TAMPA, FLA. – The University of Arkansas softball team lost to Virginia 4-1 in the consolation final of the South Florida-Best Western Tournament Sunday.
Sophomore Kayla Johnson hit the first Lady’Back home run of the year in the first inning of the ball game giving Arkansas the 1-0 lead. The Lady’Backs loaded the bases after Johnson’s home run, but were held to just one run in the inning.
“Kayla’s home run got us off to a good start,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “We had a chance to string something together afterwards and just weren’t able to come up with the hit.”
Virginia also got on the board, evening the score 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning. Lead-off batter Ashley Contreras scored from second on a double to left center by Kelly Haller.
In the third inning, Virginia’s Meghan O’Leary got a lead-off single and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. A double to right center and two RBI singles by the Cavaliers drove in three more runs for a 4-1 Virginia victory.
“We hit the ball decent today, just not in clutch situations and that is something we’re going to have to work on,” said Pinkerton.
Junior Katy Henry started on the mound and went three innings, allowing four runs on seven hits before she was relieved by freshman Miranda Dixon. Dixon went three innings permitting just two hits. She also produced on offense going 2-for-3.
Nicole Koren for Virginia pitched 2.1 innings and gave up the lone Lady’Back run. She was relieved by Karla Wilburn who held Arkansas scoreless and struck out a career-high eight batters in 3.2 innings.
Senior Rachel LeMaster, junior Dayna Huckabee and freshman Jessica Bachkora all collected hits for the Lady’Backs.
Arkansas travels next weekend to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Aggie Classic. In the tournament is host Texas A&M, Texas San-Antonio and Rutgers.
For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.