The University of Arkansas softball team travels to Norman, Okla., Wednesday, Feb. 28 to take on No. 9 Oklahoma. The doubleheader begins at 3 p.m. The Lady Razorbacks also host their second tournament, the Holiday Inn Express – Arkansas Invitational, beginning Friday, March 1. The Lady’Backs welcome Northern Iowa and Louisiana-Monroe. Arkansas takes on Louisiana-Monroe Friday at 1 p.m. and Northern Iowa at 3 p.m. Saturday Arkansas plays Northern Iowa at 11 a.m. and Louisiana-Monroe at 1 p.m. Sunday the Lady’Backs face Northern Iowa at noon and Louisiana-Monroe at 2 p.m.
Arkansas comes off of a 1-4 weekend, hosting the Clarion Inn-Lady’Back Invitational. The Lady’Backs defeated Missouri-Kansas City 7-0 in its home opener, lost to Missouri twice, 3-6 and 11-12, and fell to Colorado State 1-6.
Bachkora breaks school record
Freshman Jessica 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. Over the weekend she had four hits, including a double and the two triples, six runs and four RBIs.
Johnson leads the way
Sophomore Kayla Johnson led the way offensively hitting .333 this past weekend. She collected six hits, four runs, one double, six RBIs and a home run, her second of the season.
Freshman Jessica Bachkora is off to a hot start in 2007. The center fielder is batting .438 with 21 hits, 11 runs, nine RBIs and eight stolen bases, all team highs. She hit .643 with nine hits, one RBI and two stolen bases at the USF-Best Western Tournament. At the Aggie Classic, Bachkora hit .500 with two doubles, four RBIs and three stolen bases.
The No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners opened the 2007 with their best start ever at 16-0. They went 5-0 in Palm Springs this past weekend, including wins over top-25 teams Cal and Oregon State. OU is one of only three teams left unbeaten in the country. The Sooners sit at 16-0 while No. 1 Tennessee owns a 15-0 mark and No. 5 Alabama has a spotless 16-0 record.
Versus the Sooners
OU leads the all-time series, 10-0. Last year, Samantha Ricketts’ solo home run in the seventh inning gave Oklahoma its winning run as it just edged Arkansas, 5-4.
The Warhawks defeated Texas Southern, 6-0, and Sam Houston State, 4-0, to win the Dominos Pizza Invitational on Sunday in Huntsville, Texas. ULM who improves to 11-6 on the season also won the 2007 Mardi Gras Classic earlier this season and now have three shutouts through 17 games.
Versus the Warhawks
Arkansas leads the series with ULM 4-1 and won the last doubleheader in Sherwood, Ark., by scores of 3-2 and 4-3.
About Northern Iowa
The Panthers scored an 8-0 win over IUPUI Sunday and then earned a 9-4 victory over Saint Louis in their weekend finale to even their record to 4-4 on the season.
Versus the Panthers
This is the first meeting between Northern Iowa and Arkansas.
Senior Rachel LeMaster and Bachkora both started the season with a six-game hitting streak. The streaks ended against third-ranked Texas A&M, Feb. 16.
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.