottom of the fifth as Gee led off the inning with a single to leftfield. Oprzedek followed with a bunt single of her own and then Wallace walked to load the bases for Bronkey. The junior lifted a ball into centerfield for out number one, but the flyball scored Gee. Rambo then singled to bring across the tenth run of the game for the Razorbacks as Oprzedek crossed the plate to give Arkansas a 10-3 lead.
Beasley worked wonders on the mound after being inserted into the game in the fourth. She retired eight of the ten batters that she faced, striking out six, while only giving up one hit.
Summerford led off bottom of the sixth and reached on an error. The senior then stole second and put herself in scoring position with zero outs. Three batters later, pinch hitter and freshman Lauren Montgomery ended the game. She lined a single up the middle to score Summerford from second and give Arkansas an 11-3 win in six innings.
Game two saw the senior captain, Cohen, take the circle for the Razorbacks. She was helped out by the Arkansas offense immediately in the first inning as Bronkey and Navarro hit back-to-back singles with one out. After Meeker pinch ran for Bronkey she scored on a Nicole Schroeder sacrifice fly. Navarro scored later in the inning on a wild pitch to make the score 2-0, Hogs, after one inning of play.
Wallace hit her second homerun of the day and first of game two in the second inning. With two outs, she sent a solo shot into the snowy sky giving Arkansas a 3-0 lead.
Navarro and Rambo hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom half of the third. Both runners scored on a moonshot by Summerford. The senior outfielder lifted the first pitch of her at-bat into the leftfield grass for her first hit of the season.
Cohen continued to work through the Panther lineup and was helped out in the top of the fourth with two outs from Navarro. The junior shortstop made a sensational play, diving to her left and stopping the ball. She then flipped it to second with her glove to retire Melissa Walls and end another scoreless inning for Cohen.
Schroeder walked to lead off the bottom of the fifth. After Ashley Martindale pinch ran for the freshman, Summerford reached on an error and Andrea Sullivan walked to load the bases for Oprzedek. She delivered a game-winning, two-run, single up the middle, giving Arkansas an 8-0 win.
Next up for the Hogs will be more action in the Woo Pig Classic. The team will welcome Jacksonville State for a 12:30 p.m. game on Saturday and then Arkansas will be entered into seeded play. The seeded game for the Razorbacks will take place at 5:30 p.m.