The University of Arkansas softball team travels to Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday to face the Kansas Jayhawks in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. The Lady Razorbacks then return to Southeastern Conference action heading to Gainesville, Fla., taking on the Florida Gators Friday and Saturday.
After dropping a midweek doubleheader to Auburn, the Lady’Backs swept Kentucky this past weekend by scores of 14-8, 5-2, and 2-0.
Bring out the Broom
The last time Arkansas swept an SEC series was against Kentucky in 2005.
Record-breaking Game One
In the first game of the series against Kentucky, Arkansas tied the single game records for most runs scored (14) and most hits (19), and broke the record for most runs batted in (14). The previous record of 19 hits was in a 19-inning game against Alabama in 1999, while the 2007 Lady’Backs tallied their 19 hits in just seven innings.
Another Single Game Record
Sophomore Whitney Cloer also broke the single game record for most hits in a game with five. Cloer was 5-for-5 with four RBIs, two runs scored, two doubles and one home run.
Pinkerton’s 200th Win
Head coach Jamie Pinkerton picked up the 200th win of his career as a Division I head coach Sunday, April 1, in the final game of the Kentucky series.
The 2007 Arkansas softball team has 18 home runs this season and is approaching the current single-season team record of 19 set in 2005.
Leading the Way
Freshman Jessica Bachkora continues to lead the Lady’Backs with a .321 batting average, 24 runs, 44 hits, nine doubles and a .372 on-base percentage.
Junior Samantha Buckner went 4-for-6 with one RBI in Tuesday’s doubleheader against Auburn.
LeMaster’s 200th Hit
Senior Rachel LeMaster collected the 200th hit of her career in the final game of the Tennessee series, March 25. LeMaster is fourth on the career list with 207 hits. The current record is 224 held by Danica White.
Tennessee’s India Chiles, was caught stealing for the first time this season by the arm of Whitney Cloer, March 24. Cloer did not give up a single stolen base in game two against the Lady Vols, and she threw out Lindsay Schutlzler. Both players are in the top 10 for stolen bases in the SEC.
LeMaster had the longest hitting streak on the team this season with a seven-game streak, during which she hit .524 with 11 hits, four runs and two RBIs. Bachkora and sophomore Kayla Johnson had six-game hitting streaks, while Cloer hit in five consecutive games.
It’s Out of Here
Junior Dayna Huckabee tied the career home run record March 18 with a two-out, two-run blast in the first inning against Nebraska. She hit five home runs this year and 12 in her career.
Fanning the Opponent
Junior Katy Henry is third in the SEC in strikeouts with 168. Tennessee’s Monica Abbott leads the way with a commanding 428 K’s while Auburn’s Anna Thompson is second with 198.
Cloer began the season batting .250 through the first 23 games. The second half of the season she’s increased her batting average over .100, hitting .351. Cloer’s slugging percentage also jumped from .359 to .579 in the last 22 games.
LeMaster and Bachkora account for 71% of the Lady’Backs’ stolen bases.LeMaster leads the team with 16 and is followed closely by Bachkora with 14. Arkansas has 42 stolen bases as a team.
Kansas (25-11-1, 2-2 Big 12) continues a five-game home stand Tuesday hosting Arkansas. The Jayhawks come off of two losses to No. 12 Baylor, 8-2 and 5-3. KU scored all its runs Sunday from home runs. Sara Ramirez hit a solo shot and Elle Pottorf blasted a two-run homer.
Versus the Jayhawks
Kansas won the last eight straight against Arkansas and leads the series 15-6. The Lady’Backs lost two close games in Fayetteville last year, 2-1 and 1-0.
Cloer and junior Samantha Buckner both had game-winning hits in the Big Red Tournament. Against Nebraska March 18, Cloer hit her second home run of the game and third of the year in the sixth inning, a two-out, two-run shot to right center, giving the Lady’Backs the 5-3 lead. Buckner hit an RBI single in the seventh inning March 17 to give Arkansas the 2-1 victory against the North Dakota State.
Lady’Back Home Run Records
The Lady’Backs hit three home runs, a team game record, in two contests this season, March 4 against Louisiana-Monroe and March 18 against Nebraska. The previous record was two.
Run Rachel Run
Rachel LeMaster is approaching the career stolen bases record of 72 by Dana Gulick. LeMaster currently sits second with 69 stolen bases.
Dixon Homers Three Times
Freshman Miranda Dixon hit three home runs and was 7-for-7, helping the Lady’Backs to two victories March 4 at Lady’Back Yard. Dixon put Arkansas up 6-5 against Northern Iowa with a two-run shot on two outs in the fifth inning. Against ULM she hit a lead-off home run in the fourth inning to bring the Lady’Backs within one run of the Warhawks, and homered again in the seventh to put the Lady’Backs up 8-4. Dixon had seven hits, seven RBIs and four runs on the day. She also marked a new Lady’Back Yard record, hitting two home runs in a game.
Bachkora Breaks Triple Record
Bachkora broke the school record for most triples in a single game on Feb. 25 against Missouri. Bachkora hit two triples, breaking the previous record of one.
Arkansas was selected to finish fourth in the SEC Western Division. The Lady’Backs received 37 points trailing LSU with 14 points, Alabama with 15 points and Auburn with 30 points. Tennessee was unanimously voted as the overall champion with 10 votes while Florida received one vote.
New Faces on the Field
The returning letterwinners are joined this season by eight new faces. Freshmen Jessica Bachkora (Overland Park, Kan.), Hannah Cicioni (Rogers, Ark.), Miranda Dixon (Edmond, Okla.), Teighynne Hulsey (Edmond, Okla.), Jess Reed (Fayetteville, Ark.), Brittany Robison (Owasso, Okla), Jessica Waddle (Chickasha, Okla.) and sophomore-transfer Dara Clark (Farmington, Ark.) all compete for playing time in 2007.
Amanda Caldwell of Victoria, Texas, Lauren Chisom a Bentonville, Ark. native, Leslie Dixon from Edmond, Okla., Lauren Iverson of Grove, Okla., Emily Jones a Joplin, Mo. native, Kim Jones from Lenexa, Kan., Jacey Juden of Arkansas City, Kan., and Wynne, Ark. native Layne McGuirt signed national letters of intent to play softball at Arkansas and officially become part of the Lady’Back program in the 2007-08 academic year.